College of Design

Kimberly Elman Zarecor

Associate Professor, Architecture
Director, Design (Interdisciplinary)

Contact Information

Phone: (515) 294-5026
Office: 587 Design

Mailing Address

Architecture Department
158 College of Design
Ames, IA, 50011


B.A., Art History, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1996

M.Arch., Columbia University, 1999

Ph.D., Architecture, Columbia University, 2008  

On the Web

Research Interests

Professor Zarecor researches historical and contemporary architecture in the former Czechoslovakia. Her 2011 book with University of Pittsburgh Press, Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity: Housing in Czechoslovakia, 1945-1960, focuses on the intersection of architects, housing design, and the state apparatus in the early years of Communist Party rule. It follows the development and deployment of standardized mass-housing types such as the prefabricated structural panel building and examines the relationship between communism and architecture. It was awarded an honorable mention by the Czechoslovak Studies Association for the 2011-2012 Book Prize and is an official selection for the Book Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale. Academia Press will publish a Czech translation of the book in February 2015 in the series, Šťastné zítřky.

Her new project considers the postwar development of Ostrava, a Czech industrial city with a coal and steel industry dating back to the early nineteenth-century. She was a Faculty Fulbright Research Fellow in the Czech Republic in 2011-2012 and a 2013 Erasmus Mundus Fellow in support of this research.

In addition to her book, her publications include:

"Solidarita v mezinárodním kontextu (Solidarita Housing Estate in its European Context)" (in Czech) in Sídliště Solidarita (Solidarita Housing Estate). Barbora Špičáková, ed. Bara Stefanová, trans. Kostelec nad Černými lesy: Archiv výtvarného umění, 2014.

"Architecture in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union" in A Critical History of Contemporary Architecture, 1960-2010, Elie Haddad and David Rifkind, eds. London: Ashgate, 2014.

"Socialism on Display: The Czechoslovak and Yugoslav Pavilions at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair" (co-author with V. Kulić). In Meet Me at the Fair: A World's Fair Reader. L. Hollengreen, et. al, eds. Pittsburgh: ETC/Carnegie Mellon Press, 2014.

"Czechoslovakia's Model Housing Developments: Modern Architecture for the Socialist Future," in V. Kulic, T. Parker, and M. Penick, eds. Sanctioning Modernism: Architecture and the Making of Postwar Identities. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 2014.

"Infrastructural Thinking: Urban Housing in Former Czechoslovakia from the Stalin Era to EU Accession." In Proprietary Matters: The Housing Question in High Modernist and Neoliberal Urbanism, Edward Murphy and Najib Hourani, eds. London: Ashgate, 2013.

"Zlín and the Invention of the Panel Building." In The Company Towns of the Baťa Concern: Conference Proceedings. Ondřej Ševeček and Martin Jemelka, eds. Prague, 2013.

"Bigness of Another Sort: The Challeng of a Mass Housing Inventory in the Czech Republic." Proceedings of the European Architectural History Network/DOCOMOMO International Conference, "Post-1945 Mass Housing in the Socialist Bloc." Carmen Popescu and Miles Glendinning, eds. University of Edinburgh, Scotland, 2012.

"Socialist Neighborhoods after Socialism: The Past, Present, and Future of Postwar Housing in the Czech Republic," East European Politics and Society, vol. 26, no. 3 (August 2012): 486-509.

"The Local History of an International Type: The Structural Panel Building in Czechoslovakia," Home Cultures, vol. 7, no. 2 (Spring 2010): 217-236.

"Designing for the Socialist Family: The Evolution of Housing Types in Early Postwar Czechoslovakia" in Jill Massino and Shana Penn, eds. Gender Politics and Everyday Life in State Socialist Eastern and Central Europe. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. pp. 151-168.

A full list of publications can be found on her CV.

Current Projects

"Prague" in Capital Cities in the Shadow of the Cold War: Planning in Eastern Europe. E. Makaš, ed. London; New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis, expected 2015.

Ordinary Modernism: Ostrava and Socialist Urbanism after World War II (working title). Book project on the architecture and urbanism of a Czech industrial city in the postwar period. On-going research and writing.

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