Senior Loeb Scholar Lecture: CANCELLED – “Words Build Worlds” with Nicolai Ouroussoff, Florencia Rodriguez, and Thomas Weaver

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This event has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


With Words Build Worlds, Sarah M. Whiting, Dean and Josep Lluís Sert Professor of Architecture, invites three distinct voices from the world of contemporary publishing to the GSD for a conversation around the power and importance of the written word within the design fields now. Nicolai Ouroussoff, Florencia Rodriguez, and Thomas Weaver come together from different corners of the criticism, journalism, print and digital media, and editorial fields to discuss what a commitment to the curation and publication of design discourse through writing means in this moment in time.

As Senior Loeb Scholars within the Loeb Fellowship program, Ouroussoff, Rodriguez, and Weaver will spend a week at the GSD interacting with students, faculty, and Loeb Fellows and offering new and different perspectives on the range of issues we are facing within the design disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning and design. Words Build Worlds is the keynote public event for the 2019-2020 Senior Loeb Scholars.



Nicolai Ouroussoff is a writer and critic living in New York. He is currently completing a book on architecture, culture and politics from the First World War to today, which will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Since 2011 he has taught on modern and contemporary architecture at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, the Strelka Institute in Moscow and the Columbia University graduate school of architecture. From 2004 to 2011 he was the architecture critic of The New York Times, were he wrote widely on architecture and urbanism in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and where he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in both 2006 and 2011. Previously, he was the architecture critic of The Los Angeles Times, where he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for a series on the cultural decline of Baghdad. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1962.

Florencia Rodriguez, LF ’14, is an architect, and has dedicated her career to writing and editing. In 2014 she received the Loeb Fellowship from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In 2010, Florencia founded PLOT magazine, which continued to direct until 2017. Under her stewardship, PLOT quickly became one of the leading publications in the region. In early 2017 Florencia embarked on a new project with Pablo Gerson, the editorial platform Lots of architecture -publishers, which main product is the periodical publication –NESS. On Architecture, Life and Urban Culture. Rodriguez was curated several exhibitions and organized international symposia. She was a Professor of Landscape Theory and Technology Theory in the Torcuato Di Tella University graduate programs and has taught theory courses at other universities such as Universidad del Litoral and The Boston Architectural College. She has received awards for her editorial work and published a number of articles in books and specialized media like Domus, Oris, summa +, Arquine, a+u, or Uncube, among others.

Thomas Weaver is an architectural writer, teacher and editor, and senior commissioning editor for art and architecture at MIT Press. Educated at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, and at Princeton University, he subsequently combined editorial positions – at ANY magazine in New York, and later, and for more than a decade, editing AA Files at the Architectural Association in London – with academic appointments at the Cooper Union and currently as a visiting fellow at the Berlage Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture and Urban Design, TU Delft. He has lectured extensively, and is the author (with Alessandra Ponte and Laurent Stalder) of GOD & CO: François Dallegret Beyond the Bubble (2011), AA Files Conversations (2013), Against Research/Model-maker Grimm (2018), From Soane to The Strip (2018, with Denise Scott Brown) and Writing not Typing (2019), in addition to numerous essays and published conversations.

Sarah M. Whiting is Dean and Josep Lluís Sert Professor of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Co-founder of WW Architecture, she served as Dean of Architecture at Rice University for nine years. She received her BA from Yale, MA from Princeton, and PhD in the History and Theory of Architecture from MIT.
Whiting’s research is interdisciplinary, with the built environment at its core. An expert in architectural theory and urbanism, she has particular interests in architecture’s relationship with politics, economics, and society and how the built environment shapes public life.

Whiting has taught at various universities and lectures globally. She serves as a critic of architecture and urban design and is an Associate member of the American Institute of Architects. Whiting is also a prolific published writer and editor in her field, and is the founding editor of Point, a book series aimed at shaping contemporary discussions in architecture and urbanism.

This program is supported by the Loeb Fellowship at the GSD.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].