Darell Wayne Fields, Ph.D.
Visiting Research Scholar
Ph.D. Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
M.Arch Harvard GSD
Bachelor of Science, Architecture, University of Texas, Arlington
Principal, The Maxine Studio
Darell Fields is an accomplished teacher, designer, and scholar. He has taught design, urbanism, and theory at several universities, including Harvard Graduate School of Design, California College of the Arts (San Francisco), and the University of California Berkeley. Fields was a Visiting Presidential Scholar at Princeton for 2021-2022.
Fields’s book Architecture in Black is the first systematic analysis of theoretical relationships between architecture and Blackness. He has edited architectural monographs (on Carlos Jimenez and Tadao Ando), served as editor of Harvard GSD’s Studio Works catalogue, and is a founding editor of Appendx: Culture, Theory, Praxis. His theoretical and provocative works have been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh, CentralTrak (Dallas), the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), and Princeton University School of Architecture.
As an inventor Fields launched an innovative research and development company (Superbia) using cutting edge digital production and rapid prototyping techniques to design, manufacture, and test sustainable building technologies. Products originating from the process were patented (e.g. Frameless Window Module, US App. 10/255,058), licensed, and marketed by the business entity, Superbia LLC. Superbia engaged the public via a custom products gallery and one-on-one design consultation. Fields’s design practice, The Maxine Studio, is based on a similar design/business model. Maxine offers vertically integrated design services, including traditional design, visualization/production (BIM), information technology, academic consulting, urban design, and branding.
Fields’s professional work includes the conceptualization and design of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research (aka the Hutchins Center) at Harvard University. The center contains the Image of the Black in Western Art Archive, Visiting Fellows Program, host incubator research projects, and a substantial collection of African and African American Art. Included is the Neil L. and Angelica Zander Rudenstine Gallery—the only exhibition space at Harvard devoted to works by and about people of African descent. Most recently, the AIA award-winning Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center at the University of Oregon expresses Fields’s Black aesthetic principles in built form.
Fields gave the SoA’s 2020 Kassler Lecture. His accompanying retrospective exhibition and publication, On Solitude, demonstrate Blackness as a creative negative construct in architecture. These investigations continue in the upcoming Model Behavior exhibition at The Cooper Union and the forthcoming issue of Log 57—“Black is … an’ Black ain’t.”