David Gissen is a historian, theorist, curator and critic whose work examines histories and theories of architecture, landscapes, environments and cities, primarily in the 19th and 20th century. His recent work focuses on developing experimental forms of historical practice, writing, and translation to depict the spaces, environments, and landscapes of the past.


David is the author of the books Manhattan Atmospheres: Architecture, The Interior Environment and Urban Crisis (University of Minnesota Press, 2014) and Subnature: Architecture’s Other Environments (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009), editor of the “Territory” issue of AD Journal (2010) and the book Big and Green (Princeton Architectural Press, 2003).

Essays & Research

Visit Gissen’s website to learn more about his essays and reasearch.

Curatorial & Experimental Works

His curatorial and experimental historical work has been staged at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, The National Building Museum, Yale Architecture Gallery, Maryland Institute College of Art, Toronto Free Gallery, The Museum of the City of New York, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and the Nevada Museum of Art.

Lectures and Teaching

David lectures on his work internationally, including recent invited talks at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Milan Polytechnic, Berlage Institute, Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and The Royal Danish Academy of Art.

In addition to his teaching at CCA, David is a visiting professor in the program in the History, Theory and Criticism of Art and Architectural History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has led workshops on his work at several international universities.


He is the recipient of various awards and grants including Graham Foundation grants, the Richard J. Carroll Lectureship from Johns Hopkins University, and the Chalsty Award at CCA.

Related Features

David Gissen: From Medoc to Manhattan
Test Sites: Experiments in the History of Space


BSc, Architecture, University of Virginia; M’Arch, Yale University; M’Phil, PhD, University College London

Website: davidgissen.org


Recent Happenings: