Lisa Haber-Thomson

Lecturer in Architecture

Part-time Director, Online Learning and Education

Lisa Haber-Thomson is an architectural historian and designer interested in interdisciplinary and inter-media translations. Her research explores the historical entanglements between architecture and law.

Lisa is currently at work on two major projects. The first is about prisons; a book manuscript, on early modern carceral architecture across England and its expanding empire, examines the many spatial forms of detention enlisted by law courts in order to establish claims of sovereignty and subjecthood. In parallel, I am interested in how architecture becomes implicated in contemporary legal practice, especially with regards to prisoner’s rights discourses. Topics include federal habeas doctrine and Eighth Amendment conditions of confinement claims. A second major project, in its nascent stages, investigates the relationships between architecture and property. My work has been generously supported by the Sir John Soane Foundation, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and the Wilder Green Fellowship in Architecture at MacDowell.

Coming to architecture with a background in experimental and nonfiction video, I teach design studio and architectural history courses with attention to the media and materials by which we work. I have a PhD in architectural history, a Masters in Architecture, and a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University. I have worked as an architect at Ateliers Jean Nouvel; as a video and sound editor for the Science Media Group; and as a freelance animator and sound designer. Continuing work in digital teaching includes the pedagogical design and implementation of several online courses.