Arch. DI Dr Renate Hammer, MAS, studied architecture at Vienna University of Technology and philosophy at the University of Vienna before completing her postgraduate studies in urban engineering at the University of Tokyo. Between 1998 and 2013, she worked at the Department for Building and Environment at Danube University Krems, most recently as Dean of the Faculty of Education, Arts and Architecture. She has been working as a self-employed architect since 1999. In 2013, she founded a private research institution, the Institute of Building Research & Innovation ZT-GmbH, together with Dr Peter Holzer. She currently lectures at the University of Arts and Industrial Design in Linz and FH Campus Wien. She is a member of the German Lighting Technology Association, the Advisory Council for Building Culture and the Oxford Round Table as well as a spokesperson for the Plattform Baukulturpolitik. Her work and wider interests focus on the comprehensive implementation of sustainability in the building industry. She has particular expertise in the use of daylight, healthy living environments and human photobiology. Her many publications and specialist books include “Planen mit Tageslicht, Grundlagen für die Praxis”; Springer Vieweg, 06/2020, which she published together with Mathias Wambsganß.
Image: © VELUX
Maria Vassilakou grew up in Athens and emigrated to Vienna in 1986, where she studied linguistics and psychology at the University of Vienna. During her studies she was an active member of the Austrian National Union of Students, of which she became the General Secretary in 1995. She was a member of Vienna’s Provincial Parliament between 1996 and 2010. From 2010 to 2019, Maria Vassilakou was Deputy Mayor of Vienna and Executive City Councillor for Urban Development, Traffic & Transport, Climate Protection, Energy and Public Participation. In 2019, she obtained a Master of Science degree in urban design and urban management at the London School of Economics. Today she works internationally with cities, development banks, companies and NGOs as a consultant for sustainable urban development, urban transformation strategies and transition management. Since 2019, Maria Vassilakou has also been active as an expert on behalf of the European Commission and is helping to develop the design of the EU Horizon Mission “100 climate neutral cities by 2030”.
Image: © Lukas Beck
Christoph Thun-Hohenstein (born 1960) has been General Director and Artistic Director of the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts from September 2011 (until August 2021). While working for the Austrian Foreign Ministry, he held posts in Abidjan, Geneva, and Bonn. He was Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York from 1999 to 2007, after which he served as Managing Director of departure, the Creative Agency of the City of Vienna, until August 2011.
Christoph Thun-Hohenstein is furthermore Head of the VIENNA BIENNALE FOR CHANGE, which he initiated in 2015. He has published on topics dealing above all with European integration, contemporary culture and art, and climate care, and has held numerous lectures on these topics. He has also curated exhibitions and he regularly serves on selection juries.
Image: © Sabine Hauswirth/MAK