New to LSU: Q&A with Meredith Gaglio

Meredith GaglioMeredith Gaglio is an assistant professor in the LSU School of Architecture. She is a historian of modern and contemporary architectural technology, urbanism, and the environment, with previous experience in professional practice. Her dissertation addressed the development and implementation of sustainable community planning and architectural strategies in the United States from the late-1960s through the early-1980s.

Q: What drew you to architecture & design? 

A: As a high school student, I enjoyed every subject—history, art, math, science—and it was difficult for me to determine what I should do next. During an art history course my junior year, I realized that architecture might offer an opportunity to explore all of these subjects. Luckily, I was correct: over the course of my studies at Tulane University, I was able to take classes in almost every discipline, each of which informed my architecture studio work. At Tulane, I also became particularly interested in the relationship between architecture, ecology, and community. As I continued my education at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, these interests deepened, and I still contend with these topics today in my own research. 

Q: What are your research interests? 

A: My current research considers the intersection of grassroots, sustainable architecture and community design with government energy policy during the 1960s through 1980s. My work demonstrates how understanding early sustainable design contributes to a fuller history of American architecture and planning during this time period and supplies a philosophical and historical framework through which to examine current developments in sustainable design. From a broader perspective, I am interested in topics concerning community activism, environmental justice, ecology, climate change, and sustainable design.  

Q: What was your first impression of LSU? 

A: My first impression was of the beauty of LSU’s live oak trees. 

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?  

A: I’m so excited to be here with you all and look forward to learning more about Baton Rouge! 

About Assistant Professor Gaglio
She received a Ph.D. in Architecture from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (2019), a Master in Design Studies from Harvard University Graduate School of Design (2010), and Master and Bachelor of Architecture from Tulane University School of Architecture (2005). She has received fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Buell Center for American Architecture to pursue her research.

She co-edited with Caroline Maniaque-Benton the Whole Earth Field Guide (MIT Press, 2016), a volume of countercultural texts, and has contributed pieces on the RAIN group and New Alchemy Institute to the ArchiteXX “Now What?! Advocacy, Activism, and Alliances in American Architecture since 1968” traveling exhibition. Presently, she is preparing an essay on California’s Office of Appropriate Technology for inclusion in Design Radicals: Building Bay Area Counterculture, edited by Greg Castillo and Lee Stickells.