Originally from Würzburg, Germany, Karolin Schmidbaur was raised and educated in Munich. She received her Diploma in Architecture at the Technical University of Munich. Since 1992 she has worked internationally with Coop Himmelb(l)au in their offices in Austria, México, and the USA. From 1993 she was based at Coop Himmelb(l)au Los Angeles and was heading the practice’s business activities from 2003 till 2017 as Director of the studio. Karolin has been a Partner and Head of Research at Coop Himmelb(l)au since 2009 and is jointly responsible for the design portfolio. She has held key roles on the Groningen Museum East Pavilion, Netherlands, the Central Los Angeles Area High School #9 for visual and performing arts in downtown Los Angeles, USA, and the Paneum near Linz, Austria, among others.
Throughout her career, Karolin has remained active in education and has a wide range of academic experience. She has held teaching positions in design at the University of Southern California (1997 – 1998), the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc, 1998 – 1999, 2014) and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna (2010 – 2012). She teaches at the University of Innsbruck, Austria where she holds a professorship at the Institute of Experimental Architecture, Building Construction and Technology, since 2017. Karolin is the author of various articles on topics such as design innovation and technology, including artificial intelligence.