Assistant Professor, History and Theory of Architecture
B.S.E., Princeton University
M.Arch., Harvard University
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Lucia Allais is an architectural historian and theorist whose work addresses the relations of architecture, preservation, politics and technology in the modern period, with a special focus on international institutions and global practices in the 20th century.
Her current book project is a history of monument survival and international bureaucracy in the 20th Century, tentatively titled Designs of Destruction. This work traces how monuments were protected from destruction—from the League of Nations in the 1930s, through the Allied Air Forces in World War II, and the 1972 World Heritage Convention—probing how building materiality and international ideologies combined to make monuments into privileged objects of cooperation on the world stage.
She has published a number of articles on related themes, including: “The Design of the Desert" (Governing by Design, Pittsburg 2012) on patterns of monument movement in the Nubian desert, “Integrities” (Grey Room 50) on the salvage of Abu Simbel, “Formless Keepers,” (Formless Finder, Lars Mueller 2013) on decay as a methodology, “International Style Heritage” (Volume 27) on post-conflict cultural reconstruction, and a translation and commentary Superstudio’s “Salvages of Italian City Centers” (Log 22)
Allais also maintains an interest in the history of the architectural discipline, having written on the birth of American architectural theory (“The Real and the Theoretical”, Perspecta 42) and the concept of the global architect (“Global Agoraphobia”, Global Design History (Routledge)). She is working on an essay on rendering and the history of architectural experience.
Allais has worked as an architect in Europe and the United States, and collaborated with multi-disciplinary design firms including OMA-AMO and 2x4. In 2014, she curated Legible Pompeii, an installation at the 14th Annual Venice Architecture Biennale. In collaboration with MOS architects, the installation described and performed the history of preservation as an experimental practice in Pompeii.
Allais has received a number of grants and fellowships for her scholarly work, including from the Graham Foundation, the Krupp Foundation, the CASVA, and the Radcliffe Institute. Before joining the Princeton faculty she was the Behrman-Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow at the Princeton Society of Fellows.
Allais received her BS from Princeton, her M.Arch from the Harvard GSD and her PhD from MIT. She is a member of the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative and an editor of Grey Room.