Dirk E Hebel is Dean of the Faculty of Architecture (2019–) and Professor of Sustainable Construction (2017–) at the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) in Karlsruhe, Germany.
He is a member of the Academic Committee of the Holcim Foundation (2017–).
He is also Principal Investigator at the Future Cities Laboratory (2012–), which was established in 2010 by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) and Singapore’s National Research Foundation.
He was Assistant Professor of Architecture & Construction and Director of the Master of Advanced Studies Program in Urban Design at the ETH Zurich (2012-17) and founding Scientific Director of the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture Building Construction & City Development (EiABC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2009-12). He was Visiting Critic, Cornell University (2017), Guest Lecturer, Princeton University (2017), Guest Professor, Syracuse University (2008) and Visiting Lecturer, American University of Sharjah (2005 & 2006).
Dirk E Hebel is co-founder and partner of 2hs Architekten und Ingenieur PartGmbB Hebel Heisel Schlesier, practicing architecture with a focus on resource-respectful construction methods and materials. He was also one of the founding partners of INSTANT Architects (2002-08).
His latest building projects include the Mehr.Wert Pavillion for the BUGA Heilbronn (2019 2hs, Simon Sommer, Lisa Krämer, Philipp Staab, Sophie Welter & Katna Wiese); the UMAR (Urban Mining & Recycling) project in Zurich for EMPA Dübendorf (2018 together with Werner Sobek & Felix Heisel); MycoTree, at the Seoul Architecture Biennale (2017 with Felix Heisel, Karsten Schlesier, Nazanin Saeidi & Alireza Javadian in cooperation with the Block Research Group Zurich, Philippe Block, Matthias Rippmann and Juney Lee); a school house complex for 1200 students in Cambodia for the NGO Smiling Gecko (2016-18 together with Lisa Devenoge, Lorine Grossenbacher, Franziska Matt, Elizabeth Müller, Alina Wyder, & Marcel Aubert), the New York Waste Vault for IDEAS CITIES (2015 with Felix Heisel, Samuel P Smith, Nicholas Ashby, Ruben Bernegger in cooperation with the Block Research Group Zurich, Philippe Block, Tomas Mendez Echenagucia); DISCOVERIES, an exhibition for the Foundation Lindau Nobel Prize Winners with Tobias Klauser; ON_AIR, an installation for KunstWerke Berlin; the award-winning project UNITED_BOTTLE; and HausBlick Düsseldorf, all with Jörg Stollmann, INSANT Architects, (2002-08).
His work has been shown in numerous exhibitions worldwide, including the CRITICAL ZONES, ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany (2020), FUTURIUM Berlin, Germany (2019), the Beazly-Design of the Year Exhibition (2018), The Design Museum London, UK (2018), Fibre Fixed: Composites in Design Exhibition, Design Museum Gent, Belgium (2018), ORGATEC, Köln, Germany (2018), Super Materials London, UK (2017), the Design Fair Cologne, Germany (2017), the Seoul Architecture Biennale, South Korea (2017), and the Venice Architecture Biennale, Italy (2016/18/21).
He received one of the German Material Awards 2019, two Innovation Awards “Bauhaus 100 – Prototyping the Future” organized by the Federal German Government and German Industry in 2019, the New York Van Alen Institute Fellowship Award, the Red Dot Design Award for Best Conceptual Design, the SMART Innovation Grant Singapore, the JEC Asia Innovation Award, a ZUMTOBEL GROUP Award, the Suzanne Underwood Award for Best Design, and the LANXESS Award Singapore. He was also awarded the KIT Best Teaching Award, Department of Architecture, 2019.
Dirk E Hebel initiated an exchange program for both faculty and students between the Addis Ababa University (AAU) and the ETH Zurich, together with Franz Oswald and Marc Angélil. They organized study visits to Ethiopia, taking students to Lalibela, Gondar, Axum, Harer, Dire Dawa and Addis Ababa, and conducted workshops with different stakeholders in the field of the building industry including policy decision-making parties.
He obtained a Master of Architecture from the ETH Zurich (1998), and a Master of Architecture from Princeton University (2000).
His publications include Cultivated building materials (Birkhäuser, 2017, with Felix Heisel), Building from waste: Recovered materials in architecture and construction (Birkhäuser, 2016, with Marta H Wisniewska and Felix Heisel), Cities of change: Addis Ababa, Deviations – an experiment in architectural design pedagogy to initiate a plea for a new type of architectural practice (Birkhäuser, 2008, with Marc Angélil), Bathroom unplugged (Birkhäuser, 2005, with Jörg Stollmann) and Addis Ababa: Manifesto on African Progress (Ruby, 2018).
He was a participant in the 2nd Holcim Roundtable “Re-materializing Construction”, held in Einsiedeln, Switzerland (2015) and the 3rd Roundtable held at the Institute for Lightweight Structures & Conceptual Design (ILEK), University of Stuttgart, Germany (2018). He was a workshop moderator for Changing paradigms: Materials for a world not yet built at the 6th International Holcim Forum for Sustainable Construction held in Cairo, Egypt in April 2019. He was Workshop Mentor at the Norman Foster Foundation - Re-materializing Housing Workshop, supported by the Holcim Foundation.
Dirk E Hebel was a member of the Holcim Awards jury for region Europe in 2020.