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David Smiley

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Assistant Director and Adjunct Associate Professor

Trained as an architect and as an architectural and urban historian, David Smiley’s research and teaching focus on the intersections of architectural and urban theory, design and modernization. He was written about contemporary urban and suburban issues, examining large-scale urban interventions, the single-family house and multi-family housing, the re-use of shopping malls and the recent history of urban planning and urban design. Smiley is especially interested in the making of architectural and planning culture: the ways in which magazines, schools, policies, professional associations and local and regional politics continually reshape the discourse and practices of the built environment. His book, Pedestrian Modern: Architecture and Shopping, 1925-1956 (University of Minnesota Press, 2013), is a study of the ways architects interpreted shopping centers as Modernist architectural and urban projects rather than, or alongside, their role as sites of consumption.

Most recently, Smiley contributed an essay on Broadacre City to the 2017 Museum of Modern Art catalog and exhibit, Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive. He also contributed chapters to Making Suburbia: New Histories of Everyday America, edited by John Archer, Paul J. P. Sandul, Katherine Solomonson (University of Minnesota Press, 2015) and Affordable Housing in New York: The People, Places, and Policies That Transformed a City, edited by Nicholas Dagen Bloom and Matthew Gordon Lasner (Princeton University Press, 2015). Smiley has also written about architecture, cities and suburbs in Perspecta and Lotus magazines, the Urban Design Review, the Journal of Architectural Education, the Journal of Urban History, Buildings and Landscapes, and the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians.

In 2002, Smiley edited a study for the re-use of “dead malls,” Sprawl and Public Space: Redressing the Mall, for the National Endowment for the Arts. At Barnard College, he organized symposia including “Rights of Way” in 2009, and “Moving Toward Utopia” in 2010, at which invited planners, architects, community advocates and public officials examined bikeways and other changes to the public realm in the NYC.

Since 2009, Smiley has served on the Board of the Center for Urban Pedagogy, a nonprofit organization that uses the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement. He has been the Board Chair since 2012. He also serves on the Management Committee on the Board for Places Journal.

Smiley has taught at Barnard and Columbia Colleges, Yale University School of Architecture, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Washington University, St. Louis, and Texas A&M University. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and his Master of Architecture and Master of Historic Preservation degrees from Columbia University. He is a licensed architect in New York State.


Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
A6815‑1 Spring 2021
Public Space: Rhetorics and Practices
David Smiley
W 9 AM - 11 AM
3 Points
A6815‑1 Spring 2020
Public Space: Rhetorics of the Pedestrian
David Smiley Syllabus
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
3 Points
A6850‑1 Fall 2019
The Climate Crisis—Imagining a Green New Deal in the Hudson Valley
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Screen shot 2020 05 09 at 12.01.04 pm
Kaja Kühl, Anna Dietzsch , Jerome Haferd, Liz McEnaney, Justin Moore, Raafi Rivero, Shachi Pandey, David Smiley, Dragana Zoric Syllabus
M & TH 1:30 - 6:30; F 3 PM - 5 PM
9 Points