Kimberly Elman Zarecor
Associate Professor, Architecture
Director, Design (Interdisciplinary)
158 College of Design
Ames, IA, 50011
Phone: (515) 294-5026
Office: 587 Design
Ph.D., Architecture, Columbia University, 2008
M.Arch., Columbia University, 1999
B.A., Art History, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1996
On the Web
In her architectural history research, Professor Zarecor considers the 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 was an official selection for the Book Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale. Academia Press published a Czech translation of the book in February 2015 in the series, Šťastné zítřky.
An on-going 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, she has published a number of journal articles, book chapters, book reviews, and other texts. A full list of publications can be found on her CV.
In September 2017, she starts as the Principal Investigator on a new NSF-funded project about rural Iowa communities that was inspired by her research on Ostrava as a shrinking post-industrial city. Looking at small and shrinking rural communities in Iowa, the research team will be studying 6-8 Iowa towns that are shrinking, while also protecting quality of life for the current residents. Using the concept of 'shrink-smart' from European work on this phenomenon in large cities, the research breaks new ground by asking what smart shrinkage looks like in rural places and how towns can make good decisions about their future even as they lose population. The researchers are from the Departments of Architecture, Community & Regional Planning, Computer Science, and Rural Sociology. Project information: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1736718&HistoricalAwards=false.
NSF, Smart & Connected Communities Planning Grant, $100,000 (PI) - "A Data-Driven Framework for Smart Decision-Making in Small and Shrinking Communities"
"What Was So Socialist about the Socialist City?: Second World Urbanity in Europe," Journal of Urban History, https://doi.org/10.1177/0096144217710229, published 5 June 2017.
"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 2018.
Ordinary Modernism: Ostrava and Socialist Urbanism after World War II (working title). On-going project about the architecture and urbanism of a Czech industrial city in the postwar period.