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Petra Kempf

Petra Kempf, Ph.D., is an architect, urban designer, and educator. Her creative practice and research speculate on how the assemblage of collective living has been influenced by urbanization. Within these parameters, her investigations are centered on regenerative ways of living, based on reflective, responsive, and reciprocal relationships, to confront the pressing challenges to the environment as well as the changing life parameters of urban citizens living in an urban environment today. As part of this research, Kempf introduced the methodology of game making into the pedagogy at the Sam Fox School as an emerging syntax in the exploration and approach to urban life.

Kempf has worked at institutions within the public and private sector, including the New York City Department of City Planning, the Project for Public Spaces, and Richard Meier & Partners. She has taught at schools throughout the U.S. and Europe, including the Rhode Island School of Design, Columbia University, Cornell University, Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, and the University of Dortmund, Germany. She earned a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Fellowship, the Architectural League of New York’s Young Architect Award, and grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and the Mellon Foundation. She is the founder of Confront(ing) Urbanization, an interdisciplinary research initiative with focus on how the assemblage of collective living has been influenced by urbanization.

Her work has been exhibited at venues such as Architecture Venice Biennale and Chicago Biennale, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pink Comma Gallery in Boston, and Roca Gallery in London, among other galleries and academic institutions in the U.S. and Europe, such as Cornell University and Rhode Island School of Design. She has published a series of articles and is the author of “You are the City” and “(K)ein Ort Nirgends, Der Transitraum im urbanen Netzwerk.”

Confronting Urbanization Symposium Events

Got Umbrella

November 4, 2021
Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice, Italy

December 10, 2021
Millennium Park-Cloud Gate, Chicago, Illinois

April 12, 2022
Danforth Campus, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri

June 18, 2022
Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice, Italy

Got Umbrella takes on the challenge to create a pluralistic common ground—informed and imagined by many people at a time. By playing various roles and wearing different masks, urban citizens create provisional counter-configurations through which different social constellations arise.

Tabula Urbaine

November 5-7, 2021
Palazzo Michiel, Venice, Italy

Over the course of three daily sessions, the objective of Tabula Urbaine was to develop alternative methods to narrate current processes unfolding within urbanization – an urbanization that is fueled by an ever-expanding and contracting network of infrastructures through which predominately free market forces are being channeled, accumulated, and disputed.

Selection of Books & Journals Kempf Has Contributed To