Hilde Heynen is a professor of architectural theory at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. Her research focuses on issues of modernity, modernism, and gender in architecture. In Architecture and Modernity: A Critique (MIT Press, 1999), she investigated the relationship among architecture, modernity, and dwelling. More recently, she studied the intersection between architecture and gender studies, resulting in the volume Negotiating Domesticity: Spatial Productions of Gender in Modern Architecture, coedited with Gülsüm Baydar (Routledge, 2005).
At the Radcliffe Institute, Heynen will write an intellectual biography of Sibyl Moholy-Nagy. After the death of her husband, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, in 1946, Sibyl turned herself into an architectural historian and critic who was a major presence on the 1960s architectural scene. Heynen’s biography will highlight, through the prism of Moholy-Nagy’s fascinating life and work, the changing nature of modern architecture and its discourse. Reflecting upon one woman’s trajectory will spotlight issues of gender, cultural belonging, and displacement, generating a richer understanding of the complicated history of modern architecture as part of a wider cultural field.
Heynen studied architecture and philosophy at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, where she also received her PhD. She was a J. Paul Getty Postdoctoral Fellow and held visiting positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, and RMIT University in Melbourne. Her work has been supported by grants from the Research Foundation Flanders, the Research Council of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the Netherlands Architecture Fund, and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.