Dr Florian Kossak
Senior Lecturer for Urban History, Theory and Design
T: +44 (0)114 222 0341
I studied architecture at the Technical University Berlin and received my MArch (with Distinction) from the University of Strathclyde in 1997. After a seven-year-long collaboration with the Munich-based architect Otto Steidle I co-founded the workers co-operative GLAS – Glasgow Letters on Architecture and Space in 2001. In parallel, I have been teaching architecture and urbanism in the design studio and through history and theory courses since 1997, first at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, then Strathclyde University and, since 2006, at the University of Sheffield where I am currently the Director of Postgraduate Taught Masters Programmes. In 2008 I received my PhD from the Edinburgh College of Art with a thesis on ‘The Laboratory Exhibition and the Experimental Production of Architecture’.
My teaching commitments at the Sheffield School of Architecture cover both teaching in professionally accredited proprammes (BArch/MArch) as well as Postgraduate Masters programmes. The focus is hereby on the delivery of lectures, seminars and 1:1 tutorials in architectural and urban history and theory as well as lead and tutoring in the urban design studio.
I am responsible for the coordination and delivery of 2 lecture-based modules and support other staff in the delivery of their modules. I am involved in/or oversee the assessment of all modules in which I teach. Through my role as Director of Postgraduate Taught Masters Programmes I am involved in the conceptual development and strategic planning of delivery of other programmes and teaching modules throughout the Graduate School.
Teaching Modules PGT Masters
ARC6984, History and Theory of Urban Design, Module leader
Teaching Modules Undergraduate and MArch
ARC 303, Humanities 5, Urban (Hi-)Stories, Module Leader
All listed teaching examples link with past and continuous research on urban and architectural history and theory.
Module ARC303 / ARC6852 Urban (Hi)Stories
Module ARC6984 History and Theory of Urban Design
Modules ARC322/ARC556/ARC6982 Special Studies/PGT Thesis/PGR Thesis
Mediation of Architecture
Architecture as Urban Method
Director of Postgraduate Taught Masters Programmes
PGT Masters Admissions Tutor
In the past, I have held the positions of Director of External Relations (2009-2011), Erasmus-Coordinator (2009-2011), Undergraduate Admissions Selector (2008-2011), and Programme Leader for MA in Urban Design (2007-2013), a new Masters programme that I instigated at the SSoA.
My research evolves around a critical investigation of the historical production and mediation processes of architecture and cities. Particular focus is hereby on
A predominant medium of communication and research within my academic and other professional practice concerns the production of experimental exhibition. I have designed and curated exhibitions and work shown in the public realm as well as in prestigious public institutions and private galleries including the Institut français d’architecture in Paris, the Venice Architecture Biennale, The Lighthouse in Glasgow, or the Aedes Gallery in Berlin.
Research Projects in Progress
‘Transformative Architectural Exhibitions and Urban Regeneration in Berlin 1968-1984’
‘RAUM – Researching Architecture as an Urban Method’
I am currently supervising 5 PhD Research Students (3 as 1st Supervisor, 2 as 2nd Supervisor)
Current Research Students:
Sheng Song, ‘Constructing Urban Streets with Liveability in China’, (Co-supervisor), since 2016
Ula Merie, ‘The impact of City Environments on University Campuses in Iraq’, Fully Sponsored, (1st supervisor), since 2015
Xiang Ren, ‘Hybrid Buildings of Cities in Evolution: A Crafted Diary’, (1st supervisor), 2013 – awaiting viva 2017.
Pouyan Akbari, ‘Just Urbanism – Local and Global Perspectives’, (2nd Supervisor), since 2013
Ahmed Elastal, ‘New Prospects for Low-Cost Housing in the Gaza Strip’, Fully Sponsored, (2nd Supervisor), since 2001
Chwas Sabr, ‘Urban Form and Regulations: A Morphological Analysis of Erbil City’ (2016, 1st Supervisor)
Tom Cubbin, ’Artists in Design: Experimental Practice at Senezh Studio 1964-1984’,, (2016, 2nd Supervisor)
Rully Damayanti, ‘Urban Elements and Identity: A Socio-Spatial Reading by Young People of ‘Urban Kampungs’ in Surabaya’ (2015, 1st Supervisor)
Hassan Khalifehei, ‘A New Sustainable Future for Isfahan, Iran’ (2014, 2nd Supervisor)
PhD Supervision Interests
I am interested to receive proposals that broadly fall into the categories of Urban history, contemporary urbanism, urban design, or the experimental mediation of architecture. I favour quantitative and experimental methodologies with visual and design research methods. My regional focus is, although not exclusively, on cities of the Indian Sub-continent and China as well as Berlin.
|Grants, Awards and Consultancy||
Research and Project Grants
2016, ‘Researching Architecture as an Urban Method [RAUM]’
2015, ‘Urban Design Methodologies and Tools for the Engaged Practitioner’, Engaged Curriculum Fund / TUOS/FSC, Grant: £2.000; Joint PI with C.Cerulli and B.De Carli
2015, ‘Archiving AGENCY’ , SURE / TUOS, Grant: £1200; Co-I (Agency)
2012, ‘Theory Forum: Urban Blind Spots’, Methodological Innovation Fund / TUOS/FSC, Grant: £2.000; Joint PI with T. Schneider and S. Walker
2012, ‘Variations on a Theme – A typo-morphological survey of the Berlin Mietskaserne’, SURE – TUOS, Grant: £1.130; Sole PI
2012, ‘E Tu Cosa Ci Vedi’, Citta di Venezia, Contract: €20.000, Contractural responsibility for AGENCY, collaboration with Fram_menti, Castelfranco
2011, ‘WAVE 11 - ‘Taking Part’, IUAV – Venice, Contract: €5.000; Joint PI with C. Cerulli, T. Schneider for AGENCY
2009, ‘ECOLOGY Theory Forum’, IBL Grant, Cilass, TUOS, grant: £3.930; Joint PI with T. Schneider, S Walker, for AGENCY
2008, ‘RHYZOM – trans local cultural production’
2007, ‘SHIFTS – Projections into the Future of the Central Belt’
2007, ‘Glasgow is Made by Us’, SIX Cities / Scottish Executive, Total budget: £52.750; Sole PI
2006, ‘PEPRAV - European Platform for Alternative Practice and Research on the City’, Culture 2000, European Union, Overall project budget: €190,000; Sheffield budget: € 22,000; Joint PI for Sheffield part with D. Petrescu and T. Schneider
2005, ‘On the Edge’, Innovation Fund , The Lighthouse / Scottish Executive, Grant: £5,000; Joint PI with A. Atlee and T. Schneider (G.L.A.S.)
2005, ‘Tales between Two Cities’, The Lighthouse/Scottish Executive, Innovation Fund, Grant: £4.700, Sole PI
2005, 'Spaces of Labour', German Federal Culture Foundation (Bundeskulturstiftung), Contract: €10,000; Joint PI with A. Atlee and T. Schneider (G.L.A.S.)
2003, ‘Unser Berlin / Our Berlin’, British Council + The Lighthouse/Scottish Executive, Innovation Fund, Grant: £8,000; Joint PI with A. Atlee and T. Schneider (G.L.A.S.)
2002, ‘Radical Architecture at Documenta X’, Scottish Arts Council, Travel Grant: £500
2002, ‘Radical Architecture at Urban Catalyst’, Scottish Arts Council, Travel Grant: £500
2001, ‘Urban Cabaret’, Scottish Arts Council, Grant: £8675, CoI with A.Atlee and T.Schneider (G.L.A.S.)
2000, ‘Perspektive Domagk’, Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Grant: DM1.000
2000, ‘Traumhaus 2000 - Agentur für Wohnwünsche’, AkademieVerein München, Grant: DM2.000
1992, ‘Wohltemperierte Architektur / Welltempered Architecture’, Architektenkammer Berlin / British Council / Commission of the EU. GD XII, Grant: DM10.000
Awards, Prizes, and Competitions
2011, ‘San Giobbe study’, winning bid against established Italian urbanism practices to conduct a study on participatory planning strategies for the San Giobbe area in Venice, AGENCY in collaboration with Fram_menti (lead)
2011, ‘Conditions’, 2nd Prize, with T. Schneider, International Competition on the 'Future of Competitions' organized by Scandinavian architecture and urbanism magazine
2004, ‘National Achievement Award in Architecture’, with G.L.A.S. (£5,000), Scottish Executive and The Lighthouse, GLAS was awarded this prestigious award for its critical work on the production and use of architecture and the urban environment within the Scottish context and beyond and its effort for find innovative ways to distribute this work to a wide ranging audience beyond the profession.
2000, ‘Future Vision Housing’, Architekturforum Oberösterreich, short-listed with T.Schneider, International Ideas Competition
1993-2000 Otto Steidle +Partner, numerous national and international design competition prizes and short-listings
|Professional Standing and Distinctions||
Member of Learned Societies
Architecture Humanities Research Association, AHRA [UK]
External Examiner and Programme Evaluation
2016- External Examiner MArch Design; University of Nottingham
Invited Guest Critic and Lecturer
Akademie der Bildenden Künste München (Germany); CEPT, Ahmedabad (India); Edinburgh College of Art (UK); Glasgow School of Art (UK); HafenCity University Hamburg (Germany); HIT, Harbin (China); KTH Stockholm (Sweden); Lund University (Sweden); Manchester University (UK); Nanjing University (China); Nottingham University (UK); Politecnico di Milano (Italy); Tianjin University (China) Technical University Berlin (Germany); Technical University München (Germany); University of Strathclyde (UK)
A list of key publications can be found below. For a full list of recent publications please click here.
- Kossak F (2010) Agency: Working with Uncertain Architectures. Taylor & Francis.
- Kossak F (2007) Shifts Projections Into the Future of the Central Belt.
- Noël D & Kossak F (2002) Hambourg. Institut Français Architecture.
- Kossak F (1994) Otto Steidle bewohnbare Bauten. Ellipsis London, Limited / Artemis Zurich, London.
- Steidle O, von Gagern V, Kossak F & Wiesner E (1993) Architectural - Otto Steidle, Verena von Gagern. Munich: Nazraeli Press.
- Damayanti R & Kossak F (2016) Examining spatial identity of kampungs through young adults’ perception in Surabaya – Indonesia. Journal of Architecture and Urbanism, 40(1), 18-28. View this article in WRRO
- Damayanti R & Kossak F (2016) Extending Kevin Lynch’s concept of imageability in third space reading; case study of Kampungs, Surabaya–Indonesia. ITU J Faculty Arch, 13(1), 57-67. View this article in WRRO
- Mayblin L, Valentine G, Kossak F & Schneider T (2015) Experimenting with spaces of encounter: Creative interventions to develop meaningful contact. Geoforum, 63, 67-80. View this article in WRRO
- Kossak F, Schneider T & Walker S (2015) Editorial. field:, 6(1), 1-4.
- Kossak F (2015) Instalace jako laborator vznikajici architektury (The Installation As a Laboratory for Emerging Architecture). ERA21 - O architekture vic!, 2015(01), 35-39.
- Damayanti R & Kossak F (2015) Urban Symbols: The Understanding and Reading of Urban Space by Young Adults in Indonesian Kampungs. Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban And Extra Urban Studies, 6(2), 49-61. View this article in WRRO
- Kossak F, Schneider T & Walker S (2015) Postscript: Urban Blind Spots. field:, 6(1), 113-120.
- Kossak F & Damayanti R (2013) Rethinking of Lynch: A Study of Young People’s Perception of Surabaya City. DIMENSI Journal of Architecture and Built Environment, 40(1), 27-32. View this article in WRRO
- Kossak F (2012) An Architect's Tagwerk: Notes on Otto Steidle's work between the urban and the rural. ARQ: Architectural Research Quarterly, Volume 15(04), 327-340.
- Tyszczuk RA, Blundell Jones P, Kossak F, Petrescu D, Schneider T & Walker S (2009) Before and After “Agency’’. Footprint(4), 113-122.
- Kossak F (2012) Productive Exhibitions: looking backwards to go forwards In McLeod S, Hanks L & Hale J (Ed.), Museum Making - Narratives, Architectures, Exhibitions (pp. 213-222). Oxon / New York: Routledge.
- Kossak F, Schneider T, Cerulli C, Tyszczuk R, Butterworth C, AGENCY & Fram-menti (2012) Taking Part / transformative practices in the city In Gianni E (Ed.), Workshop 2011; Facolta di Architettura di Venezia (pp. 22-27). Venice: Marsilio Editori.
- Cerulli C, Kossak F, Petrescu D & Schneider T (2010) Agencies of Live Projects In Petrescu P, Petcou C & Awan N (Ed.), Trans-local-act: Cultural practices within and across (pp. 172-210). Paris: aaa/peprav.
- Kossak F (2009) Exhibiting Architecture: The installation as laboratory for emerging architecture In Chaplin S (Ed.), Curating Architecture and the City (pp. 117-128). Oxon / New York: Routledge.
- Kossak F (2007) Thinking about Berlin In Tyszczuk R (Ed.), Architecture & Interdependence - Mappings and Explorations of Studio Six (pp. 88-93). Cambridge: Shed.
- Kossak F, Schneider T & GLAS (2007) G.L.A.S. / Glasgow Letters on Architecture and Space, Urban/act Practices, Groups, Networks, Workspaces, Organisations, Tools, Methods, Projects, Data & Texts (pp. 130-141).
- Kossak F () Aktion 507 - Politics become theory become praxis In Stoppani T, Ponzo G & Themistokleous G (Ed.), This Think Called Theory (pp. 137-146). Oxon and New York, NY: Routledge.
- Kossak F & Schneider T (2010) To Whom It May Concern. Conditions, The Future of Competitions(7), 62-63.
- Kossak F, Petrescu D, Schneider T & Tyszczuk T (Eds.) (2009) Agency: Working with Uncertain Architectures. Oxon / New York: Routledge.