Diana Agrest FAIA is an internationally renowned architect well known for her unique and pioneering approach to architectural and urban design practice and theory. She is a founding partner of Agrest and Gandelsonas Architects. Her designed and built projects range from urban projects, housing complexes and master plans to single family residences and interiors in USA, Europe, South America and Asia that have received numerous awards.
Agrest is a Full time Professor at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union. She has taught at Princeton University and Columbia and Yale Universities. She was a Fellow of the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City from 1972 to 1984.
Both her theoretical writings and her work have been widely published.
Her books include: Architecture from Without: Theoretical Framings for a Critical Practice; Agrest & Gandelsonas: Works; The Sex of Architecture, ( edit. Agrest, Conway, Weismann); Places and Memories and A Romance With the City.
Both her work and writings are included in numerous books, encyclopedias. and journals national and internationally. Her work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and universities throughout this country and abroad, including MoMA; Schenzen Biennial; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Walker Art Center; The Dallas Museum of Contemporary Art; Center Pompidou, Paris; Milano Triennale; the German Architecture Museum, Frankfurt. The Fogg Museum; Leo Castelli, New York, etc.
Diana Agrest’s longstanding passion for film has always played a major role in her career. She has developed critical theory work on urban discourse based in great part on film and film theory. She was the first to bring this subject to the fore with her very early seminal essay Design Vs. Non-Design (published in Oppositions in 1976) which became very influential.
Based on her published work on the subject Agrest invited by the Whitney Museum’s Department of Film and Video, created and directed “Framing the City: Film, Video, Urban Architecture” a program for very young architects in 1993. She has since applied this approach of “reading” the city through film in her studios at The Cooper Union and other schools, including Columbia, and has produced over 75 short films.
She has written, produced and directed her own feature documentary film “The Making of an Avant-Garde: The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies 1967-1984 ” for which she was entirely financed by numerous grants and which was premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in NY in 2013.and has been screened in different venues throughout the US and abroad.