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Vanessa Grossman

Sessional Lecturer

Diploma Architect and Urban Planner, University of São Paulo
Research Master History of Architecture, Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
M.A., Princeton University
Ph.D. History and Theory of Architecture, Princeton University

Vanessa Grossman is an architect, a historian of architecture, a writer, and a curator working on architecture’s intersections with ideology, power, and government policies. Her research interests range from the role of architecture and architects in the Cold War era Europe and Latin America, with a special focus on Brazil and France; contemporary architecture from global perspectives; and the topic of Brutalism and the history of concrete. She has also worked and published on the Situationist International. Her work has been supported by grants from the Canadian Center for Architecture, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Embassy of France in the USA, the Île-de-France Regional Council, the Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), Princeton University, and the São Paulo Research Foundation (Fapesp).

Grossman is the co-editor of the collected volumes AUA, une architecture de l’engagement, 1960–1985 (Éditions Dominique Carré/Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine, 2015), and Modernity: promise or menace? France, 101 buildings, 1914–2014 (Éditions Dominique Carré/Institut français, 2014), and the author of Le PCF a changé! Niemeyer et le siège du Parti communiste (1966–1981) (Éditions B2, 2013). In 2007 she was awarded the 8th Young Architects Awards (Critical Essays Category), provided by the Institute of Architects of Brazil (IAB) for her book A Arquitetura e o Urbanismo revisitados pela Internacional situacionista (Annablume/Fapesp, 2006). Her writing has appeared in publications such as AMC, Archistorm, L'Architecture d'aujourd'hui, Archithese, Area, The New City Reader, Pidgin, Revista AU, and Volume, as well as in exhibition catalogues and in edited volumes such as Cultural Exchanges between Brazil and France (Purdue University Press, 2016).

Her current book project is a history of the remarkable flurry of architectural activity that resulted when the French Communist Party (PCF) became a patron for the designs, discourses and organizational efforts of a whole circle of French modern architects in the postwar, tentatively entitled A Concrete Alliance: Modernism, Communism, and the Design of Urban France, 1958–1981.

Grossman has worked as an architect in Brazil, as an editor in France, and has assisted and taught seminars and studios at Princeton University School of Architecture, the University of Miami School of Architecture, and the École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Versailles. She was the associate curator of Une architecture de l’engagement: L'AUA, 1960–1985 presented at the Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine in Paris (November 2015-February 2016). She was also the assistant curator of the French Pavilion at the 14th Architectural Biennale in Venice in 2014, which has received a Special Mention from the Jury.

Grossman was appointed 2018-2019 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture at ETH Zurich (deferred to 2019-2020).