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Locatect vs. Starchitect

January 22, 2015

A globally recognized and widely published writer on architecture, landscape and design, Witold Rybczynski will visit Drexel as part of the Architecture & Interiors Department’s Arfaa Lecture Series on Tuesday, February 3 at 6:30pm in the Mandell Theater (33rd & Chestnut Sts).  Rybczynski’s 1986 book on the evolution of domestic culture and design, Home: A Short History of an Idea, is standard reading in architecture and interiors programs across the United States and abroad.

Rybczynski is the author of eighteen books, including A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the Nineteenth CenturyHow Architecture Works: A Humanist’s Toolkit; and Makeshift Metropolis: Ideas About Cities. He has written an immense body of essays on a wide range of topics for publications such as The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books and the New York Times. Now a Professor Emeritus of Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania, he previously served on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and as architecture critic for SlateWigwag and Saturday Night. In 2007 Rybczynski was awarded the Vincent Scully Prize by the National Building Museum, and in 2014 he received the prestigious "Design Mind” Award at the National Design Awards. 

His lecture, Starchitect, Locatect,” will address the importance of nurturing the talent of a city’s local architects (“locatects”) instead of feeding the rise of the globe-trotting celebrity architect. For more information about the free and public event, please contact Professor Mark Brack at