Joseph Godlewski
Associate Professor

B.Arch with Honors, Syracuse University; M.S. Architecture, University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Associate Professor

Joseph Godlewski is an architectural theorist, historian, and educator. At Syracuse he is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Senior Research Associate at the Maxwell African Scholars Union. His monograph The Architecture of the Bight of Biafra: Spatial Entanglements (Routledge, 2024) examines the intersection of race and the built environment in southeastern Nigeria from the early modern period to today. His textbook, Introduction to Architecture: Global Disciplinary Knowledge (Cognella, 2019) seeks to expand the repertoire of conventional architectural theory anthologies by including texts written by a range of authors globally emphasizing the process of co-creation and circulation of ideas across cultures. He is a recipient of both the Meredith Teaching Recognition Award and the ACSA/AIAS New Faculty Teaching Award.

Joseph received his undergraduate professional degree in Architecture (B. Arch with Honors) from Syracuse University and his Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley where he was part of the Global Metropolitan Studies Program examining emerging patterns in urban development.

His writing is featured in various forums including The Plan Journal, Architecture Research Quarterly, CLOG, MONU, e-flux,, Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, and the books Theory’s Curriculum (Architecture Exchange, 2020) and The Dissertation: An Architecture Student’s Handbook (Routledge, 2014). He is a contributing member of the Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative (GAHTC).

Before arriving in Syracuse, Godlewski worked professionally as a designer in a number of contexts. He worked with Marc Kocher Architekt in Zurich on one of the development projects transforming Berlin’s urban landscape. In Boston, he participated in the city’s “Big Dig” development and was part of an international team of designers working on MIT’s Brain and Cognitive Sciences Building. At Eisenman Architects in New York City, he worked on the Santiago de Compostela City of Culture project in Galicia, Spain. He’s also collaborated on numerous multi-use residential and resort projects with KMA Architecture and Engineering in San Diego and SB Architects in San Francisco.


  • “Image, Object, Table,” Faculty Exhibit, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, May 2–15. 2017.
  •  “Open Shutters, Iraq” with filmmaker Maysoon Pachachi, International House, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, October 16–22, 2010.
  • “Peter Eisenman: Two Projects” with Eisenman Architects, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, November 1–December 14, 2002.
  • “Santiago de Compostela” with Eisenman Architects, 8th International Architecture Exhibition at the 2002 Venice Biennale of Architecture, Venice, Italy, September 8–November 3, 2002.
  • “Backfabrik” with Marc Kocher, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, October 23–31, 2000.

Grants and Awards

  • Meredith Teaching Recognition Award
  • ACSA/AIAS New Faculty Teaching Award
  • Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative (GAHTC) Teacher-to-Teacher Workshop Grant, Villa Saraceno, Vicenza, Italy (supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation). Workshop with Joseph Bedford, “Globalizing the Theory Survey.” 2018. Co-Principal Investigator with Joseph Bedford.
  • Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative (GAHTC) Targeted Acquisition Grant (supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), “Continuity and Change in the Architecture of Sub-Saharan Africa.” 2018. Principal Investigator.
  • The Andrew and Mary Rocca Scholarship for Advanced African Studies, Funding for archival research conducted at the National Museum, Calabar. Principal Investigator.
  • Award for Best Paper of 2016, “The Absurd Alibi,” The Plan Journal.
  • Award for Best Paper by a Scholar, “Compound Constructions: Real and Imagined,” International Association of the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE) Conference, University of Kuwait, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 2016.



Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Theory’s Curriculum: Global Disciplinary Knowledge.” 18 April 2019. e-flux.
  • Interview for “The Question of Theory.” 1 October 2019. Attention #5.
  • “Zones of Entanglement: Nigeria’s Real and Imagined Compounds.” Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, 28.2 (2017): 21–33.
  • “Enclaves of Independence.” MONU, 25 (Autumn 2016): 92–97.
  • “The Absurd Alibi.” The Plan Journal, 0.0 (2016): 7–14.
  • “Alien and Distant: Rem Koolhaas on Film in Lagos, Nigeria.” The Dissertation: A Guide for Architecture Students, Third Edition, Eds. Iain Borden and Katerina Rüedi Ray. New York: Taylor & Francis/ Routledge, 2014. 108–131.
  • “Seduction and a Misstep,” CLOG: Rem, 6.2 (2014): 58–59.
  • “7 Ways to Transform Studio Culture & Bring It into the 21st Century.” with Lori Brown. 13 June 2014. ArchDaily.
  • “SHA[RE]SOURCE: Connecting, Collecting, and Creating Resource-sharing Initiatives in the Built Environment,” KTISMAjournal, 3 (2013): 43–50.
  • “The Interior Experience of Daylighting Technologies: Histories and Potential Futures.” Interiors: Design, Architecture and Culture, 3.1–2 (March 2012): 55–84.
  • “On the Persistence of the Juried Architectural Review.” Crit: Journal of the AIAS, 72 (2011): 12–14.
  • “Public Housing.” Encyclopedia of Geography, Vol. 5, ed. Barney Warf. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2010. 2302–2304.
  • “Alien and Distant: Rem Koolhaas on Film in Lagos, Nigeria.” Special Article, Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, 21.2 (2010): 7–19.
  • “The Tragicomic Televisual Ghetto: Popular Representations of Race and Space at Chicago’s Cabrini-Green.” Berkeley Planning Journal, 22 (2009): 115–125.


  • “Architecture and Politics in Nigeria: The Study of a Late Twentieth-Century Enlightenment-Inspired Modernism at Abuja, 1900–2016 by Nnamdi Elleh.” Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, 29.1 (2018): 91–92.
  • “Third World Modernism: Architecture, Development and Identity by Duanfang Lu.” Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, 24.2 (2013): 79–80.
  • “The Age of Comfort: When Paris Discovered Casual– and the Modern Home Began by Joan DeJean.” Interiors: Design, Architecture and Culture, 3.1-2, (March 2012): 172–174.
  • “The Architecture of Patterns by Paul Andersen and David Salomon.” Architecture Research Quarterly, 16.1 (2012): 90–93.