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Christoph Kumpusch

Christoph a. Kumpusch is a New York-based architect and the Head of Forward-slash ( / ) Architektur and the Co-Founder of the Mutating-Cities Institute. He teaches design studios and visual studies courses in the Architecture and Real Estate programs at Columbia GSAPP, where he also directs the Extraction Laboratory. 

Kumpusch is the director of Forward-slash, a multidisciplinary practice founded in 2008, and the head of Back-slash, the experimental arm of Forward-slash ( / ), investigating technology and material effects on humanity, form and tectonics. It grounds its work in a concentrated research program focused on architectural details and the spawning of new buildings from the smallest parts outward. A theoretical project runs parallel to this work, identifying historical and cultural contexts triggered by detail and societal innovation. The office is both a design and publishing outfit, producing essays, books, exhibitions, installations, podcasts, performances, films, and buildings. 

Kumpusch was a Leonardo da Vinci Fellow and a Rudolf M. Schindler Scholar, MAK Center Architect in Residence, USAA Scholar, National Collegiate Engineering Award-winner and a 2013 and 2015 Graham Foundation Grantee. Kumpusch is co-author of System Wien; editor of IDEA(u)topsy; IDEA(L); Built Ideas; The Light Pavilion (Lars Müller Publishers, 2013); Urban Hopes – Made in China (Lars Müller Publishers, 2014); Detail Kultur (english, chinese) – If Buildings Had DNA (AADCU, 2016) and Detail Kultur (arabic) – If Buildings Had DNA (Dongola, 2020).

Christoph Kumpusch coordinated the Core I Architecture Studios at Columbia GSAPP from 2015 to 2018. He has previously taught at the Cornell University’s AAP, Cooper Union’s Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, MIT, Ohio State University, Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture and the Department of Humanities and Media Studies, and SCI-Arc. He has been an invited juror at Harvard University, Yale University, USC, The Architectural Association, Bartlett and Greenwich University in London, HKU University of Hongkong, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture in Marseille and MEAL - Middle East Architecture Lab in Dubai, and he serves as an external examiner at the Architectural Association’s PhD colloquium. 

In 2010 Kumpusch co-founded the Institute of Mutating Cities with Youmna Chlala. In 2012 Kumpusch completed his Ph.D. on “Detail Kultur – If Buildings Had DNA: Case Studies of Mutations” at the Universität für Angewandte Kunst - Wien. Recent projects include an elephant playground and reserve in Patong, Thailand; the headquarters for V-2’s Variability Hub for Humanity&Cultural equity in Hackney, London and a feasibility study for a theater and casino in Kathmandu, Nepal. The Light Pavilion at the Sliced Porosity Block in Chengdu, China, one of several projects spanning a decade of collaboration with Lebbeus Woods, was recently completed. The second of several storefronts for the gender-fluid non-binary fashion brand Verv.London is currently under construction in Hackney/London. This Fall, two exhibitions, one at the MAK-Center in Los Angeles “Salt Works”, and one at the ACFNY in New York “Fluid Details” opened. The construction of an Equity&Ecology Center including an artist- and engineer-in residence- program at the intersection of Austria-Slovenia-Hungary will break ground in August 2020. 

Forward-slash ( / )  was the winner of an international competition to build the first ever hub and theater-space for Performa 15 - a world-renowned venue for performing arts in New York’s TriBeCa. In 2018, the office competed and was shortlisted in the Burning Man Temple competition. This summer Forward-slash’s recently won masterplan competition for an ecology resort in the Himalayas, Nepal, will be implemented.  


In this Bonus Episode of the GSAPP Conversations podcast, Christoph Kumpusch introduces GSAPP’s new Extraction Lab in a conversation with ArchDaily’s Editor at Large, James Taylor-Foster.

Pakistan Housing Initative

Initiative by Forward-slash ( / ) Architektur.

Learn more about the project here.


Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
A4010‑1 Fall 2024
Design Studio
Christoph Kumpusch
TH 9 AM - 1 PM
3 Points
A4106‑17 Spring 2024
Architecture Studio VI
Arch derrington kumpusch keirachen sp24 03
Msred kumpuschderrington williamyoung sp24 01
Arch derrington kumpusch xinying liang sp24 01
Christoph Kumpusch, Patrice Derrington
600 / 700 AVERY
0 Points
PLA6853‑1 Spring 2024
Joint M.ARCH/MSRED Studio
Patrice Derrington, Christoph Kumpusch
M 1:30 PM - 6:30 PM
4 Points
Recent News
Mar 12
Faculty Christoph a. Kumpusch’ delivers lecture, ‘UMWELTEN’ at The University of Manchester, England and featured in roundtable focused on Climate Emergencies and New Challenges of Architectural Education
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