I studied architecture at TU Darmstadt in Germany, and the Polytechnic of Central London, and I was registered as an architect in the UK for 20 years.
Before taking a full-time post at Liverpool, I taught part-time at Kingston and Liverpool, and worked in practice in Germany, the UK, France and Greece.
My research interests are the representation of architecture, mainly in print media; architectural competitions; and rationalism in C20 architecture.
I have instigated and co-edited two volumes on C20 rationalism (Rationalist Traces, with Andrew Peckham and Charles Rattray, 2007; The Rationalist Reader, with Andrew Peckham, 2014), two volumes on the relationship between fame and architecture (Fame and Architecture, with Julia Chance, 2001; An Architect's Guide to Fame, with Paul Davies, 2005), and one volume on the relationship between architecture journals and modernism (Modernism and the Professional Architecture Journal - Reporting, editing and reconstructing in postwar Europe, with Andrew Peckham, 2018).
My PhD thesis, for which initial research was funded by the AHRC, was on the German competition journal Wettbewerbe Aktuell, and my work on competitions has been published in several peer reviewed journals and edited books on competitions.
In July 2016 I was awarded a Research Trust Award (RIBA) for a project investigating postwar architecture in children’s picture books: The representation of Modern Architecture through illustrations in postwar British Children’s Literature. This research resulted in an exhibition I curated at RIBA North in Liverpool (April / May 2019); a co-authored paper, with Dr Emma Hayward, 'Absent Architectures' (Journal of Architecture 24.4); and the edited volume Building Children's Worlds - The Representation of Architecture and Modernity in Picturebooks (with Jill Rudd and Emma Hayward, Routledge March 2023. https://www.routledge.com/Building-Childrens-Worlds-The-Representation-of-Architecture-and-Modernity/Schmiedeknecht-Rudd-Hayward/p/book/9780367675486).
I am currently working on a monograph on the German architecture journal Baumeister, and on a project investigating the role and representation of modern architecture in the long running German TV series Tatort (crime scene).