5/9/2022 - Kim Förster

On 5/9/2022 at 12:15 pm, Kim Förster presented his basic thoughts on a global history of cement as part of a guest lecture in the seminar "Material Geschichten" by Prof. Sabine Hansmann (Architecture, Space and Society), which was also broadcasted live via Zoom. In it, he dealt exemplarily with contemporary challenges of an environmental, material and energy history of architecture in order to take a look at the past, present and undecided future of cement - insofar as there is such a thing. The three narratives were: (1) a historical-critical examination of the kiln in the modern cement plant which highlights the benefits and risks of the industrial process that underlies an extractive architectural attitude; (2) an architectural critique of a current pilot and demonstration project that articulates the problems and possibilities for action identified by various stakeholders in relation to contemporary urbanization processes; (3) and a future view of the reclaimed quarry that illustrates the landscape architectural practice of ecological design in a local context and also suggests possible pathways for planetary survival design and policy.


Kim Förster (1973) is an architectural historian and author. He researches and teaches at the University of Manchester. Essays by him on cement appear 2022 in: Works, Building and Living, Beyond Concrete. Strategies for a Postfossil Building Culture (Triest Verlag, Zurich), e-flux Architecture: Accumulations, and Elemental Solarities (punctum books, Goleta).