The Bartlett School of Architecture


Dr Nina Vollenbroker Wins RIBA Research Fund Grant

7 January 2022

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) funding will support Nina’s research on deaf Austrian architect Adolf Loos.

Image: Nina Vollenbroker

Bartlett Associate Professor Dr Nina Vollenbroker has been named as one of the recipients of a 2021 RIBA Research Fund award. The grant, awarded annually, supports academics and practitioners conducting independent architectural research at any stage of their careers. Nina was among five recipients of this year’s award. 

The funding, up to a maximum of £10,000 and available to people based in the UK, can support any research topic and work with relevance to the advancement of architecture and associated disciplines and professions. 

Nina’s research highlights the marginalised authorship of women, people with disabilities, migrants and people living in political instability. RIBA’s grant will support her project ‘Deafening Architectural Modernism – Re-centring the work of Adolf Loos’, which centres the work of the deaf, modernist architect.

Project abstract

Deafening Architectural Modernism develops a critical lens through which to re-consider the written and built work of Adolf Loos. Loos’s access to sound diminished from childhood until, profoundly deaf in later life, he essentially replaced listening and speaking with drawing and writing. Tracing key moments in Loos’s archive, this research identifies the architect’s altered sensory awareness as a defining influence on his creative work and interrogates modernist architecture’s complex relationship with normative imaginations and atypical bodies.

More information

Image: Dr Nina Vollenbroker, 2021, courtesy of “Wienbibliothek im Rathaus / Handschriftensammlung - Teilnachlass Adolf Loos / ZPH 1442”.