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Mark Jarzombek, Professor of the History and Theory of Architecture, is the Associate Dean of MIT's School of Architecture and Planning. He teaches in the History Theory Criticism program (HTC) of the Department of Architecture. Jarzombek has taught at MIT since 1995, and works on a wide range of historical topics from the Renaissance to the modern. Jarzombek received his architectural Diploma in 1980 from the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1986. He was a CASVA fellow (1985), Post-doctoral Resident Fellow at the J. Paul Getty Center for the History of Humanities and Art, Santa Monica, California (1986), a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ (1993), at the Canadian Center for Architecture (2001) and at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (2005). He has worked extensively on nineteenth and twentieth century aesthetics, and the history and theory of architecture. He has published several books including a textbook entitled A Global History of Architecture (Wiley Press, 2006) with co-author Vikram Prakash with the noted illustrator Francis D.K. Ching. He is the author of Architecture of First Societies: A Global Perspective (forthcoming, Wiley Press, 2013). Jarzombek holds the Clarence H. Blackall Career Development Professorship in Architectural History and teaches a range of courses from the undergraduate to the Ph.D. level.

Through EdX, Jarzombek created the first ever MOOC (mass open online course) on the history of architecture with 20,000 participants, world-wide.

Fall 2013 MOOC Website: A GLOBAL HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE on EdX Starting September 17th,


Co-organized with Jeff Ravel from MIT's History Department, Jarzombek created a workshop on teaching Global Architecture History, which was funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation. Here is the description on the Department of Architecture's website:




April 23, 2009 in Murcia Spain produced by Observatorio del Diseño y la Arquitectura. The interview covers a range of topics from Sustainability to the future of architecture.


Latest publications:

Architecture of First Societies: A Global Perspective (Wiley Press, 2013). It is the first textbook in several decades to study the rich history of architectural production beginning from our first social formations some 200,000 years ago. The text moves from first societies to chiefdom cultures leading up to the fateful encounter with colonialism and other forms of modernity. The book is richly illustrated with photographs, custom-made drawings and maps.


"The Alternative Firmitas of Maurice Smith," A Second Modernism: MIT, Architecture, and the 'Techno-Social Moment, Edited by Arindam Dutta (SA+P Press, Cambridge MA), 2013, pp. 553-573. This chapter analyzes the unique architectural theory of Marice Smith, who taught at MIT from the mid 1950s to the end of the 1990s. I argue that his approach was not 'counter-culture' but 'counter-architecture.'


"Global in a Not-so-Global World" written with Alfred B. Hwangbo, this article questions how far the call for "global architectural history" can reach in a world (sadly) that is increasingly less interested in that project.


"Dialectics of Death in the Civilian Era: Hans van Houwelingen's Sluipweg" This article interprets Hans van Houwelingen's recent installation Sluipweg based on its unique location within a UNESCO Heritage site.


"The Power of Red" From the Cave of Blombos (ca. 100,000 BCE) to a Wei Dynasty Tomb, this article discusses the ancient color of all, red, derived from ochre, and used globally by First Society people to designate the interface of life and death.


"The Metaphysics of Permanence -- Curating Critical Impossibilities" in Log #21 (New York, NY: Anyone Corporation, 2010), pp. 125-135.



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