Cathelijne Nuijsink
Curriculum vitae

Dr. Cathelijne Nuijsink is a senior lecturer at the Chair of the History and Theory of Urban Design. Her research engages with the development of new historiographic methods that enable histories of architecture in the latter half of the 20th century to be written in a way that is more inclusive and polyvocal. Moving on from the idea that architectural histories are all about descriptions of “static” buildings designed by single architects, her histories instead centre on dynamic “encounters” between architects and non-architects in which a productive cross-cultural and interdisciplinary exchange of ideas takes place.

During the academic year 2021/2022, Nuijsink is teaching the seminar The City Lived - Unlocking a Multidisciplinary Discourse (Autumn 2021). This course critically investigates ways of correcting the existing “single perspective” historiographies of architecture by exploring interdisciplinary concepts and theories that shaped the architectural discourse. By applying perspectives of gender and urban sociology to a tangible architectural case study, the seminar sets out to unlock an alternative historiography of architecture, one that more accurately aligns with the experience of the built environment among both architects and citizens.

Between 2018-2021, Nuijsink was a Horizon 2020-funded Marie Sklodowska-Curie postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture, where she conducted the research project, Architecture as a Cross-Cultural Exchange: The Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition, 1965-2017 [No. 797002]. This study used the notion of “contact zones” to map the cross-cultural character of architecture, scrutinizing a long-running international ideas competition in Japan. One of the project’s outcomes was organising the exhibition, Call for Lost Entries: The Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition, 1965-2020. As well as creating a local hub for knowledge exchange on this architectural competition, the exhibition is an explicit call for competition entries that have been lost but are considered crucial to making the history of the Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition more inclusive and polyvocal. The accompanying website acts as a public platform that invites visitors from around the world to contribute to an alternative historiography of the competition. In addition to archiving the multiple winning entries, the website sets out to collect the rest of the 17,000 entries that did not win any award (and were not published) but are considered crucial “minor” voices that can help document a more accurate and inclusive history. A monograph on this research project, tentatively entitled Another Historiography: The Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition, 1965-2020 is currently being drafted.

Nuijsink’s peer-reviewed papers have appeared in Architectural Theory Review, ABE Journal, gta Papers, Nordic Journal for Architectural Research, Interiors: Design/Architecture/Culture, Footprint Architectural Theory Review, and Revista Arquitectura. She is the co-editor of Footprint 26: The Architecture Competition as ‘Contact Zone’ – Towards a Historiography of Cross-Cultural Exchanges. Book chapters include those in the peer-reviewed publications Rethinking Global Modernism: Architectural Historiography and the Postcolonial (New York: Routledge, 2021), Activism at Home: Architects Dwelling between Politics, Aesthetics and Resistance (Belin: Jovis, 2021), The Practice of Architectural Research (Leaven: KU Leuven Press, 2022), and Agadir – Building the Modern Afropolis (Zurich: Park Books, 2022). She is active in presenting her research at different venues, including the annual conferences of the Society of Architectural Historians and the annual themed conferences of the European Architectural Historians Network.

Nuijsink holds a BSc and MSc in Architecture from the Delft University of Technology, an MSc in Architecture from The University of Tokyo, and an MA from The University of Pennsylvania. In 2017, she completed a PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. Her PhD thesis, What Is a House? Architects Redesigning the Domestic Sphere in Contemporary Japan, 1995–2011, investigated the recent history of the single-family house in Japan as a product of intense theoretical examination and architectural experimentation. The thesis reconstructs a rich, continuously evolving discourse among Japanese architects from the Second World War to the present against a background of social, historical, and economic changes to demonstrate how “house” and “home” were continuously redefined over several decades.