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    Robert Cowherd, PhD, is Professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, USA. His research and publication focuses on the history and theory of architecture and urbanism in Southeast Asia and Latin America. He is a member of the Board of the Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative.

    In 2015, he was Visiting Associate Professor of History, Theory and Criticism at MIT teaching A Global History of Architecture, and 2014-2015 Fulbright Scholar pursuing research on the role of design in recent social transformations in Medellín, Colombia.


    PhD History and Theory of Architecture, MIT 2002

    Urban Design Certificate, MIT 2002

    BArch, The Cooper Union, 1988


    “Spices, Spies, and Speculation: Trust and Control in the Early Amsterdam-Batavia System,” in A History of Architecture and Trade, Patrick Haughey, ed. (New York: Routledge, 2018).

    “Identity Tectonics: Contested Modernities of Java and Bali,” in Across Space and Time: Architecture and the Politics of Modernity, Patrick Haughey, ed. (Ne Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction, 2017).

    “Notes on Post-criticality: Towards an Architecture of Reflexive Modernisation,” Footprint 4 Agency and Criticality (Winter 2009).

    His numerous contributions to edited volumes examine the interplay between urban forms and cultural meanings in dramatic demonstrations of social, political and economic transformations across history in the cities of the developing world, especially Java and Bali.

    Blog Posts


      2014 Principle with Cinco Ciudades competition entry for the Centro Civico in Medelín, Colombia.

      2013, 2009 International Symposia: “Designing For Life” organized with Manuel Delgado (Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston).

      2005 Post-tsunami reconstruction with Forum Bangun Aceh, Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia.

      1995 Local Coordinator for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture Ceremony, Surakarta, Java, Indonesia.


      Society of Architectural Historians, Urban History Association, Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative, Global Urban History Project

      Robert Cowherd

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