David Gissen

David Gissen is a historian, theorist, curator and critic whose work examines histories and theories of architecture, landscapes, environments and cities. His recent work focuses on developing a novel concept of nature in architectural thought and developing experimental forms of architectural historical practice.


David is the author of the books Manhattan Atmospheres: Architecture, The Interior Environment and Urban Crisis (University of Minnesota Press, 2014) and Subnature: Architecture's Other Environments (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009), editor of the “Territory” issue of AD Journal (2010) and the book Big and Green (Princeton Architectural Press, 2003) .

Essays & Research

His essays and research are published in journals such as Grey RoomHarvard Design MagazineAA Files, AD, Cabinet, Kerb, Log, Quaderns, Volume, The Radical History Review, The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, The Journal of Architecture, The Journal of Architectural Education, Tarp, and Thresholds; and magazines, newspapers, and blogs such as Artforum, Architectural Record, Architecture, Metropolis, Domus, ARCADE, BldgBlog, Pruned, Edible Geography, Archinect, Blueprint, Constructs, Singapore Architect, the Village Voice, Time Out: New York, the New York Times, the New Yorker, Huffington Post, and the Atlantic.

David's essays and research are also published in the following books: Models and Drawings (Routledge, 2007); Architectural Theory: 1871-2005 (Blackwell, 2008); Design Ecologies (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009); Writing Urbanism (Routledge, 2008); The Ethics of Dust (TBA/Venice Biennale, 2009); The Religious Imagination in Modern Architecture: A Reader (Routledge, 2011); Air (MIT Press, 2011); Coupling (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011); Landform Building (Lars Mueller, 2011); Urban Constellations (Jovis, 2011); Imperfect Health (Canadian Center for Architecture, 2012); Landscape Futures (Actar, 2013); and Architecture and Geography (2014).

Curatorial & Experimental Works

His curatorial and experimental historical work has been staged at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, The National Building Museum, Yale Architecture Gallery, Maryland Institute College of Art, Toronto Free Gallery, The Museum of the City of New York, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and the Nevada Museum of Art.

Lectures and Teaching

David lectures on his work internationally, including recent invited talks at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Milan Polytechnic, Berlage Institute, Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and The Royal Danish Academy of Art. In addition to his teaching at CCA, David is a visiting professor in the program in the History, Theory and Criticism of Art and Architectural History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has led workshops on his work at several international universities. 


He is the recipient of various awards and grants including Graham Foundation grants, the Richard J. Carroll Lectureship from Johns Hopkins University, and the Chalsty Award at CCA.

Further information on his work can be found at the site davidgissen.org

Associate Professor, Architecture
Associate Professor, Visual and Critical Studies


BSc, Architecture, University of Virginia; M'Arch, Yale University; M'Phil, PhD, University College London

Website: davidgissen.org