Cassim Shepard

Cassim Shepard is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP.

Shepard produces non-fiction media about cities, buildings and places. Trained as an urban planner, geographer, and documentary filmmaker, he lectures widely about the craft of visual storytelling in urban analysis, planning and design. Most recently, he received the 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship for his research project Self-Help Housing: Incremental Approaches to Shelter Since 1965. His film and video work has been commissioned by and screened at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Ford Foundation, the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and the United Nations, among many other venues around the world. His writing on urbanism has appeared in Next City, Places, Domus, Public Culture, as well as in books and catalogues documenting work by Geoff Manaugh, David Adjaye, and others. His first book, Citymakers: The Culture and Craft of Practical Urbanism, was published by Monacelli Press in 2017.

As the founding editor-in-chief of Urban Omnibus, an online publication of The Architectural League of New York, he spent six years working with hundreds of local architects, designers, artists, writers, and public servants to share their stories of urban innovation, with a particular emphasis on housing, infrastructure, and the changing nature of cultural institutions.

In addition to teaching Columbia GSAPP he has been a guest lecturer in the Cities Programme of the London School of Economics and a Poiesis Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He studied filmmaking at Harvard University, urban geography at Kings College London, and urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
A6783‑1 Fall 2019
Narrative Urbanism: Strategic Storytelling For Designers and Planners
Cassim Shepard All GSAPP Interdisciplinary
F 11 AM - 1 PM
3 Points
A6824‑1 Summer 2019
Reading NY Urbanism
Cassim Shepard, Jesse Hirakawa
W 10 AM - 12 PM
3 Points
A4064‑1 Spring 2019
Informal Urbanisms: Incrementalism and Citizen Participation in the Built Environment
Cassim Shepard All GSAPP Interdisciplinary
F 11 AM - 1 PM
Full Semester
3 Points
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