PH.D. Program in Architecture

Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture

Felicity Scott

Director: Ph.D. Arch

Affiliated Faculty

Robert Beauregard, David Smiley

The Ph.D. program in architecture is oriented toward the training of scholars in the field of architectural history and theory. Its structure reflects a dual understanding of the scholar's role in the discipline at large: as a teacher and as a researcher making an original contribution to the field, with an emphasis on expanding and reinterpreting disciplinary knowledge in a broad intellectual arena. Course requirements are therefore designed to give entering students a solid foundation in historical knowledge and theoretical discourse, with sufficient flexibility to allow the initiation and pursuit of individual research agendas. The program's focus is on the history and theory of modern and contemporary architecture and urbanism in an international and cross-cultural context, from the mid-eighteenth century to the present. Within this, a wide range of research is supported through the varied expertise of the faculty and through strong relationships with other departments throughout the University and beyond.


Ashraf Sami Abdalla
Prior to entering the Ph.D. program at GSAPP, Ashraf Abdalla obtained two Master of Science degrees in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture and Advanced Architectural Design at Columbia University's GSAPP.  Before pursuing an academic career, Abdalla gained extensive professional experience in architectural offices in both the U.S. (including Eisenman Architects, Peter Marino Architect, and Ellerbe Becket) and Egypt (including Gamal Bakry and Associates).  In addition, he participated in several architectural competitions and was awarded honorary prizes for various architectural projects and designs.  Abdalla presented at the symposium “Architecture and Representation: The Arab City” at the GSAPP in the Fall of 2014 and participated with the CCCP program in the Venice Observatory, a workshop initiative that took place alongside the 14th International Architecture Venice Biennale.  Abdalla also co-represented Egypt with architect Omar Nagati in the Egyptian pavilion at the 6th International Architecture Venice Biennale in 1996.  The question of architecture’s relation to socio-economic and political forces is central to Abdalla’s theoretical and historical interests.  In his doctoral dissertation, Abdalla intends to examine the relation between architecture and the political and economic transformations in Egypt in the 1980s and 1990s.

Óskar Arnórsson

Chris Barker
Chris holds a BFA from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and an M.Arch from GSAPP, Columbia University. Prior to entering the PhD program, Chris worked as an architect in New York and taught at the New York Institute of Technology. His research interests include advocacy planning during the 1960s and ‘70s.

Jana Beránková
Jana Beránková studied in Berlin, Paris and Prague before joining GSAPP. She received a graduate diploma of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and M.A. at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. Her research interests include Czechoslovak avant-garde, Karel Teige, Central European architecture, contemporary continental philosophy and theory, especially thinking of Alain Badiou. Besides that, she is active as a writer and critic.

Marta Justo Caldeira

Erik Carver

Benedict Clouette
Benedict Clouette is an architect and writer based in New York. With Marlisa Wise, he directs Interval Projects, a non-profit for spatial design and research. He has previously worked as a architect with the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, and as a researcher with C-Lab since its founding in 2005. His essays have appeared in publications including Domus, Volume, and San Rocco, as well as exhibition catalogues for the New Museum and Elements at the 2014 Venice Biennale. He received his Masters in Architecture from Columbia University.

Christopher Ainslie Cowell
Chris Cowell is a trained architect and historian. His current research investigates the relations of representation and production in architecture and urbanism within eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British imperialism in Asia, with a particular focus on the exploits of the English East India Company in the Indian subcontinent. His particular thematic interests intersect the military, medicine and race, with the physical and planned incursions of ideology and of coercive and hegemonic power.

Lucy Miller Creagh

Laura Diamond Dixit
Laura Diamond Dixit has a Master of Architecture degree from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Reed College, where she studied Art History. Prior to attending Princeton she worked in the exhibitions department at the International Center of Photography and as a studio assistant for Allan Sekula. Her writing has been published in The Avery Review, Camera Austria, and Pidgin; she also has an essay in Sekula’s posthumous book Facing the Music. Her research is on migration, labor, and infrastructures in the Indian Ocean and its hinterlands.

Meredith Gaglio
Meredith Gaglio received her Bachelor and Master of Architecture I degrees from Tulane University in 2005 and a Master in Design Studies, History and Philosophy of Design, with distinction, from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2010. Her research concentrates on the appropriate technology movement, countercultural politics, and American architecture of the 1960s and ‘70s.

Addison McMillan Godel
Addison Godel's research concerns the myriad, two-way relationships between architecture and its social and political contexts, with a focus on 20th century modernism. He has most recently written on the commingling of Cold War strategy, postwar monumentality, and the materiality of telecommunications in the late 1960s. Other topics have included the urban and intellectual geographies of animated cartoons, and the aspirations of American architects working in the Soviet sphere. He received an M.Arch from The Ohio State University in 2009, and bachelor's degrees in Women's Studies and Political Science from the University of Georgia in 2004.

María González Pendás
María González Pendás is an architect from the Escuela Politécnica of Madrid, having worked in several offices in Madrid and Chicago, and an architectural historian. She works on the intersection of architecture with politics, religion and intellectual history during the twentieth century, focusing on the impact of Catholicism in processes of modernization and the role of intellectual discourse in architecture.  She has complemented her dissertation on Fascist Spain with research on architecture and exile and on ways in which particular discourses of modernity have emerged through southern transatlantic exchanges between Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. The Graham Foundation, the Buell Center, the Caja Madrid Foundation and the Fulbright Commission have supported her scholarship.

James Graham
James is an architect and historian, with degrees from the University of Virginia, MIT, and the New School. He currently studies and teaches at Columbia University GSAPP, where he is also the Director of Publications. His dissertation, The Psychotechnical Architect: Perception, Vocation, and the Laboratory Cultures of Modernism, 1914-1945 looks at the translation of applied psychology into architectural pedagogy and practice in Germany, the Soviet Union, and the United States. His writing has appeared in Grey Room, AA Files, Manifest, and JSAH.

Hollyamber Kennedy
Hollyamber holds a Double BA in Philosophy and Art History from the University of Massachusetts and an MA in Art History from Columbia University. Her dissertation, Modernity’s Body: The Architecture of Norm and Type in Central Europe and German Africa, 1850-1930, focuses on the role played by architectural discourse in the aesthetic configuration of the modern body as a cipher-figure for the project of modernity, as a medium for visualizing both disease and political belonging. She recently completed an article for a catalogue on Paul Scheerbart, published by the University of Chicago Press, and has an essay due out in the Architectural Theory Review in 2015.

Ayala Levin
Before entering the program, I received an MA in Cultural Studies from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a BA in Literature and Arts from Tel Aviv University. In addition to teaching in GSAPP, I taught Art Humanities at Columbia College, and architectural history at Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture. As of recently, I am contributing to the “Systems and the South” project of the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative, as well as to the “Global History of Architecture Teaching Collaborative.” My interests include curatorial practices, politics of commemoration, knowledge production and dissemination, non-western modernities, and the role of architecture in the mobilization of resources.

Diana Martinez

Andrea Jeanne Merrett
Andrea J. Merrett is a graduate of the professional program in architecture at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and practiced in Montreal and Dublin. She is interested in women, gender, and feminism in architecture and is writing her dissertation on the history of feminism in American architecture. Part of her work is collecting oral histories and archival material from participants in the various feminist activities of the 1970s, 1908s, and 1990s. Andrea has received support for her work from the Buell Center, Schlesinger Library, and the International Archive of Women in Architecture. She is a founding member of architeXX.

Peter Minosh

Alexandra Louise Quantrill

Pollyanna Rhee
Pollyanna studies the history of American and British architecture and design in the 19th and 20th centuries with particular interests in environmental thought, technology, and the history of the practices of architecture.  Her dissertation will focus on the relationship between natural resources and the infrastructural and architectural development of the American West and Southwest between 1880 and 1920.  Pollyanna received a M.S. in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture at Columbia and a B.A. in Politics and History from Wake Forest University, and grew up in eastern and central Washington state.

Jonah Rowen

Eva Schreiner

Manuel Shvartzberg

Daniel Talesnik

Norihiko Tsuneishi

Aaron Bradley White
Aaron White studies nineteenth century American architecture and urbanism. He previously graduated from Pratt Institute, where he was awarded the Stanley Katz Award for design excellence, and the University of Idaho, where he received his professional degree in architecture. His writing has appeared in AD, CLOG, Studio, Urban Omnibus, and Think Space Pamphlets. He teaches studios and seminars at Columbia, Pratt Institute, and the New School and has worked with firms such as Mark Rakatansky Studio, Easton+Combs Architects, Graftworks, and Servo on projects of widely varying scales. He is currently thinking about thinking about dissertation topics.

Alexander Hilton Wood
Alexander is interested in the history of architecture in Europe and the United States from the 18th century to the present. His research is focused on changes in the crafts, in the role of craftsmen, and in the organization of construction in the 19th century, especially in relationship to the growth of cities, commerce, and capitalism.

Amy Zhang


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