Wiel Arets (°Heerlen, 6 May 1955) is a Dutch architect, architectural theorist, urbanist, industrial designer and the Dean of the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, in the United States of America.
Arets was previously the ‘Professor of Building Planning and Design’ at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK), Germany, and studied at the Technical University of Eindhoven, graduating in 1983. He is the founder of Wiel Arets Architects, a multidisciplinary architecture and design studio with offices located throughout Europe. From 1995-2002 he was the Dean of the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam, where he introduced the idea of ‘progressive-research’ and co-founded the school’s architectural journal named HUNCH.
Wiel Arets was born on 6 May 1955 in Heerlen, Netherlands to Wiel Arets (1929) and Mia Heuts (1931). His father was a book printer and his mother was a fashion designer, both from whom he learned respect for the tradition of craft and a love of books and reading. He briefly studied engineering, and then physics, before ultimately deciding on architecture. He divides his time between Chicago, Maastricht, Berlin, Amsterdam and Zürich, living and working in each city. Arets’ work is generally characterized by a minimalist, geometric and austere approach that responds to local contingencies in a flexible way.