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Reinhold Martin

Reinhold Martin is a historian of architecture and media, and Professor of Architecture in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, where he directs the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture. He received his PhD from Princeton University in 1999. At Columbia, Martin is a member of the Center for Comparative Media, the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, and the Committee on Global Thought, and is a former chair of the Society of Fellows / Heyman Center for the Humanities. He was also a founding co-editor of the interdisciplinary journal Grey Room.

Martin approaches the history of modern architecture as a form of media history, or a history of media complexes: networks that include buildings, technical infrastructures, natural and cultural environments, and socioeconomic systems. His principal area of research has been the material, architectural history of knowledge infrastructures and institutions during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the United States, including their epistemological, social, and aesthetic aspects. From his early work on the history of corporate architecture to more recent work on modern universities as sociotechnical media, Martin has mapped changes and continuities across these networks as they have shaped, and been shaped by, specific cultural, intellectual, and economic processes. His current work synthesizes aesthetics, political ecology, and media history. Martin has also written urban theory from a perspective that combines aesthetics with political economy and technics, and is a frequent public essayist on politics, urbanization, climate change, and culture. He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including an honorary doctorate from the Eesti Kunstiakadeemia / Estonian Academy of Arts. For over a decade Martin practiced architecture in collaboration with Kadambari Baxi; their work has been exhibited internationally and published widely.

Martin’s books include The Organizational Complex: Architecture, Media, and Corporate Space (MIT, 2003), on architecture, cybernetics, and corporate capitalism in the postwar United States; Utopia’s Ghost: Architecture and Postmodernism, Again (Minnesota, 2010), on the architectural afterlife of modern utopianism under neoliberal globalization; The Urban Apparatus: Mediapolitics and the City (Minnesota, 2016), a collection of essays on the contemporary city; and Knowledge Worlds: Media, Materiality, and Making of the Modern University (Columbia, 2021), a genealogy of university-based knowledge infrastructures in the United States that tracks the long, recursive passage from liberal to neoliberal reason.

Recent articles and book chapters:

“Drawing the Color Line: Silence and Civilization from Jefferson to Mumford,” in Irene Cheng, Charles L. Davis II, and Mabel O. Wilson, eds., Race and Modern Architecture: A Critical History from the Enlightenment to the Present (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020).

“Media Organize: Persons,” in Timon Beyes, Lisa Conrad, and Reinhold Martin, Organize (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019).

“Points of Departure: Notes Toward a Reversible History of Architectural Visualization,” in Sabine Ammon and Remei Capdevila, eds., The Active Image: Architecture and Engineering in the Age of Modeling (New York: Springer, 2017).

Selected public writings:

“Exit, Stage Right,” Places, May 2021.

“Abolish Oil: From the Green New Deal to Green Reconstruction,” Places, June 2020.

“Sacred Ground: The Big Easy in the Big Apple,” The Avery Review, May 2019.

“Pittsburgh, Paris, Charlottesville: The Infrastructure Question,” e-flux, September 2017.

“The Demagogue Takes the Stage,” Places, March 2017.

Courses

Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
A4348‑2 Fall 2021
Questions in Architectural History I
Reinhold Martin
300 BUELL SOUTH
W 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10842
A6885‑1 Fall 2021
Architecture, Engineering, and Political Ecology
Reinhold Martin
TU 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
0
A4411‑1 Spring 2021
Climate, Technology, and Society
Reinhold Martin
REMOTE
TU 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
13067