NANA LAST

Associate Professor, Architecture + Director of the PhD Program, Constructed Environment

Education: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD; Harvard University, Master of Architecture; Carnegie-Mellon University, B.A.


My scholarly work constructs theory-based intersections between architecture, art, science and culture in modern and contemporary society. At the center of this undertaking is the conviction that theory, by nature is interdisciplinary, and therefore is a preeminent tool in relating thinking from one realm into another. This has generated three main strains of my research: 1. intersections of architecture and philosophy, 2. research in conceptual art and architecture, and 3. intersections between narrative, technology and science. Current topics include architectural fluidity, cultural relations between architecture and Big Data and work on visualizing intellectual constructs in science and cultural theory.

I teach courses in architecture theory, design studio and doctoral level research. These courses build on my core research as a contemporary, interdisciplinary theorist. My interdisciplinary approach to architecture theory, aims to understand and elucidate architecture’s place in culture as it has developed over the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. The architecture design studios I teach share this interdisciplinary, theory component, and most recently have provided a forum to examine how revolutions in the physical sciences might be addressed within design projects. The PhD research colloquium takes a supra-disciplinary focus on core thesis argument and discourse development and refinement.


Books

Wittgenstein's House: Language, Space and Architecture, (New York: Fordham University Press, 2008)  - Paperback edition:  March 2012.

Journal articles and Book Chapters

“New Wave: Fluid Architecture“, Artforum, March 2015, Vol. 53, No. 7, pp. 256-264.

“Flow’s Socio-spatial Formation“, in “Thresholds 40”, (Cambridge, MA), April 2012, pp. 39-46.

“Fluidity: Space, Agency and Order“ in Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and Extraurban Studies, Vol. 1, spring 2011.                               

“Repositioning Center: Architecture, Gender and Fluidity”, in Thresholds 37, (Cambridge, MA), 2010, pp. 50-55.

“Thomas Struth: Vom Bild zum Archiv zur Matrix", in James Lingwood and Hans Rudolf Reust, eds. Text zum Werk von Thomas Struth, (Munich: Schirmer/Mosel, 2009), pp. 208-221.

"Katharina Grosse: Atoms Inside Balloons", in Katharina Grosse (Chicago, IL: The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, 2009) pp. 228-239.

"From Exclusion to Incorporation: Formalism's New Limits", in Thresholds 33, (Cambridge, MA), 2008, pp.43-48.

"Thomas Struth: From Image to Archive to Matrix", Praxis 7: Untitled Number Seven, (Cambridge, MA) pp. 78-87.

"Function and Field: Demarcating Conceptual Practices", in Theory in Contemporary Art Since 1985, eds. Zoya Kocur and Simon Leung (Cambridge: Blackwell, 2004) pp. 318 - 330.

"Conceptualism's (Con) quests: On Reconceiving Art and Architecture", Harvard Design Magazine, Number 19, Fall 2003/Winter 2004, pp. 14-21

"Of", Assemblage 39, (Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press), August, pp. 106-117.

"Transgressions and Inhabitations: Wittgensteinian Spatial Practices Between Architecture and Philosophy", Assemblage 35, (Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press), April, 1998, pp. 36-47.

Graham Foundation Research and Development Grant, 2009-2010

Getty Library Research Grant, "Logics of Incorporation", Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, 2004

Arthur W. Wheelwright Fellowship, " Cartesian Grounds: The Extended Planes of Modernism", Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Cambridge, MA, 1998

First Award, design competition for the African American Burial Grounds Memorial, New York, Municipal Arts Society, New York, NY, 1994