Katherina Schmidt

Mediator and graduate architect

From my many years of work as an architect I am aware of the complexity of correlations that are decisive for the success of a construction or refurbishment project. In addition to the diverse technical and regulatory requirements, it is above all people in their roles as those who commission, plan and carry out the construction project, who can either advance or endanger it.

It is natural that problems and conflicts arise during the different phases of planning and implementation. Part of my role as an architect is usually to mediate between the diverse interests and fields of work.

It seems that the focus is of course on factual issues. At the same time, however, interpersonal needs such as justice, recognition, appreciation are negotiated – often without the involved parties being aware of it, let alone making it a subject of discussion. It is not uncommon that such disputes lead to long and expensive litigation.

It is certainly useful not just to react if such a "worst case scenario" occurs. As a mediator I can create a protected space in which the parties take responsibility for resolving their conflicts at an early stage supported by a structured method and without winners or losers. This creates the setting for successful further cooperation.

For me, mediation is an element in the construction process which I had been missing in my 30 years of professional life as an architect and it is my concern to make mediation more known and use this opportunity also in the building sector – “So that building becomes a pleasure again".

My focus points

  • Conflicts between tenants, joint property owners and in neighbourhoods
  • Professional support for citizens’ and housing projects
  • Mediation in the planning process
  • Conflicts in teams, associations, non-profit initiatives


  • Studies: Architecture in Dortmund and Wuppertal (with focus on ecological building)
  • Further training: Expert for sound proofing and heat insulation, energy consulting
  • Work in several architecture firms, for 10 years freelance architect with own office in Wuppertal
  • Cooperation in several initiatives and groups (e.g. parents’ initiative, female architects’ initiative, citizens’ initiative “neue ufer-Wuppertal”)
  • Mediator trained according to the standards of Bundesverband Mediation e. V. (klären & lösen, Berlin)