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Todd Levon Brown

Trained as an architect, Dr. Todd Levon Brown is an Environmental Psychologist whose research lies primarily at the intersection of critical [race] theory and the built environment. Working theoretically, empirically, and visually, his research explores how architecture and other physical spaces and places are produced, perceived, and evaluated as racialized and embodying other social constructs. His dissertation investigated how environmental cues—such as architectural design features and other physical properties—are used in the development of one’s sociospatial imaginary of urban space.

As an interdisciplinary environmental scholar, he bridges the fields of environmental psychology, architecture, sociology, urban studies, planning, public health, environmental science, and education to inform his research and practice. As a part of his work to increase DEI considerations in the design of the built environment he has provided consulting and training to design firms such as RIOS Design Collective in Los Angeles, CA and Michael Hsu Office of Architecture in Austin, TX. Dr. Brown has served as a team member in several national design competitions. In 2017, his team, led by architect Lisa Tsang, was a competition finalist in the Van Alen Institute’s Justice in Design competition for healthier jail design. In 2022 his team, co-led by Neeraj Bhatia, Ignacio Galan and Karen Kubey, was one of four selected for the 2022 Reset: Towards A New Commons exhibit at the Center For Architecture NYC. This project, “Aging Against the Machine”, focused on providing senior-centered, socially integrated, multi-generational housing and amenities.

Dr. Brown has published several scholarly works at the intersections of psychosocial perception, race, social justice, architecture, and urban design including peer-reviewed journal articles, conference and symposium papers and, most recently, his book chapter, “Evaluating Correctional Environments: A Critical Psychosociospatial Approach” in the The Palgrave Handbook of Prison Design (Dec 2022). His most acclaimed work to-date is his 2019 article, “Racialized Architectural Space: A Critical Understanding of its Production, Perception and Evaluation”, in the journal ArchitectureMediaPolitics_Society (AMPS) which won a UCL Press Award for best article of the year.

As an interdisciplinary educator, he has taught in various programs including: psychology at Hunter College, urban studies at Queens College, and architecture at the City College of New York. He also served as the 2021-23 Race and Gender in the Built Environment Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, where he taught design studios and seminars on inclusion and socioracial sustainability. Currently, Dr. Brown serves as an Adjunct Lecturer of Psychology at the Fashion Institute of Technology and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University. He is also a 2023-24 research fellow with the National Institute of Health’s AIM-AHEAD program where his research is utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning to explore the environmental and socioracial determinants of stress and cardiometabolic health outcomes of transgender and gender-diverse individuals.

Dr. Brown received his BA in architecture, Master of Public Health, and Master of Architecture degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his MA, Master of Philosophy, and PhD degrees in environmental psychology from the CUNY Graduate Center. He has also studied and researched architecture internationally at Universidad Autónoma de San Luís Potosí – San Luís Potosí, México; the Universität der Künste – Berlin, Germany; and the Institut D’Arquitectura Avançada de Catalunya – Barcelona, Spain. His overall academic and professional agenda is promoting social and racial justice issues concerning architecture, design, institutional programming, planning, and the built environment.


Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
A4104‑1 Spring 2024
Architecture Studio IV
Todd Levon Brown
0 Points