Jonah Rowen

Columbia University (U.S.A.)

Preservation in practice: U.S. Southern architecture for fire prevention

2020-2021: Fall

Weinberg Fellow in Architectural History and Preservation

Jonah Rowen is an architectural historian and educator whose work focuses on the intersections between architectural technics and construction, economics, environments, materials and commodities, and labor. He received his Ph.D. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Planning and Preservation, with a Certificate from the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. There, he wrote a dissertation on buildings' design and production, figured as technologies of risk management and security, in the setting of nineteenth-century Anglo-Caribbean colonialism and exchanges. His research for that project was based on documents from archives in the Caribbean and the U.K., including business records, architects' drawings and other forms of accounting, and their written correspondence with other building professionals, from engineers, fabricators, and builders to insurance agents. Close analysis of drawings constitutes an especially significant mode of evidentiary study in his scholarly work. He holds a Master of Architecture from Yale University, and has taught at Rice University, the Parsons School of Design, the Cooper Union School of Architecture, Columbia University and Barnard College, and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Among his publications are essays in Grey Room, Log, and Pidgin, and he was a founding editor of Project: A Journal for Architecture.