Karin Šerman, Dipl.Ing.Arch., MDes, PhD, is an architect and architectural theorist, Professor of Architectural Theory at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb, and Head of the History and Theory Department. She teaches courses in architectural theory in the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral study programs. She has supervised several PhD theses. In 2006-2007 she was vice-dean for education at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb.
She completed a degree in architecture at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb in 1989. She received her Master in Design Studies in Architectural History and Theory from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 1996, where she was awarded the Gerald M. McCue Medal for the highest academic achievement at the Harvard Design School in 1995-1996. She completed a part of her doctoral research at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1997-1998. In 2000 she received her PhD from the University of Zagreb.
Her work focuses on modern and contemporary architecture and culture, and current theoretical research. She has written extensively on Central European and Croatian architectural history and the contemporary architectural scene. Her work has been published in architecture journals (Arhitektura, Oris, Prostor, Čovjek i prostor, Centropa, Architektura & Urbanizmus, ARCH, Buildings) and books (Project Zagreb: Transition as Condition, Strategy, Practice, E. Blau and I. Rupnik, Actar & Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Barcelona, 2007; Team 10 East: Revisionist Architecture in Real-Existing Modernism, ed. L. Stanek, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, 2014; Reframing Identities: Architecture’s Turn to History, 1970-1990, eds. Á. Moravánszky and T. Lange, Birkhäuser, Basel, 2017). She has participated in numerous architectural conferences and symposia (Cornell University, Harvard University, ETH Zürich, Hamburgische Architektenkammer, Politecnico di Milano, IUAV di Venezia, Museum of Contemporary Art Warsaw, Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt).
In 2014 she was the curator of “Fitting Abstraction,” the Croatian entry for the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale “Fundamentals: Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014,” with Rem Koolhaas as artistic director. For her work on this entry she was awarded the Croatian Architects Association’s Neven Šegvić Award for theoretical and research work. The installation “Fitting Abstraction” was later exhibited in the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb (1919-2020) as one of the museum’s recent acquisitions.
Her scholarly interests also include modernist architectural practices and the legacy of the Bauhaus, with particular focus on the work of Gustav Bohutinsky, the only Croatian student of architecture who studied at the Bauhaus. With this research she participated in numerous international projects and events, including the international research and exhibition project “Bauhaus: Networking Ideas and Practice” (BAUNET) led by the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb in 2012-2015.
In 2015-2017 was vice-president of the Croatian Architects Association (CAA). She serves on the editorial boards of several scholarly journals: Prostor, INDECS–Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems, and Architektura & Urbanizmus (Bratislava). She has been an associate member of the Croatian Academy of Technical Sciences since 2017.