Detlef Mertins studied architecture in Toronto, then received a PhD from Princeton University. After teaching at the University of Toronto for ten years, he moved in 2002 to Philadelphia, where he was Professor of Architecture and Chair of the Department of Architecture at Penn University. Mertins has also been visiting professor at Columbia, Harvard, Princeton and Rice universities. Detlef Mertins died in 2011.
Amongst his numerous publications are The
Presence of Mies (1994), and Metropolitan Mutations: The Architecture
of Emerging Public Spaces (1989). Mertins is well-known for his essays on the history of modernism, featured in Mies in Berlin, Mies in America, NOX: Machining Architecture, and Phylogenesis: FOA's Ark. His research focuses on the history
and theory of modernism in architecture, art, philosophy,
With V2_ publishing, Mertins contributed to Interact or Die! (2007) and wrote for the foreword for The Architecture of Continuity (2008).