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Design and Building Histories

The idea that we design our buildings and they design us is commonplace, but incomplete.  After all, the relationship between people and built environments is never predictable, straightforward, or determinative.  Just as often, we inhabit landscapes that we did not design, and we are compelled to adapt them to new needs and desires.  I studied architectural history with Henry Glassie, one of the founders of the field of Vernacular Architecture, and with the cultural historian Casey Blake.  From them I learned methods in the close study of buildings and sites, and to pay attention both to the ordinary buildings and landscapes that surround us in our everyday lives, and to the cultural, social, and political forces that shape our built environments.

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