Tilo Amhoff is an architectural historian with a keen interest in architecture and modernity, particularly in the effects of economic development.
He focuses on the relationship of economic thinking and state ideologies in the formation of the built environment, understanding capitalism as well as socialism as projects of modernisation and lectures on the architecture and interior architecture degrees at the University of Brighton.
As an architectural historian with a keen interest in architecture and modernity, particularly in the effects of economic development, Tilo Amhof focuses on the relationship of economic thinking and state ideologies in the formation of the built environment, understanding capitalism and socialism as projects of modernisation.
He is particularly interested in the architect’s products, such as for instance plans and building contracts. Looking at examples from the late 18th and early 19th century he has examined the adaptation of legal obligations, building specifications and working drawings to the introduction of ‘contracting in gross’ in England.
Tilo's interdisciplinary methods connect media theory and architecture and these inform his lecturing at Brighton. He also has a passion for the architect as travelling researcher. A critical reading of architectural fieldwork facilitates his lectures and seminars in architectural history and theory, as seen in his article on ‘Travelling in The Generic City’. He also designs and conducts guided walks in London such as the Limehouse ‘Chinatown’ Walk for the London Chinese Archives Project.
Tilo Amhoff studied architecture at the Bauhaus-University in Weimar, the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and Virginia Tech University. After graduating he became a lecturer at the chair of ‘Design & Architectural Theory’ in Weimar, where he co-organized the International Bauhaus-Colloquium and co-developed the interdisciplinary master program ‘Media Architecture’. He then went on to postgraduate studies in architectural history at University College London.
Tilo Amhoff is currently working on his AHRC-funded PhD thesis on the notion of the plan in Germany around World War One. His research investigates the relationship of the urban, the social, and the economic plan in a variety of contexts; from the administration of land use in the city, to the scientific management of labour in the factory, and the regulation of capital in short lived socialist projects. He not only looks at ideas of ‘planning’ but more importantly at the ‘plan’ as a medium. To this end Tilo is investigating selected sets of plans, such as the competition entries for a master plan for Greater-Berlin of 1910. He is working on an iconography of the ‘plan” as a paper medium, in distinct relation to the map and drawing, and is looking at the ‘plan’ as central notion in modernity; from architecture, to management, and socialism.
He has co-chaired a session at the European Architectural History Network Second International Meeting in Brussels, together with Dr Merlijn Hurx from Utrecht University. Co-organized the conference Further Reading Required: Building Specifications, contracts and technical literature, at the Bartlett School of Architecture, together with Dr Katie Lloyd Thomas from Newcastle University and Dr Nick Beech from Oxford Brooks with a selection of the papers published as a special issue of the Architectural Research Quarterly, 2012.
Tilo Amhoff is a founding member of the Netzwerk Architekturwissenschaft (Architectural Humanities Network), an architecture research group from a wide range of disciplines that aims to prepare the ground for architectural humanities, distinct from architectural history and theory. The common reference point of the debate is architecture in the broadest sense: understood as an artistic material manifestation of the built environment, including their origins, the use and appropriating processes and the related theories, representations and forms of communication. The network seems to facilitate the presentation, discussion and exchange of new scientific research of this field and to provide a forum for researchers in architecture, philosophy, the social sciences, and the arts and humanities, etc. on the basis of scientific research methods in an open and free exchange.
The essay was my contribution to a memorial publication in honour of Professor Gerd Zimmermann
For the London Chinese Archives Project we could test the idea of a walk relating local and global history, actual sites and architectural evidence
Lloyd Thomas, Katie, Amhoff, Tilo and Beech, Nicholas (2015) Industries of Architecture [Edited Collections]
Amhoff, Tilo, Beech, Nicholas and Lloyd Thomas, Katie (2015) Industries of Architecture In: Lloyd Thomas, Katie, Amhoff, Tilo and Beech, N., eds. Industries of Architecture. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 1-10. ISBN 9781138946828
Amhoff, Tilo (2015) The electrification of the factory, or the flexible layout of work(s) In: Lloyd Thomas, Katie, Amhoff, Tilo and Beech, N., eds. Industries of Architecture. Routledge, London, pp. 259-270. ISBN 9781138946828
Lloyd Thomas, Katie and Amhoff, Tilo (2015) Writing work: changing practices of architectural specification In: Deamer, Peggy, ed. The Architect as Worker: Immaterial Labor, the Creative Class, and the Politics of Design. Bloomsbury, London, pp. 121-143. ISBN 9781472570499
Amhoff, Tilo (2014) Alles nur Fassade In: Ammon, Sabine, Froschauer, Eva Maria, Gill, Julia and Petrow, Constanze A., eds. z.B. Humboldt-Box. Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld, pp. 60-70. ISBN 9783837626711
Amhoff, Tilo (2012) Architecture as the Ideology of the Plan: Revisiting Manfredo Tafuri's Critique of Ideology In: The International Conference Architecture and Ideology, Ilija Milosavljević Kolarac Foundation, Belgrade, Serbia, 28-29 Sept 2012.
Amhoff, Tilo (2012) ‘Except where herein otherwise directed’: building with legal documents in early nineteenth-century England arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, 16 (3). pp. 238-244. ISSN 1359-1355
Amhoff, Tilo, Beech, Nicholas and Lloyd Thomas, Katie (2012) Further Reading Required arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, 16 (3). pp. 197-199. ISSN 1359-1355
Amhoff, Tilo (2009) The architect as travelling researcher In: Kuroishi, Izumi, ed. Sensing Cities. Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan, pp. 84-85. ISBN 978-4-9904773
Amhoff, Tilo and Loo, Yat Ming (2008) Limehouse ‘Chinatown’ walk London Metropolitan Archives, Chinese National Healthy Living Centre, London, UK. (Unpublished)
Amhoff, Tilo (2006) Das Glashaus und andere optische Medien. Mies van der Rohe und die Montage der Bilder In: Gleiter, Joerg, Korrek, Norbert and Schramke, Sandra, eds. Wirklichkeitsexperiemente. Architekturtheorie und praktische Aesthetik. Verlag der Bauhaus-Universitaet, Weimar, Germany, pp. 363-377. ISBN 3-86068-295-4
Amhoff, Tilo (2003) Reisen in 'The Generic City' Thesis, 49 (1). pp. 126-136. ISSN 1433-5735