Habitat Unit

Seminar WS 2020/2021
Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz, Dr. Elke Beyer

Architecture’s Supply Chains
Production Networks and Material Circuits in the Building Industry

Like the production of many commodities, the construction industry is organized within global or translocal networks. Dispersed sites of extraction, processing and logistics are connected by complex infrastructural arrangements. These production and infrastructure systems have massive impacts on urbanization processes by creating splintered landscapes, altering or reinforcing patterns of socio-spatial inequality from the urban to the planetary scale.

This seminar explores the spatiality of building supply chains, the physical infrastructures and logistics enabling commodity flows, their local and translocal urban impacts in different geographical contexts in the Global South and North. Participants developed case studies tracing the production and circulation of building materials. They mapped sites of extraction, processing and distribution feeding selected building sites in Berlin. Their findings highlight how design choices in architecture are entangled with complex and often intransparent supply chains.


Copper (c)

Alejandro Orduz
Daniel Dilger
Thierry Nolmans
Alexander Hartway

Cement (c)

Carolin Lichtenstein
Paul Strobel
Panis Tsiamyrtzis Bakas
Thomas Rawson


Dr. Elke Beyer

Prof. Misselwitz