An Tairan


PhD Candidate, History and Theory of Architecture, Princeton SoA

MDes, History and Philosophy of Design (with Distinction), Harvard GSD

B.Eng., Urban Planning, Peking University 



An Tairan is a writer and an editor currently pursuing a PhD in History and Theory of Architecture at Princeton University. His dissertation targets a group of research institutions and field stations established for the scientific observation of nature in mid-to-late nineteenth-century Italy. This work shows how a diverse array of architectural and infrastructural artifacts of research incidentally mediated and hence redefined the natural world.


Tairan holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning from Peking University and an MDes in History and Philosophy of Design from Harvard GSD (with distinction). Stretching across a wide spectrum of historical periods, his articles have appeared in publications including Lapis, Log, e-flux Architecture, Pidgin, Time+Architecture 时代建筑, Wallpaper*, Phile Magazine, etc. As an English-Chinese translator, he has co-authored many translations of significant books and articles including those by Keller Easterling, Peter Eisenman, and Antoine Picon.


A proponent of a kind of essayism that abrogates indubitable certainty as an ideal, Tairan co-founded Tangent Essays (, an online and paper-based publishing platform that periodically features writings about architecture.


His research has been supported by awards and grants from the Graham Foundation, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the Lemmermann Foundation for Research in Rome, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, the High Meadows Environmental Institute of Princeton University, as well as by a Harvard University Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship. He has taught at the City College of New York.