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Scholarly Interest Report
Reto Geiser
  • Dr.Sc. Architectural History and Theory (2010) ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • M. Arch Architecture (2002) ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • B.A. Architecture (1999) ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Primary Department
   School of Architecture
No Image
 Print and Screen
Research Areas
 Modern Architecture, Contemporary Architectural and Urban Discourse, Historiography, Design Pedagogy, Representation, Graphic Design, Media

Giedion In-Between


In my current book manuscript, Giedion In Between, which is based on my doctoral research, I reassess the work of Swiss art historian and architecture critic Sigfried Giedion (1888–1968) through the lens of cultural transformation and processes of modernization. Giedion’s role as a key figure in the modern movement and as a mediator between architectural cultures on either side of the Atlantic is regarded as paradigmatic for the intellectual production and the development of the modern project in both Europe and North America. The book reconsiders his position and role with a focus on his engagement in a dialogue across continents and disciplines, and his impact on the postwar generation of architects, architectural historians, and other intellectuals. From divergent approaches within the discipline of architectural history and criticism to the estimation of the recent past and popular culture to aspects of language and translation to academic practices, educational models and the transgression of disciplinary boundaries, this book—as its title suggests—describes four different in-between situations that can be understood as consequences of the intersections and exposures of two different cultures.


Print and Screen: The Future of Books in the Information Age


New technologies are fundamentally changing the publishing landscape. The shift from a physical book production to a digital delivery raises a set of legal and cultural issues that will decisively affect the way we read, how we share information, and consequently how we organize, structure, design, and produce publications. This project sheds light on this intersection between physical and virtual realms. It is based on the conviction that print and post-print production are not mutually exclusive, but on the contrary, that they are parallel modes of communication in a publishing environment that is defined by a plurality of media. “Print and Screen” aims to productively discuss new models of scholarly dissemination; it provides a platform to debate the shifting definitions of authorship and intellectual property and how they affect academic writing and publishing, as well as artistic production; and finally the project explores progressive approaches to book design in the information age, realizing a publication that addresses both digital and physical worlds. 

Teaching Areas
 Architectural History, Theory, Criticism, and Design
Selected Publications

Reto Geiser and John Sparagana "Reading Revolutionaries."  (2014)

 Editor of books

Kyle Dugdale "Babel's Present." Standpunkte Dokumente, 5


Reto Geiser "House is a House is a House is a House is a House."  (2016)


Diogo Seixas Lopes "Rossi's Cut-Ups." Standpunkte Dokumente, 6In Progress


Reto Geiser "Bildbauten: Philipp Schaerer."  (2016) In Press


Reto Geiser, Martino Stierli "Im Gespräch: 8 Positionen zur Schweizer Architektur."  (2015)


Thomas Weaver "The Essay." Standpunkte Doumente, 7 (2016) In Progress

 Book chapters

Reto Geiser "Die Entwurfslehre. John Hejduk: Education of an Architect, 1971 ." Das Buch als Entwurf. Eine Gattungsgeschichte der Architekturtheorie in Einzeldarstellungen (2016) In Progress


Reto Geiser "Soft Threshold/Weiche Übergänge." Rahul Mehrotra: Novartis Campus - Virchow 16 (2015) : 10-18.


Reto Geiser "In the Realm of Architecture." Ai Weiwei: Spatial Matters – Art, Architecture and Activism (2014) : 126–137.

 Book reviews

Reto Geiser "Mechanization Takes Command: A Contribution to Anonymous History." Journal of Architectural Education, 69:1 (2015) : 113-115.


Reto Geiser "Transatlantische Wechselwirkungen: Nachwort zur Neuausgabe [Afterword to the new Greman edition of Sigfried Giedion's Space, Time and Architecture]." Sigfried Giedion: Raum, Zeit, Architektur (2015) : I–XXIV.

 Invited Papers

"From Constancy to Change: Sigfried Giedion and the Shifting Role of History in Architectural Education." Architecture Education Goes Outside Itself, International Conference, The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. (2/9/2013)

 Invited Talks

"Poetry, Politics, Planning (Rice Art History Brown Bag Talk)." Rice University Art History, Houston. (04/21/2014)


"Project Sigfried Giedion." Humanities Research Center, Rice University, Houston, TX. (12/6/2013)


"A Spatial Discourse: Giedion, McLuhan, and the Explorations Group." Yale University, School of Architecture, New Haven, CT. (2/18/2014)


"From Drafting Board to Writing Desk and Back: Max Frisch, Lucius Burckhardt and the Postwar Debate onUrban Planning in Switzerland." College Art Association, 102nd Annual Conference, Chicago, IL. (02/12/2014)


"Avoiding Fields, Jumping Fences." Design Now–Houston, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH), (09/07/2013)


"Books and Architecture." University of Houston, Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, Houston, TX. (6/27/2013)


"Sigfried Giedion and the Beginnings of Visual Literacy." Society of Architectural Historians, 66th Annual Conference, Buffalo, NY. (3/11/2013)


"Toward an Education of Vision." Collins/Kaufmann Forum for Modern Architectural History, Fall 2013 Lecture, Department of Art History and Archeology, Columbia University, New York. NY. (10/14/2013)


"Constructing Printed Matter." Berlage Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. (06/18/2012)


"In the Realm of Architecture: Some Notes on Ai Weiwei’s Spatial Temptations." AIA Architecture Center Houston, Houston, TX. (05/24/2012)


Curator/Organizer.  "Next: Four Takes on the Future of Architectural Education." 2012 RSA/RDA Fall Lecture Series, MFAH Houston, Texas.


"A Common Language: Three Artists in Conversation—Reto Geiser, David Grubbs, John Sparagana." The Menil Collection, Houston. (9/26/2014)

 Session Chair

"After Representation: Architecture Displays Itself." Society of Architectural Historians, 67th Annual Conference, Austin, Texas. (04/10/2014) With Martino Stierli


Convener.  "Print and Screen Colloquium on the Future of Books in the Information Age." The Menil Collection Library/Rice University Arts Initiative, Houston. (11/20/2014)

Supervised Theses & Dissertations
 Mary A. Casper, Master of Architecture Viewfinder. (2014) (Thesis Director)

 Lu Na, Master of Architecture Along the Line. (2015) (Thesis Director)

 Pablo Ruiz Otaolaurruchi, Master of Arts in Architecture Windows at an Exhibition: The Flattened Commercial Space as a Public Interface. (2016) (Thesis Director)

Awards, Prizes, & Fellowships
 Gunnar Birkerts Researcher Travel Fellowship, University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library (2015)

 Columbia University Library Research Award, Columbia University, New York, NY (2014)