Karin Raith is an Associate Professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna where she teaches Building Construction at the Institute of Architecture, as well as History and Theory of Landscape at the Institute of Fine Arts and Media Art. She studied architecture at the Vienna University of Technology and received her diploma (Dipl.-Ing.) with distinction in 1983. After her graduation, she worked as a university assistant at the Institute of Building Construction, chaired by Ernst Hiesmayr. She received her doctoral degree (Dr.techn.) with honors from the Vienna University of Technology in 2000 and habilitated in 2005. Working for several Viennese architects, she gained her professional experience in the fields of conservation and restoration, sustainable architecture, urban planning and urban renewal.
In her research, writing and teaching, the focus is on the relationship between architecture and landscape. Since 1992, she has been lecturing on this subject at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna. Additional teaching assignments at the Faculty for Interdisciplinary Research and Contiuing Education (IFF) at the University of Klagenfurt in 2006 and at the Department of Urban Design at the Vienna University of Technology in 2013 also centered on this subject.
Her book Die Unterseite der Architektur. Konzepte und Konstruktionen an der Schnittstelle zwischen Kultur und Natur (Springer Verlag Edition Angewandte 2006) addresses this topic, too. It explores the influences of cultural and natural parameters on the design of architectural elements, as well as the practical and semantic function of the components and their coherence within the building as a whole.
Being particularly interested in the social significance of the built environment, she conducted the interdisciplinary research project Dharavi - ground up as a project manager: Between 2011 and 2013 the Indian sociologist A. Bhide and the Austrian architect and PhD student M. Spies investigated the living conditions and the coherence of social and spatial patterns in the mega-slum Dharavi in Mumbai, India, and Karin Raith developed a concept for a gentle upgrading and transformation of the informal settlement.
Karin Raith gave lectures and conducted workshops at several universities in Austria and abroad including Wien, Graz and Salzburg, Stuttgart, Munich, Bratislava, Yazd (Iran), Kunming (China) and Brisbane (Australia).