Henriette Steiner

Henriette Steiner


Medlem af:

Henriette Steiner is Associate Professor in the Section for Landscape Architecture and Planning and Society at the University of Copenhagen where she currently serves as Head of Section. She gained her PhD in Architecture in 2008 from the University of Cambridge, UK, and was Research Associate in the Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich in Switzerland for five years. She has been a visiting Associate Professor at the Department for Urban Studies and Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and in 2021 she was Visiting Professor at the Institute of Landscape Architecture at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna.

Henriette works on the history and philosophy of architecture, landscapes and cities. Through her research and teaching, Henriette strives to inspire more self-reflective, diverse, equitable, and compassionate spatial practices for designing cities and landscapes. Her research investigates how shifting historical structures – morals, ethics, politics and cultural practices – shaped and continue to shape the buildings, cities, landscapes and cultural imaginaries we have inherited from the 19th and 20th centuries’ Western industrial culture. Understanding this history and heritage is key if we want to respond to the big challenges of the 21st century – such as climate change, population growth, inequality, pandemics etc. – without repeating mistakes made by our predecessors, and to stimulate more just, equitable and sustainable spatial practices for the future. To this end, Steiner contributes to the building of institutional structures that allow interdisciplinary research to flourish, and she develops inclusive research and teaching environments that take into account the often-invisible economies of care and collaboration.

Henriette's research is widely published in international books and journals (three monographs, 70+ book chapters and articles). She was recently recognised with a Senior Scholar Fellowship awarded by the American Society for Architectural Historians.

Henriette is joint project leader (with Svava Riesto) on Women in Danish Architecture 1925–1975, a three-year research project that aims to provide a more just and complete understanding of architecture history by highlighting women’s contributions to the architectural disciplines in Denmark. The project is funded by Realdania, the Independent Research Fund Denmark, the National Building Foundation, the Danish Arts Foundation, Dreyers Fond, and Karin and Georg Boyes Fond. www.womenindanisharchitecture.dk

Henriette takes an active leadership role at the University of Copenhagen where she currently serves as Head of Section and is an elected member of the PhD Committee of the Faculty of Science. Previous roles include work as co-founder of the Diversity Committee at the Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management, PhD Coordinator at the Section for Landscape Architecture and Planning, and as Head of Studies on the BSc/MSc of Landscape Architecture during the first coronavirus lockdown.


I regularly convene international PhD Courses, e.g. Architecture, Landscape and Gender (2020, 2021, 2022) and the annual course Developing Your Methodological Toolbox – Qualitative Research Methods across Design, Social Sciences and the Humanities (inaugurated 2022). Please write to me for more information. 

New book on the contributions of women to Danish architecture, design and planning in the 20th century

Together with Jannie Rosenberg Bendsen and Svava Riesto, I'm excited to announce the publication of out book Untold Stories - Women, Architecture and Gender in Denmark. This book tells a new story about twentieth-century architecture in Denmark. For the first time ever, readers get an overall picture of the key contribution made by women to the architecture of Danish welfare society in the period 1930–1980. The book’s five chapters present hitherto untold stories about how architecture comes into being through creative collaborations that cut across genders and professional disciplines. Women have contributed to all aspects of architecture, from kitchens and buildings to landscape architecture and urban planning, and their stories highlight the hidden diversity that has shaped Denmark’s buildings, cities and landscapes. The importance of this diversity must be understood and appreciated in the present if we are to create new ways of living and building in the future – a pressing need in light of the many crises we face as a society today.

The book is published by Strandberg Publishing in Danish and English editions and is available here: 


Exhibition at the Danish Architecture Center, Women in Architecture, 13 May - 23 October 2022. https://dac.dk/en/exhibitions/women-in-architecture/ The research group Women in Danish Architecture has co-curated the historical part of the exhibition. 

Please visit the website at www.womenindanisharchitecture.dk for further information and updates about the research project.

2021/2023: New book on the spatial and affective consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, Danish and English editions.

We are delighted that the book Touch in the Time of Corona: Reflections on Love, Care, and Vulnerability in the Pandemic is now published open access with de Gruyter and can be downloaded here:


The book also is available in an edited and translated edition published in 2023 by Forlaget Majlund and available here: https://www.forlagetmajlund.dk/

A chronicle, a memoir, a reflection on the pandemic, and a cultural analysis of the new spatial, social, and epistemological forms that have arisen with it, this volume weaves together cultural history, aesthetics, and urban and digital studies. It looks at the particular ways in which the possibilities for touch, touching and being touched, both physically and affectively, are reconfigured by the pandemic. How are love, care, and humanity’s complex relationships with technology and nature played out in the interval between abandoned city centres and digitally mediated gatherings? How can we comprehend the reconfiguration of relationships through the human response to the pandemic as an experience that concerns us all but affects each of us in different ways? How do we think through the technological and material dependencies that the pandemic situation establishes? And how does this allow us to imagine the world beyond the pandemic—both utopian and dystopian? The essays in this book explore the new forms of intimacy and distance that are developing in the wake of COVID-19, offering a distinctive, topical analysis in the fields of urban and digital studies.

2020: New book with MIT Press on gigantism in architecture and digital culture                                                                  


About the book:

We are proud to present our new book Tower to Tower: Gigantism in Architecture and Digital Culture (MIT Press, 2020). The book offers a cultural history of gigantism in architecture and digital culture, from the Eiffel Tower to the World Trade Center. It charts changing manifestations and understandings of the West's cultural ambition to construct gigantic things: buildings, digital networks, academic theories, even our own self-perceptions. In doing so, it probes and problematises the bigness that is all around and within us – a bigness through which we think, act, and feel in the early 21st century.

Responses to the book: 

“Through selected modern constructions—the Eiffel tower, the Twin Towers, and One World Trade Center—Tower to Tower offers a fresh, deep, and illuminating probe into the ambition to build bigger buildings, networks, and theories. This book will benefit anyone looking critically into digital culture and the domination of big moves in contemporary design.” Anne Bordeleau, O'Donovan Director, Waterloo Architecture

“Through a skillful and beautiful analysis of seemingly iconic and familiar skyscrapers in Paris, New York, and Beijing, Tower to Tower is an atlas of new concepts and vocabularies to inspire more diverse, equitable, sustainable, and critical spatial practices for the future.” Orit Halpern, Associate Professor in Interactive Design and Theory at Concordia University

“Interrogating the industrial urban overgrowth in the shape of huge pointy sticks, the authors of this beautifully written book challenge our culture's desire for the proudly erect. In their interwoven reading of architecture and communication technology, they persuasively demonstrate that 'the digital' is not just a cloud but also a spike. In response, they offer a way of cutting down to size both our habits and habitats.” Joanna Zylinska, Professor of New Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London; author of Nonhuman Photography

Undervisnings- og vejledningsområder

Current course responsibility on two BA courses Landskabsarkitekturens historie, nutid og fremtid and Skrive- og Projektværksted i landskabs- og bystudier.

Supervision of BA and MA theses.

Supervision of doctoral students:

Hongxia Pu (ongoing)

Kristen van Haeren (completed, 2020) and Natalie Koerner (completed, 2019)

Postdoctoral advisor:

Jannie Bendsen (ongoing)

Maria Finn (completed, 2020)



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