École d’architecture
de la ville & des territoires

Paul Bouet

    Paul Bouet is associate professor in architectural history at ENSA Paris-Est and researcher at OCS/AUSser lab. His research and teachings aim to reconsider the history of twentieth-century architecture in light of environmental issues. He is interested in how concerns about climate, energy, materials, and the living world have permeated architecture's past and shed light on the present. He explores three main lines of research. The first aims to understand how colonization was used as a laboratory for the development of knowledge, techniques, and building types designed to adapt to climates radically different from those of the metropolises, particularly between Africa and France, while at the same time materializing power relations. He also examines the emergence of alternative trajectories in architecture that have sought to reduce the impact of building on the environment, but which have often been marginalized and forgotten, and whose rediscovery inform our present. Finally, he analyzes the environmental strategies being explored in contemporary architecture, particularly in terms of adaptive reuse, using the resources of the past to question and theorize current practices.

    In his forthcoming book, Domesticating Solar Energy: Decolonization and Environmentalism in Postwar France (Zurich, gta Verlag), he traces the history of research into solar energy from the 1940s to the 1980s. He shows how this research developed through experiments of architects and scientists in North and West Africa at the end of the colonial period. He also analyzes how solar architecture was explored as a response to the rise of environmentalism and the oil crisis in the 1970s, before this alternative was marginalized. In his new research project, "Urbanizing the Sahara," he examines the air-conditioned buildings and cities that the French built in the desert to extract oil and natural gas, during the Algerian War of Independence. By doing so, he highlights the dual nature of architecture and urbanism in their relationship to climate, between adaptation and degradation. He is also preparing an anthology and biography of Jeanne-Marie Alexandroff, a forgotten theorist of the relationship between architecture and the environment.

    Paul Bouet holds a master's degree in architecture and a post-graduate professional degree of architect from ENSA Paris-Belleville, a master's degree in the history of science and technology from EHESS, and a PhD in architecture from ENSA Paris-Est (Université Gustave Eiffel). Prior to his appointment as associate professor in 2023, he was a doctoral fellow at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in summer 2019, and a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for the history and theory of architecture (gta Institute) at ETH Zurich in 2022-2023, thanks to the Eiermann Postdoctoral Fellowship. He was also awarded the Scot Opler Fellowship for Emerging Scholar by the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) in 2024. In addition to his position at ENSA Paris-Est, he lectures at the Haute école d’ingénierie et d’architecture of Fribourg in Switzerland. He has published research and critique articles in journals including Architecture Beyond Europe, e-flux, L'Architecture d'aujourd'hui, Oase and Werk, bauen + wohnen. His work has been exhibited at the 2nd Biennale d'architecture et de paysage de Versailles and the 10th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (in collaboration with Nicolas Dorval-Bory).

    Licence – Champ Territoire
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    Licence – Champ Suivi et encadrement de mémoire
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    Master – Filière Transformation - séminaire
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    Master – Filière Transformation - séminaire
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    • Enseigne en Licence – Champ Territoire (S3)
    • Enseigne en Licence – Champ Suivi et encadrement de mémoire (S5)
    • Enseigne en Master – Filière Transformation - séminaire (S8)
    • Enseigne en Master – Filière Transformation - séminaire (S9)
    • Enseigne en Post-master (S1)

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