Dr Alessandro Toti

Dr Alessandro Toti

I am a historian of architecture. I first studied in Rome, where I completed a BSc in Architecture and an MSc in Urban Design in 2009 and 2013, respectively. Later, I moved to London, where I obtained an MA in Architectural History in 2017, followed by a PhD in the History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism in 2023, both at the Bartlett School of Architecture – UCL. I have taught history of architecture, architectural design, and urban design at various universities, including Roma Tre, Camerino, UCL, Westminster, Syracuse, Greenwich, as well as the Rome Programmes of Cornell and Virginia Tech.

My research examines the relationship between architecture and capitalism.

During my PhD, I explored the work of Marxist architecture groups in West Berlin from 1963 to 1977, investigating their critique of the welfare-state housing model, as well as the social-democratic and anarchic alternatives proposed by grassroots movements. Currently, I am working on three papers that delve deeper into this critique, which targeted, in particular, flagship social housing estates, urban grassroots campaigns, moderate architects unions, and the role of architects’ agency within these processes.

My research is grounded in the method of historical materialism, which views architecture as both a material and ideological expression of underlying social-economic structures. Further exploration of this relationship forms the basis of my ongoing architectural and theoretical inquiries.

Previously, my research centred on the effects of housing regeneration on legal and illegal housing in the outskirts of Rome; the political contributions of Superstudio to the 'radical' architecture movement of the 1970s; the progressive pedagogies of Oswald Mathias Ungers’, focusing on the contributions of his teaching assistants during his time in West Berlin.

  • Architectural Humanities