I am Professor at Pratt Institute's School of Architecture, where I teach urban and architectural history and theory, and the editor of the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative, a group devoted to advancing scholarship in architectural theory and history.

My research examines how architecture, urbanism and landscape design participate in the distribution of resources and how these forms of design help us understand the limits and capacities of our bodies. I've written, taught, and lectured for over twenty years about the intersections of food and agricultural history with architectural history. Other key topics are histories of justice, exclusion and displacement in architecture and urban planning; architectures of consumption and biopolitics; and the intellectual history of francophone and anglophone critical theory. My book-length projects include Black Lives Matter, a collection of essays that put Black lives at the center of architecture and its history, Street Value: Shopping, Planning and Politics at Fulton Mall, with Rosten Woo and Damon Rich, a book about how race and class have shaped development in New York City, and the forthcoming Provisioning: Markets and Urban Transformation in 20thCentury France. My newer projects are about toxics in architecture, and the French architect Nicole Sonolet. (see below)

Here are selected projects organized by topic. I try to remember to post links to talks and new publications on twitter, and my list there may be more up to date. More bio details are below.


After the release of the 2017 IPCC report, and a reckoning with the extent of toxics in everyday construction materials, I decided to direct my research and teaching more explicitly towards repair of environmental injustices, and several projects emerged as a result:


In 2017 I also began to reexamine a group I'd written about in my graduate research work: CERFI, a multi-disciplinary group of activists and researchers in 1970s France who developed fascinating theories about the links between subjectivity and infrastructure, and who worked between the worlds of activism and the funding structures of the French State. I saw their work as a useful source in conversations about infrastructures for care that might be part of a just transition. In the course of this research I learned about the work of the French architect Nicole Sonolet, who designed housing, hospitals, and villages focused around the provision of care, especially mental health care. Her work is barely documented in architectural history, and her stunning hospitals, clinics and urban plans deserve to be seen by a wider audience


My doctoral dissertation, "The Architecture of the Market: Food, Media and Biopolitics from Les Halles to Rungis" was about the architectures of France's central food markets, and about how markets became media through which debates about political economy, biopolitics, and urbanism were articulated. I published book chapters and articles on this from 2007-2015, and I am finishing a book that more deeply explores the environmental and colonial sides of this history. Here are some related publications:


As someone whose work in architecture began through art practice, I often find I want to use my carefully-written histories to imagine new futures, and as a way to do this, I've been writing in fictional dialogues and doing performances about desire, fantasy, and invention that engages architectural history.


My work on the intellectual history of architecture examines how critical theories have been incorporated and appropriated in architecture, what political economy and extractive knowledge has to do with architectural theory, how racialization impacted architectural history, and argues for a more capacious, critical, and inclusive field. Most of my work on this topic is done through curricular coordination at Pratt, but here are some selected related publications and projects:


The 2004 rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn put longtime Black spaces such as the Fulton Street Pedestrian Mall under threat, and some of my earliest urban history research work, from 2006-9, focused on this space.


I received my Ph.D. in Architecture from Princeton University, and have a B.A in Art-Semiotics from Brown University. From 2016-22 I served on the advisory board of the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University. In 2018-19 was a Fellow at the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities at Princeton. From 2007-2011 I organized lectures, dinners, a library, and a community supported agriculture program at the Metropolitan Exchange in Downtown Brooklyn. Prior to work in architectural history, I worked for over ten years as a software developer, studied critical theory in France, and made videos, paintings and installations about labor, technology and urban transformations. As a teenager I attended Montgomery Blair High School, was part of riot grrrl DC, organized protests against clearcutting and stream pollution, and wrote watershed data analysis software for the U.S. Geological Survey.

I like to experiment with media and methods for my work. I do both archival and oral history work, and I sometimes incorporate fiction, speculation, theory-writing, and dialogue into my writing. Many insights come from reading feminist, decolonial, speculative-economic, and other critical theories, as well as from artistic and activist practice, institutional labor and conversation and non-academic activites; I am an avid cook and enjoy playing with drums, bikes, and paint when I have time.

I try to make, lead, and teach in a way that centers curiosity, pleasure, care, experimentation, and interdisciplinary and extra-institutional collaboration, but I tend to fall behind on email, so please contact me again if I have missed yours.


meredith at mtenhoor dot net (but please write to me at my Pratt address for anything related to academic work)

I am on twitter sporadically