Associate Professor - Department of Architecture, Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence, School of Architecture and Planning
email@example.com - 237 Hayes Hall - (716) 829-3705
Daniela Sandler is an associate professor of architectural and urban history at the University at Buffalo's School of Architecture and Planning. She holds a PhD in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester, and a professional degree in Architecture and Urbanism from the University of São Paulo.
Her work examines social inequalities in the built environment, spotlighting the ways in which groups and individuals fight for more inclusive cities through the intersection of bottom-up tactics and official policies.
Sandler's book, Counterpreservation: Architectural Decay in Berlin since 1989 (Cornell University Press, 2016), investigates how Berlin residents appropriated architectural decay to engage a difficult past, resist gentrification, and create alternative housing and cultural spaces. Her book won the 2019 Antoinette Forrester-Downing Award from the Society of Architectural Historians for excellence in a publication devoted to historic preservation. Her current project, a book in progress, is the first city-wide study of grassroots urbanism in São Paulo, Brazil. This project explores the ways in which communities work towards a more inclusive city, tackling challenges such as income inequality, gender discrimination, racism, and environmental problems.
Her peer-reviewed articles and book chapters have dealt with themes such as public space and social inclusion in São Paulo; the historiography of Brazilian modernism; war trauma, memory, and memorials in Germany; and alternative approaches to preservation. Her teaching focuses on these topics from a global perspective, also including topics such as colonialism, gender and race, health, preservation, and food.
In Berlin, decrepit structures do not always denote urban blight. Decayed buildings are incorporated into everyday life as residences, exhibition spaces, shops, offices, and as leisure space. As nodes of public dialogue, they serve as platforms for dissenting views about the future and past of Berlin. In Counterpreservation: Architectural Decay in Berlin since 1989 (Corness University Press, 2016), Daniela Sandler introduces the concept of counterpreservation as a way to understand this intentional appropriation of decrepitude. The embrace of decay is a sign of Berlin’s iconoclastic rebelliousness, but it has also been incorporated into the mainstream economy of tourism and development as part of the city’s countercultural cachet. Sandler presents the possibilities and shortcomings of counterpreservation as a dynamic force in Berlin and as a potential concept for other cities. As a complement to Sandler’s book, Signale provides free public access to an image gallery documenting these spaces. The images showcase the diversity of examples of counterpreservation.
- Daniela Sandler, who joined UB's architecture faculty in Fall 2022