Institute for Architecture and Cultural Theory (IGmA) is the first (and to date the largest) Institute of Architectural Theory and Design in Germany.

Since its founding in 1967, IGmA has applied a context-based reflection as a teaching method for students in the fields of architecture, theory, politics, economics and society - and since then has influenced not only the thinking of many theoreticians, but also the design approach of countless architects.

Since 01 April 2018 Prof. Dr. Stephan Trüby is in charge of IGmA. With his new team, he continues the tradition of the institute and determines new research directions such as the economics and politics of architecture as well as elements and synthesis of architectural space.

About the history of IGmA

Architecture and Cultural Theory

Architecture is perhaps the most complex cultural technique humanity has produced. Nowhere else - neither in literature nor in the theater or in the fine arts - are economic, technical, scientific, artistic, legal, media, religious and political interests as integral as in the case of building and architectural planning.

Even a glance at the history of architecture shows that buildings are also to be seen in the context of cultural (national, regional etc.) differences as well as in the context of transmission processes. They are the result of cultural evolution, which can’t be traced back to distinct individuals (heroes of architectural history, etc.), and owe their existence to a complex mix of economic, political, material and stylistic factors, traditions, craftsmanship rules, software frameworks, etc.

All of this is on the agenda of an architectural theory understood as cultural theory that does not want to indulge in subjectivist illusions. At the same time, architectural theory - as well as subject-oriented design theory - is not only interested in what happened in the past and what is happening right now, but also how things should be; and this not only in the sense of desirable artifacts, but also in the sense of a desirable society.

Current research at IGmA

Leonard Herrmann

Leo Herrmann studied architecture at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart and previously studied comparative literature in Munich. He has worked for architectural offices in Germany and abroad, including Sauerbruch Hutton in Berlin and Raphäel Gabrion in Paris. In 2015 he was co-founder and editorial member of the video magazine Mies.DE. In 2017 he received a scholarship from the Sto Foundation and the ARCH+ Association and contributed to several issues of the magazine. Along multiple collaborators he conceived and realized lecture series, exhibitions, publications and interventions in public space. His texts on city, space and architecture have appeared in magazines such as ARCH+, Bauwelt and Kontext. The focus of his responsibility at IGmA is the BBSR research project "Innovation history as reflected in the magazine ARCH+" and the development of an online platform for the publication of its results.

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Philipp Krüpe

Philipp Krüpe is interested in the political conditions of space and its aesthetics.

He is an architect and associate researcher at IGmA (University of Stuttgart) as well as station+ (Chair Arno Brandlhuber+, ETH Zurich). Currently he scrutinizes the intersections of digital memes and architecture. 

Together with Stephan Trüby he is co-founder of the platform, a digital Atlas of Authoritarian (Meta-)politics in Architecture, Urbanism and Culture. He holds a master’s degree in architecture from the Technical University of Munich and worked for the magazines ARCH+ and Baumeister as well as several cultural institutions like Haus der Kunst Munich, Münchner Kammerspiele, Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin and Goethe Institute.

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Sandra Oehy

Sandra Oehy studied art history, political science and sociology at the University of Zurich. As a researcher, exhibition organizer and lecturer, she has been working on projects with a focus on the interfaces of practice and theory in the fields of art, design and architecture for many years. In 2016 she curated “Incidental Space” with the architect Christian Kerez for the Swiss pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. In 2014 she was project lead and co-curator (managing curator) of the German contribution “Bungalow Germania” at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. From 2010 to 2013 she was co-director of the Van Horbourg art space for contemporary art in Basel and Zurich. She was a long-time member of the art acquisition commission of the Canton of Zug and was involved in a variety of international cultural and exhibition projects, including: in Sri Lanka, USA, Finland, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Italy and Germany. As a lecturer and researcher with a focus on exhibition making, she worked at ETH Zurich, Zurich University of the Arts, the University of Zurich, and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). Since 2018 she has been working as a researcher at the Institute for Principles of Modern Architecture (Design and Theory) (IGmA) at the University of Stuttgart. Since March 2023, she is also working as a specialist for networks, collaborations and mediation for art in public space at the cultural office of the city of Stuttgart.

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Univ.-Prof. Dr. phil. Stephan Trüby

Prof. Dr. phil. Stephan Trüby (* 1970) is Professor of Architecture and Cultural Theory and Director of the Institute for Principles of Modern Architecture (IGmA) at the University of Stuttgart since April 2018. Previously, Trüby was Visiting Professor of Architecture at the State College of Design in Karlsruhe (2007-09), Head of the postgraduate study program "Scenography/Spatial Design" at the Zurich University of the Arts (2009-14) and Professor of Architecture and Cultural Theory at the Technical University of Munich (2014-18). His publications include Exit-Architecture. Design between War and Peace (2008), The World of Madelon Vriesendorp (2008, with Shumon Basar), Germania, Venezia. The German Entries to the Venice Architecture Biennale since 1991 (2016, with Verena Hartbaum), Absolute Architekturbeginner: Schriften 2004-2014 (2017) and Die Geschichte des Korridors (2018). He is a permanent contributor to the journal ARCH+.

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Adrianne Wootton

Sandra Oehy studied Art History, Political Science and Sociology at the University of Zurich (MA / Lic. phil.). As a creator of exhibitions, she has worked on projects focusing on the intersection between theory and practice in the areas of art, design and architecture. In 2016, she curated Incidental Space with the architect Christian Kerez for the Swiss Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture. In 2014, she was project leader and co-curator for the German contribution to the 14th Venice Biennale of Architecture, titled Bungalow Germania. Between 2010 and 2013, she was co-director of the contemporary art space Van Horbourg in Basel and Zurich and worked as an independent curator. Sandra Oehy is currently teaching at the University of Zurich and Zurich University of the Arts. As part of her research at the University of Stuttgart she investigates the role of the architecture magazine ARCH+ within a wider (German speaking) discourse on Architecture. 

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