| Samia Henni
Born in Algiers, Algeria.
She is an architect and an architectural historian and theorist who works at the intersection of architecture, planning, colonial practices, and military operations from the first European colonization to the present. Her book Architecture of Counterrevolution: The French Army in Northern Algeria (Zurich: gta Verlag, 2017) examines French colonial territorial transformations and spatial counterinsurgency measures in Algeria under colonial rule during the Algerian Revolution (1954-1962). The book discusses the complicity of architecture and planning in strategies of offense, defense, control, and surveillance.
She is the curator of Discreet Violence: Architecture and the French War in Algeria at the gta Institute, ETH Zurich, an exhibition that utilized French propaganda visual records and archival documents to deconstruct the processes through which the French colonial military authorities forcibly relocated thousands of Algerians in Algeria's rural areas during the Algerian Revolution. The exhibition traveled to the New Institute in Rottedam, the Archive Kabinett in Berlin, The Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg, La Colonie in Paris, the VI PER Gallery in Prague, and AAP Exhibitions at Cornell University. She is also the co-curator of gta Films at the gta Institute, an exhibition that dissects the production and use of motion picture as a way of documenting, teaching, promoting, and understanding architecture.
She is the editor of the second issue of gta papers entitled War Zones (Zurich: gta Verlag, 2019), in which she examined the design of the militarization of cities since World War II, and specifically after the events of September 11, 2001. She writes about the effects of colonialism on planning and housing development, forced displacements, women's lives, and language.
She teaches at the Department of Architecture, College of Architecture, Art and Planning, Cornell University. She has taught at Princeton University's School of Architecture, ETH Zurich and the Geneva University of Art and Design.
She received her Ph.D. (with distinction, ETH Medal) in History and Theory of Architecture from the ETH Zurich. She was a Research Associate at Curatorial/Knowledge, Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London. She received her M.Sc. in Architecture from the Accademia di Archittetura di Mendrisio, Universita della Svizzera Italiana. She also studied at the former Berlage Institute in Rotterdam, and at the Ecole polytechnique d'architecture et d'urbanisme in Algiers. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Kunsthal Aarhus, Museum of Yugoslav History in Belgrade, the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, and the Chung-Shan Creative Hub in Taipei.