Claudia Westermann

Claudia Westermann

Suzhou, CN



With a basis and postgraduate degrees in both Architecture and Media Fine Arts, and a PhD in Art, Science and Technology (*), Claudia Westermann's research and related art/design portfolio lies at the intersection of art/architecture, technology research and epistemology. It emphasizes questions on the relation of the material to the virtual world, and essentially addresses questions of place (making). Her works have been exhibited and presented internationally at conferences and at over 30 exhibitions, e.g., at the Venice Biennale (Architecture), the Moscow International Film Festival, ISEA Symposium for the Electronic Arts in Japan, and the ZKM (Center for Art and Media) in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Claudia Westermann is a passionate teacher. She has been invited to workshops, lectures and critiques at various universities including at the Architectural Association (AA), the Bartlett, Zurich University of the Arts, School of the Art Institute Chicago, and Innsbruck University. She held the position of a Senior Lecturer in Architectural Design at the Vienna University of Technology in Austria from 2006 to 2010, and currently holds the position of an Associate Professor in Architecture at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, China. In 2014 she was awarded the University's annual teaching prize for the most innovative teaching practice.

Claudia Westermann is a member of the German Chamber of Architects, section Baden-Württemberg. She is also part of the Leonardo Reviews panel for the journal "Leonardo" (MIT) and a member of the editorial board for "Ubiquity" - a new journal at the intersection of digital technology and space published by Intellect, Bristol.

Claudia Westermann's current practice and research focus on a theory, and related poetic discourse entitled "Inhabitable Theories”.  In this context, she has developed performative lectures for the architects of the poetic present since 2003.


(*) 1 - University of Karlsruhe (now KIT), Germany | 2 - Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG) at the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (ZKM), Germany | 3 – Center for Advanced Inquiry in the Integrative Arts (CAiiA), Planetary Collegium, University of Plymouth, UK.


XLarch / Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, CN, Associate Professor

2014 XJTLU Teaching Prize for the Most Innovative Teaching Practice
(nominated by level 3 / year 4 students)
for "Framing Openness: Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics"

2013/14 S1/2 Year Coordinator, Year 4 - Level 3 (BEng in Architecture, Final Year)
2013/14 S1 Module Leader, ARC308 – Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics (level 3)
2013/14 S1/2 Module Leader, ARC304 – Final Year Project Studio (level 3)
2013/14 S1/2 Design Tutor, ARC304 – FYP Studio / Brief 8: Architecture Narratives (level 3)
2013/14 S1 Design Tutor, ARC305 – Studio / Small and Medium Scale Buildings (level 3)
2012/13 S2 Design Tutor, ARC204 – Studio / Small Urban Buildings (level 2)
2012/13 S1 Design Tutor, ARC205 – Studio / Design and Building Typology (level 2)

Administrative Roles:
2013/14 Research Officer, Department of Architecture
2012/13 Admissions Officer, Department of Architecture

Aug 2012 - current

Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, AT, Senior Lecturer in Architecture (Univ.Ass. postdoc)

Nov 2006 - Dec 2010


Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK, PhD, Art, Science, Technology

thesis title: An Experimental Research into Inhabitable Theories

Jun 2003 - Oct 2011

Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, Karlsruhe, DE, Media Fine Arts

Oct 1999 - May 2003

University of Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, DE, Architecture (Dipl. Ing. Arch.)

Oct 1991 - Jan 1999


Teaching award of Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University / Most Innovative Teaching Practice, 1st Place

Winner of the 2014 university award for excellence in teaching in the category "Innovative Teaching Practice". Nominated by year 4 (level 3) Architecture students in both categories available to academics: Best Teacher, and Most Innovative Teaching Practice.

The award was given for the teaching and setting up of the ARC308 Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics module - a new module in the curriculum of the Architecture Bachelor. The module attempts to take advantage of the multi-cultural context the Department of Architecture at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University is located in, and also attempts to better position its students in regards to a field whose conditions are increasingly influenced by a globalized market – a market in which multi-cultural expertise provides an advantage. The Philosophy of Art module thus attempts to foster critical awareness of the university's immediate cultural context, engaging students in critical enquiries of their position in regards to architectural design and its theoretical basis in China and beyond. The module is based on an understanding of Architecture as a practice that is essentially engaged with the creation of world views, whose modi operandi may be better understood if discussed in relation to other – possibly more radical – practices of enquiry and world view creation, such as Art and Philosophy.


Areas of Specialization