Christoph a. Kumpusch is a New York-based architect and the Core I Coordinator at Columbia University’s GSAPP – Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where he teaches design and visual studies and he is the director of Columbia GSAPP’s brand new Extraction Laboratories.
He is the founder of Forward-slash, a multidisciplinary practice founded in 2008 and the head of Back-slash, the experimental arm of Forward-slash (/), investigating technology and material effects on form and tectonics. It grounds its work in a concentrated research program focused on architectural details and the spawning of new buildings from the smallest parts outward. A theoretical project runs parallel to this work, identifying historical and cultural contexts triggered by detail innovation. The office is both a design and publishing outfit, producing essays, books, exhibitions, installations, podcasts, performances, films and buildings. Forward Slash strives to be intellectually rigorous, materially sustainable, and socially responsible.
He was a Leonardo da Vinci Fellow and a Rudolf M. Schindler Scholar, MAK Center Architect in Residence, USAA Scholar, National Collegiate Engineering Award-winner and a 2013 and 2015 Graham Foundation Grantee. Kumpusch is co-author of System Wien with Lebbeus Woods, Anthony Vidler and Manuel DeLanda (Hatje Cantz, 2005); editor of IDEA(u)topsy ( / Productions, 2010); IDEA(L) ( / Productions, 2011); Built Ideas (Theoharis David, 2012); Light Pavilion (Lars Müller Publishers, 2013); Urban Hopes – Made in China (Lars Müller Publishers, 2014).
Kumpusch has previously taught at Cornell University’s AAP, Cooper Union’s Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, Ohio State University, Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture and the Department of Humanities and Media Studies, and SCI-Arc.
He has been an invited juror at Harvard University, Yale University, The Architectural Association, Bartlett and Greenwich University in London and the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture in Marseille. In 2010 Kumpusch co-founded the Institute of Mutating Cities with Youmna Chlala.
In 2012 Kumpusch completed his Ph.D. on “Detail Kultur – If Buildings Had DNA: Case Studies of Mutations” at the Universität für Angewandte Kunst – Wien (University of Applied Arts – Vienna).
Recent projects include an elephant playground and water park in Patong, Thailand; an East Village Think Tank; a co-working-space in Shoreditch, London and a feasibility study for a theater in Havana, Cuba. The Light Pavilion at the Sliced Porosity Block in Chengdu, China, one of several projects spanning a decade of collaboration with Lebbeus Woods, was recently completed.
Forward Slash was the winner of an international competition to build the first ever hub and theater-space for Performa 15 – a world renown venue for performing arts in New York’s TriBeCa.