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Education and early career
After high school in Gerlingen, Germany, Schumacher studied Philosophy and Mathematics at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Bonn in the early 1980s. In the mid-eighties Schumacher studied architecture in Stuttgart and in 1987 continued his studies at London Southbank University. In 1988 – still a student – he joined the design studio of Zaha Hadid, engaged in the design of the Vitra Firestation, the first built project of Hadid. In 1990 he returned to University of Stuttgart to complete his Diploma in Architecture and then re-joined Hadid. In 1999 he completed his PhD at the Institute of Cultural Science, Klagenfurt University.
Schumacher started his teaching career in 1993, teaching a post-graduate diploma course in architecture at Kingston University. He has collaborated with Zaha Hadid to teach advanced architecture studios in the United States, including Columbia University, Harvard Graduate School of Design, University of Illinois at Chicago, and between 2002 and 2016 five times at Yale School of Architecture. From 1994 to 1996 Schumacher was assistant professor at the Technical University of Berlin (TU). In 1996 he founded (with Brett Steele) the Design Research Laboratory (AADRL) at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London where he continues to teach. From 2000 to 2015 he joined Zaha Hadid to lead one of the master classes at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and currently remains an honorary professor there. From 2004 to 2014 he was also Professor at the Institute for Experimental Design at the University of Innsbruck. In 2013 Schumacher taught a design studio (with Marc Fornes) as the John Portman Chair in Architecture at Harvard's Graduate School of Design.
Since its incorporation in the late 1990s, Schumacher served as a director of Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) and is credited as partner and co-author of the practice's output. Since Hadid's death in April 2016, he has been leading the firm as its sole remaining partner.
Theory and research
Schumacher has been publishing theoretical articles in architectural magazines and anthologies since 1996, arguing for an expanded formal and spatial design repertoire as architecture's response to the new level of societal complexity and dynamism brought on by the socio-economic transition from Fordism to Post-Fordism. Schumacher has also prompted controversy by promoting pro-free market ideas against social housing, housing regulations and a centralised urban planning system. Schumacher's viewpoints are aligned with anarcho-capitalism, in favour of complete decentralisation and radical privatisation of all aspects of architecture, planning and development.
Schumacher uses the term "parametricism" to denote the use in architecture of advanced computational design techniques. In 2008 he launched a manifesto for "parametricism" at the Venice Biennale of Architecture and a year later published the article "Parametricism: A New Global Style for Architecture and Urban Design" in the journal Architectural Design. This article was widely and controversially discussed and remains the most-downloaded article in the online archive of this theory-focused architectural journal.
In 2011, Schumacher published the first volume of The Autopoiesis of Architecture, which he called his "opus magnum", claiming to offer a "New Framework for Architecture", followed by the second volume, subtitled A New Agenda for Architecture in 2012.
In writings and lectures, Schumacher has announced and advocated his research project of an "agent-based parametric semiology", positing the idea that the social functionality of the built environment depends on its communicative capacity as a semiologically encoded field that informs and instructs social actors and thereby coordinates social processes. Schumacher refers to this as the "semiological project" and proposes a new form of agent-based crowd modelling, which he calls "life process modelling", which purportedly allows for the operationalization of this approach whereby the simulated, frame-dependent crowd behavior represents the meaning and purpose of the design within the design model, thus making it susceptible to successive optimizing improvements.
- 2011 The Autopoiesis of Architecture. Vol. I: A New Framework for Architecture. London: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-77298-0.
- 2012 The Autopoiesis of Architecture. Vol. II: A New Agenda for Architecture. London: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-66616-6.
- "Schumacher, Patrik 1961-". WorldCat. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
- "Patrik Schumacher". Zaha Hadid Architects. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
- "Patrik Schumacher PhD". Architectural Association School of Architecture. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
- Wainwright, Oliver (24 November 2016). "Zaha Hadid's successor: scrap art schools, privatise cities and bin social housing". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
- Patrik Schumacher, Anarcho-Capitalist Architect http://www.anarchitecturepodcast.com/schumacher/
- Schumacher, Patrik (26 June 2009). "Parametricism: A New Global Style for Architecture and Urban Design". Architectural Design. 79 (4). doi:10.1002/ad.912. Retrieved 27 May 2017. (Subscription required (. ))