An associate professor at the Daniels Faculty since July 2023, Claire Zimmerman received her PhD from the City University of New York, her Master of Architecture from Harvard University and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania.
From 2006 to 2013, she served first as an assistant professor and then as an associate professor of architectural history and theory at the Taubman College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Michigan. Her professorship there was a joint appointment with the University’s art history department, based in its College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.
In her work, Zimmerman focuses on “protocols of modernization and modernity” in architecture and the built environment. She has taught about the effects of mass production and mass reproduction, reading architectural photography and industrial building against prevailing narratives of the profession and the academy, but also in relation to users and public audiences.
Current teaching projects include courses on multi-species consciousness in the built environment, and studies of the intersections of class, race and ethnicity in the industrialization of the world. Past teaching includes studies of capitalism in architecture and histories of carceral architecture, while newly developing research projects focus on property relations in the built environment, infrastructures that connect urban and rural construction, and the absence of an economic architectural history.
In 2019, Zimmerman was a visiting fellow at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at the University of London. She has also been a lecturer at Yale University’s School of Architecture, an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University’s Barnard College, and an assistant professor at the Florida A&M University School of Architecture.
Recently, Zimmerman submitted the final manuscript for Albert Kahn Inc.: Architecture, Labor, and Industry to MIT Press (2024). A co-edited book, Detroit-Moscow-Detroit: An Architecture for Industrialization, 1917-1945 (MIT), will appear in August 2023, and a second co-edited book, Architecture against Democracy: Histories of the Nationalist International (UMP), will appear in spring 2024.
Zimmerman has contributed to numerous other books and publications, and has lectured on a range of subjects—from ornament in modern architecture to emerging challenges in the study of the built environment—at conferences, symposia and other forums worldwide.