BArch University of Tennessee
MA Union Theological Seminary
PhD University of Pennsylvania
Joseph Watson is an instructor of architecture at Louisiana State University. He received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Tennessee, a Master of Arts in Theology with a concentration in Social Ethics from Union Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in the History and Theory of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. Joseph’s teaching and research examine architecture as a register of social and cultural change. He encourages students to think of their work as informed by history, mindful of but not bound by the realities of the present, and oriented critically toward the future. He has previously taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania. He has also worked as an architect in Knoxville, TN, and New York.
Joseph’s research studies architecture’s relationship to changing conditions in urban and suburban America during the 20th century. In addition to a book-length project based on his dissertation currently under development, Joseph has explored these themes in two recent articles. One, in the Journal of Urban History, re-evaluates Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City, arguing that the project was more rooted in existing suburban realities and in Wright’s under-examined ideas about race and gender than scholars and architects have appreciated. The other, forthcoming in the Fall 2019 issue of the Journal of Architectural Education, retells the history of Rockefeller Center’s design, development, and construction through the lens of labor politics. His work has also appeared in the Avery Review, Planning Perspectives, and Thresholds. Joseph’s research has been funded by grants, fellowships, and awards from the Briscoe Center for American History, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, the Penn/Mellon Foundation Humanities, Urbanism, and Design Initiative, and the Penn President’s Fund.