Nader Vossoughian is a historian and theorist of architecture, and Adjunct Associate Professor of architecture at Columbia University. Trained as a philosopher and Germanist prior to entering architecture, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with distinction from Swarthmore College. In 1995, he won a Fulbright scholarship to Berlin, where he studied under Friedrich A. Kittler and Fritz Neumeyer. Between 1997 and 2004, he was a graduate student at Columbia, first in the Department of Germanic Literatures, where he received his MA in 1998, and later in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where he received his MPhil and PhD, the latter in 2004. Since 2005, he has taught at NYIT, where he is currently an associate professor. In addition to Columbia, he has also taught at the University of Kassel and the Museum of Modern Art.
His work has received fellowship support from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Jan van Eyck Academy, the Canadian Center for Architecture, and the Graham Foundation. He has curated exhibitions at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles, the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna, the Stroom Gallery in the Hague, the Center for Architecture in New York, and NYIT. A life-long learner, he is currently studying Persian.
Vossoughian’s main research interests lie in the relationship between architecture and communication. The primary focus of his work has been modern architecture’s relationship to intellectual history, politics, and technology during the course of the twentieth century. Focusing on the German-speaking world, and drawing on his fluency in the German language, his early work used a set of episodes from the life and career of the Austrian polymath Otto Neurath (1882-1945) as the basis for investigating ideas and debates about citizenship, community, and globalism in modernism. His more recent work maps out the Taylorization and standardization of architectural knowledge in the twentieth century, tracing everything from the genesis of standard paper formats to the standardization of brick sizes and the global dissemination of Ernst Neufert’s Bauentwurfslehre (1936). A full-length book on this topic will be completed shortly.
Vossoughian’s publications include Otto Neurath. The Language of the Global Polis (NAi, 2008/2011), which was reviewed in major newspaper outlets such as The New York Times Book Review in addition to journals and architectural periodicals. His articles have appeared in Grey Room, Design Issues, the Journal of Architecture, and other leading journals. His most recent essay, “Alvar Aalto, Ernst Neufert, and Architectural Standardization in Germany and Finland, 1933-1945,” was published in 2020 in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.