Modern architecture; domestic architecture; patronage; histories of modernist, revival styles; and, sustainable architecture.
Ph.D. University of Edinburgh
Volker M. Welter is an architectural historian whose specializes in modern architecture from the 19th century onwards. Working mainly on Californian, British, and German, but also current architecture, his research centers on domestic architecture, patronage, histories of modernist, revival styles, and sustainable architecture, and historiography of modern architecture.
The subject matter of his research usually emerge from his ongoing work in archives where the unordered adjacencies of archival sources often inspire new projects. He is interested in the ways architecture intersects on a smaller scale with individual human lives and on a larger scale with the environment. His work combines detailed architectural historical analysis with biographical research and, when appropriate, philosophical, sociological and psychological (theories of spatial perception) thought contemporary to a research project’s focus.
Prof. Welter has received grants and fellowships from the Getty Grant Program, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and the Centre Canadien d'Architecture, Montreal. Following on from Biopolis: Patrick Geddes and the City of Life (Cambridge, MA, 2002), he continues publishing on the Scotsman’s theories of the city. His book Ernst L. Freud, Architect: The Case of the Modern Bourgeois Home (Oxford, 2012) reintroduced the architect son of Sigmund Freud into the history of European architectural modernism. He is working on book on the patronage of mid-20th century domestic American architecture, compiling a history of the concept of Umwelt in relation to architecture, and researches how the battlefields of the Great War influenced the emergence of European architectural modernism in the 1920s.
Volker M. Welter. “SCHLOSS MURNAU, HOLLYWOODLAND, CA 90068.” Cabinet: A Quarterly of Art and Culture, Issue 63: The Desert (2017): 41-49.
Volker M. Welter. “From the Landscape of War to the Open Order of the Kaufmann House: Richard Neutra and the Experience of the Great War.” In The Good Gardener?: Nature, Humanity and the Garden, edited by Annette Giesecke, Naomi Jacobs, and Rick Darke, 216-233. London: Black Dog Publishing, 2015.
Volker M. Welter. "The Valley Region—From Figure of Thought to Figure on the Ground." In New Geographies Journal 06: Grounding Metabolism, edited for Harvard University Graduate School of Design by Nikos Katsikis & Daniel Ibanez (Harvard University Press, 2014): 78-87.
Volker M. Welter. “Therapeutic Frontiers: The Tremaine Houses in Santa Barbara.” Manifest: A Journal of American Architecture and Urbanism 1 (2013): 178-187.
Volker M. Welter. “From Disc to Sphere: Taking on the Whole Earth.” Cabinet: A Quarterly of Art and Culture, Issue 40: Hair (Winter 2010/11): 19-25.
5A Introduction to Architecture & Environment
136K Modern Architecture in Early Twentieth-Century Europe
136L From Modernism to Post-Modernism in European Architecture
136M Revival Styles in Southern Californian Architecture
136O Sustainable Architecture: History and Aesthetics
136Y Modern Architecture in Southern California, 1890s to the Present
137AA Architecture and Monumentality in the 20th Century
141G The Architecture of Museums and Galleries from c. 1800 to the Present
186SV Seminar in Modern Architecture (undergraduate seminar)
Topics include: "Animal Buildings," "Architecture and Biography," "Bauhaus in California"
186W Historiography: Readings in the Historiography of Modern Western Architecture (undergraduate seminar)
186Y Seminar in Architecture and Environment (undergraduate seminar)
Topics include: "Charles Moore in California," "State Street Santa Barbara," "Reading Twentieth-Century Modern Architecture," "Palm Springs Modern"
Tel Aviv — Modern City (undergraduate seminar)
Campus Architecture (undergraduate seminar)
Santa Barbara Architects (undergraduate seminar)
2015 Loot, Spolia, Exhibit: Whose Patrimony is it, anyway?
2014 "this is tomorrow" — Rethinking Architecture, Art, and Life in Post‐World War 2 London
2013 Architectural History between Microhistory and Biography
2011 After Modernism: The Emergence of Post-Modernism in Architecture
2009 Domesticity and Interiority in the 19th and 20th Century
2008 Reading of Space and Spatiality: Aesthetics, Gestaltpsychology, Sociology, Phenomenology, Art History, Theory of Architecture
2007 The Architecture of Museums and Painting Galleries
2005 Expressionism in German Architecture
2005 History and Theory of Conservation and Restoration in Architecture
2004 Organic, Biological, and Natural Metaphors in Architecture
2003 Gazing at the (Urban) Environment