Habitat Unit

Associated Researcher

Ursula Hartig

Ursula Hartig


Room A 409, CoCoon
T + 49 – 30 – 314 – 29647
F + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21907

Curriculum Vitae

Ursula Hartig has been researcher at the Habitat Unit and is directing CoCoon – the sector for contextual construction that she founded in 2004. CoCoon is an academic sector for teaching, research and practice in an intercultural and interdisciplinary context focusing on vernacular, contextual and sustainable architecture. CoCoon gained the UNESCO award as project of the UN-Decade Education for Sustainable Development.She graduated in 1990 from the Technische Universität Berlin in architecture and has been a listed architect since 1995.

Since 2000, Hartig has been the project manager of TU Berlin's Design Build Studio 'Praktikumsseminar Mexiko', and in 2003–2004 she managed a DesignBuild-Studio in Afghanistan. Since 1997, Hartig has been working as teacher and research fellow in graduate and undergraduate programmes at the Department of Architecture, at TU Berlin. Since 1987, she has worked as Architect and collaborated as project manager in distinct Architecture offices such as Prof. Augustin and Prof. Frank, Jörg Pampe.

Her research and teaching focus lies on the three-poled methodology of the DesignBuild-Studio, combining teaching with practise and research. Her special emphasis lies on architecture of social relevance, acceptance and appropriateness in an interdisciplinary and intercultural context. In 2012, she hosted the symposium: 'DesignBuild – Studio: New Ways in Architectural Education' at the TU Berlin, as the first international encounter of Design Build Studios and their network partners.

Ursula Hartig is currently running the research project 'EDBKN – European DesignBuild Knowledge Network' in cooperation with the Habitat Unit, funded by the EU. It has the ambition to set up an international web-platform supporting collaboration and exchange, fostering the visibility of the DesignBuild approaches and enhancing related research and teaching.


1982 – 1990
Diploma in Architecture (Dipl.-Ing), TU Berlin
(Thesis) Ponte die Giardini, Mantua. (Supervisors: Prof. Peter Haupt, Prof. Klaus Zillich).

Employment History+

Since 2013
Research Associate
TU Berlin, Habitat Unit, CoCoon- sector for contextual construction

2004 – 2013
Lecturer and Researcher
TU Berlin, DesignBuild Studio Mexico, CoCoon- sector for contextual construction

Lecturer and Project Manager
DesignBuild Studio Kabul, TU Berlin, Prof. Rainer Mertes

2003 – 2004
Lecturer and Project Manager
DesignBuild Studio Mexico, TU Berlin, Prof. Rainer Mertes

1997 – 2003
Lecturer and Researcher
TU Berlin, Prof. Ingrid Goetz, Prof. Natalie de Vries

1998 – 2002
Architectural Office
Competitions, rooftop extension, habitation modifications

Since 1994
Member of the German Architectural Association (Architektenkammer) 

1990 – 1997
Collaboration in Architectural offices
Competitions, project management, design, construction-planning (Georg Bumiller, Jörg Pampe, Augustin und Frank, Deubzer und König)

Research Projects+

Since 2015
db interfaces. merging databases of web-based DesignBuild knowledge exchange platforms

Since 2013
EDBKN - European Designbuild Knowledge Network

Evaluation of Designbuild Projects in Mexico from 1997-2010 (with Karl Woitke and Imke Grzemba)

Mentoring of constructive and chemical wood protection for student build project in Oaxaca / Mexiko (Diploma Thesis: Karl Woitke, FH Eberswalde)

Since 2005
Doctoral Dissertation, TU Berlin
(Thesis) Center for cooperation for contextual sustainable architecture and construction. Implementation of praxis-oriented Teaching and Research in relation with development cooperation and the International Academic Exchange. (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Rudolf Schäfer).

Teaching Activities+

Course: DesignBuild, New Ways in Architectural Education. Architecture communication, Symposium and exhibition

2001 – 2012 Realised
DesignBuild Studio Mexico, Interdisciplinary graduate programme including: Construction and design classes; Complementary research classes; Complementary construction work classes; Complementary architectural presentation classes

2000 – 2001 Realised
Community Kitchen in El Venado, Mexico
Historical roof-structure in San Jacinto, Mexico
Education- and assembly house for CEFOCOM in Etla, Mexico
Bamboo facade for church and hospital for Andine Medizin, Ecuador

2001 – 2002 Realised
Guesthouse Playa de Ventanilla, Mexico
Kitchen and sanitary facilities for CEFOCOM in Etla, Mexico
Casa Vicky Colonia Guerrero, Mexico

2001 – 2003, Realised
Music School for Cultural Foundation Rodolfo Morales, Mexico
Guard house and Temazcal in Etla, Mexico

2003, Realised
Suuria Girls school including School-pavilions, library and assembly hall, teahouse for the Kabul University, Kabul Afghanistan

2006 – 2007, Realised
Stage and community kitchen for Music School for Cultural Foundation Rodolfo Morales, Mexico

2007 – 2008 Reslised
Living-room for an orphanage, San Martin Itunyoso, Mexico

2008 – 2009 Realised
Assembly house for the women’s cooperative UMCAMIX

2011 – 2012 Realised
Marmalade Manufacture for the women’s cooperative NAXIÍ, Mexico

2004 – 2006
Vernacular Buildings. Optional course: Vernacular and traditional techniques, implementation of an online database on vernacular buildings

DesignBuild Studio Tarapaca, Chile
Construction and design course, Complementary research course, Reconstruction works of the village of Tarapaca, (Being destroyed by an earthquake, no implementation) 

1997 – 2003
Undergraduate programme in Architecture: Construction and design classes



with T. Cavanagh, S. Palleroni, and Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, eds. (2014) ACSA Fall Conference, Working Out, Thinking While Building: Papers from the 2014 Fall Conference, (Co-Editor)

(2012)  Eine Marmeladenmanufaktur für Naxii. Design-Build Studio Mexiko, ISBN 978-3-9812464-3-8 (Editor and Co-Author)

(2009) Mexiko Praktikumsseminar. ISBN 978-3-9812464-1-4 (Co-Author).

(2008) Mexiko Praktikumsseminar, Projekt 2008, ISBN: 978-3-9812464-0-7, (Editor andCo-Author)                       

(2007) Bühne und Küche für die Kindermusikschule "Rodolfo Morales",Praktikumsseminar Mexiko”, TU- Berlin 2007, (Editor and Co-Author)

(2004) Studenten Bauen in Kabul, Dokumentation Praxisseminar 2003, TU- Berlin (Co-Editor and Co-Author)


Book contributions

with N. Pawlicki, S. Colwill (2013) Research by Design: Design-Build Mexiko Projekt. In: Stollmann Jörg; Bridger, Jessica; Cramer Johannes; eds. Research in Architecture. Berlin: Verlag Technische Universität Berlin, S. 200-203, S. 242, ISBN 978-3798325555


Journal Articles 

with I. Goetz (2008) Gemeinschaftsarchitekturen in Mexiko,in: der architekt 4/2008 Zeitschrift des Bundes Deutscher Architekten BDA

(2005)Studentische Realisierungsprojekte: zwischen Lehre, Forschung und Praxis, In: Trialog 86, Lehre und Forschung: Teaching and research on housing and urban development in the South



in cooperation with Prof. M. Hirche, TU Berlin and the DesignBuild crews
- Marmeladenmanufaktur Naxií, 2012
- Wohnzimmer für ein Kinderheim, 2008
- Rote Erden, 2007
- Studenten Bauen in Mexiko 2004
- Studenten Bauen in Mexiko 2003


Conference Organisation

(2014) Co- Chair; ACSA Fall Conference WORKING OUT: thinking while building; Halifax, NS October 2014, Canada. 

(2012) Direction, management and curatorial practice: International Symposium + Exhibition: ‘DesignBuild-Studio: New Ways in Architectural Education’, TU Berlin, Germany.


Conference Proceedings

(2008) Contextual Construction-Learning from the vernacular. In: A. Adkinson, M. Graetz, D. Karsch (eds) Techniques and Technologies for Sustainability Proceedings: International Conference and Summer School 2007, Univerlag der TU-Berlin, ISBN 978-3-7983-2085-7.

(2008) Contextual Construction-Learning from the vernacular. In: A. Adkinson, M. Chabou, D. Karsch (eds) Stratégies pour un Développement Durable Local Renouvellement Urbain et Processus de Transforma­cions informelles, Algier, Algeria; Berlin, Univerlag der TU-Berlin, ISBN 978-3-7983-2086-4.

(2005) Teaching and Research Strategies in a Global Context: Students Constructing inKabul; In: Documentation of the Conference on Higher Education in Developing Countries: With a Focus on Muslim Contexts (Digital), London.

(2004) Studienprojekt 'Studenten bauen in Kabul', In: M. Büscher, N. Karim, B. El-Mogaddedi, E.A. von Renesse and Evangelische Akademie Iserlohn, (eds) Gesellschaftlicher Wiederaufbau in Afghanistan: Voraussetzungen, Rivalitäten, Partnerschaften; Iserlohn: Institut für Kirche und Gesellschaft.


Conference Papers

with N. Pawlicki (2015) A Jam Manufactory for Naxií; Structures For Inclusion 15, Detroit, USA.

With N. Pawlicki (2015) EDBKN: European DesignBuild Knowledge Network and European dbXchange platform; Structures For Inclusion 15, Detroit, USA. 

with N. Pawlicki (2015) A Jam Manufactory for Naxií; Good Design Needs Good Clients, Public Interest Design Institute, Lawrence Tech University, Detroit, USA.

with N. Pawlicki and S.Colwill (2014) EDBKN: European DesignBuild Knowledge Network; ACSA conference Thinking while Doing, Halifax, Canada.

(2014) A Jam Manufactory for Naxií; Good Design Needs Good Clients; PID conference, Mexico D.F., Mexico.

(2014) EDBKN: European DesignBuild Knowledge Network; Live Projects- Laboratories for a change? Towards sustainable teaching methodologies in applied urban settlements, Universität Stuttgart, Germany.

(2007) Contextual construction: Learning from the Vernacular, International Conference and Summer School, Institut für Stadt- und Regionalplanung, Berlin. 

(2007) Contextual Construction Learning from the Vernacular, Stratégies pour un Dévelopement Durable Local, Renouvellement Urbain et Processus de Transformations Informelles Process, EPAU, Algiers, Algeria.

(2005) Students Constructing in Kabul: Teaching and Research Strategies in a Global Context, Conference on Higher Education in Developing Countries: With a Focus on Muslim Contexts; Institute for Islamic Studies, Aga Kahn University, London.

Invited Lectures+

(2010) Estudiantes Construyen, Día Mundial del habitat, ETSAM Madrid, Spain.

(2009) Students Building in Mexiko, Assoziazione Archintorno und Universitá Federico II di Napoli, Italia.

(2009) Design Build - Mexiko und Afghanistan, Institut für Städtebau und Entwerfen, FG Prof Machleidt, Hannover, Germany.

(2009) Echando una Mano- Estudiantes Construyen en Mexico y Afganistan, UNAM - Mexico City, Mexico.

(2009) Echando una Mano- Estudiantes Construyen en Mexico y Afganistan, UABJO- Universidad Autono­ma de Beníto Juárez Oaxaca, Mexico.

(2004) Estudiantes Construyen: Entre la Academia y las Obras, Museo de Arte Moderno, Oaxaca, Mexico.

(2003) Studenten bauen in Kabul, Afghanistankonferenz, Isarlohn Germany.

Grants, Awards, and Fellowships+

DAAD Fellowship
awarded for Personal Project related Partnerships, db interfaces merging databases of web-based DesignBuild knowledge exchange platforms 

SEED International Award for Excellence in Public Interest Design
awarded for the Jam Manufactory Naxií 

Public Interest Award Mexico for Excellence in Public Interest Design
awarded for the Jam Manufactory Naxií 

Erasmus Mundus Aktion 3, Program by European Union
awarded for the development of the European DesignBuild Knowledge Network 

Project of the UN-Decade Education for Sustainable Development, awarded for CoCoon 

DAAD Alumni Programme
Support for the International Symposium and Exposition: DesignBuild-Studio: New Ways in Architectural Education

Sto Stiftung Summerschool Competition
Support for the International Symposium and Exposition: DesignBuild-Studio: New Ways in Architectural Education

2006 – 2010
Sto Stiftung
Support of the DesignBuild Projects

Adveniat, Deutsche Botschaft Mexiko, Kindermissionswerk
Support of the DesignBuild- Projects 

2006 – 2008
Offensive Wissen durch Lernen (OWL)
TU Berlin, Internal Funding to enhance teaching

2005 – 2013
Fellowship of Berlin Institutes of Higher Education

Professional and Academic Affiliations+

Since 2011
Chair of the VFFA - Verein der Freunde und Förderer der Studiengänge Architektur der Technischen Universität Berlin e.V.

Since 1995
Member of the German Architectural Association (BDA, Bund Deutscher Architekten)