Grey Room

Lucia Allais

Editor, Contributor
Associate Professor, Columbia University

Lucia Allais is a historian and critic who writes about the relationship between architecture, technology, and politics in the modern period, with a special focus on global practices and international institutions.

Her first book, Designs of Destruction: The Making of Monuments in the 20th Century (Chicago, 2018) recounts the invention of the cultural monument as a global building type in the mid-20th Century. Other recent articles include: “The Architecture of Mediocracy,” about the design of the UNESCO headquarters, in Marcel Breuer: Building Global Institutions; “Integrities,” about the Salvage of the Abu Simbel temples; and “Amplified Humanity”, on the destruction and rebuilding of Timbuktu’s mausolea in 2012. Forthcoming texts include: a short history of architectural rendering, in the 2019 edited volume Architecture and Technics; a book project on the ritualization of urban cores in the postwar; and a critical essay on the return of circular form in contemporary architectural design. She is co-leader, with Forrest Meggers, of the project “Concrete is 100 years old” which investigates the history of carbonation equation in reinforced concrete, and its consequences for research in history, architecture, and the environment.

Allais has curated a number of exhibitions, including “Legible Pompeii” at the 2014 Venice Biennale and “Mixed Being” at the 2016 Istanbul Triennal. Her work has been supported by fellowships, including from the CASVA, the Graham Foundation, the Harvard Center for European Studies, the Radcliffe Institute, and the Princeton Society of Fellows.

Allais is associate professor with tenure at Princeton University. She received her B.S.E from Princeton, her M.Arch from Harvard and her Ph.D from MIT. From 2008 to 2011 she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Princeton Society of Fellows. She is a member of the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative.