Petra Kempf is an architect and urban designer based in New York City. She holds a BArch degree from the University of Applied Science in Darmstadt, Germany; a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University; and a PhD in Architecture and Urban Design from the Technical University in Karlsruhe, Germany. She has received a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Fellowship, the Architectural League of New York’s Young Architect Award and a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.
Kempf serves on the editorial board of the Journal of New Frontiers in Spatial Concepts, a platform for interdisciplinary exchange in the pursuit of new concepts and perceptions of spatial configuration. She is founder of urbantransits, a research initiative that focuses on the transient nature of cities and the impact this dynamic condition has on the urban construct, its cultures and the perception of place.
Apart from her research work, Kempf continually explores the concept of line drawings as agents that communicate and record passages through lived space. Within this realm she employs art and science as complimentary disciplines to interact between the subjective and the objective, the invisible and the visible, the intangible and the tangible.
Prior to pursuing an academic career, Kempf worked for the Department of City Planning in New York City, the Project for Public Space, and Richard Meier and Partners. She has taught at several universities including Cornell University, Columbia University, Parsons School of Design and the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany. She has lectured throughout the US, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East, and her work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and institutions in the US and Europe. She is author of You are the City – Observation, Organization and Transformation of Urban Settings (2009) and (K)ein Ort Nirgends – Der Transitraum im urbanen Netzwerk (2010).