Benjamin Flowers

Benjamin Flowers

Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies

benjamin [dot] flowers [at] coa [dot] gatech [dot] edu
Phone: (404) 385-7294Office location: 247 4th Street Room 355

Biosketch

Benjamin Flowers joined the faculty of architecture in 2005. His work examines architecture as a form of social activity situated within the intersecting spheres of politics, culture, and economy. Looking in particular at skyscrapers and stadiums, he focuses on the ways these structures are constructed, the ends to which they are used, and the nature of public reaction to them. His research has attracted recognition and funding from Columbia University’s Buell Center for Architecture, Cornell University’s John Nolen Fellowship, the Society of Architectural Historians, and the Hagley Museum and Library. His most recent book is Architecture in an Age of Uncertainty (Ashgate Press, 2014). His first book, Skyscraper: The Politics and Power of Building New York City in the Twentieth Century (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), was named a 2010 Outstanding Academic Title in Architecture by Choice Magazine. Other recent publications include "Stadium Architecture, Visual Iconography, and the Shaping of Urban and Sporting Identities," in The Visual in Sport (Routledge, 2011). He is currently completing a book on stadia around the world, Sport and Architecture (Routledge, expected 2014). He is the faculty collaborator with gray_matter(s).


Flowers was the College of Architecture's 2012 Georgia Power Professor of Excellence. In 2008 Flowers was awarded the Outstanding Teacher Award from the College of Architecture. Flowers received his Ph.D.  from the University of Minnesota and his BA from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. He grew up in Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Bulgaria, Romania, and Washington, DC.


Educational Background
1996—B.A., Wesleyan University
2003—Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Fields
Architectural history and theory
Urban history
Cultural history

Research Ambitions
My research focuses on the different ways architecture, politics, culture, and power intersect to form the built landscape.

Within this broad field of inquiry, I am currently engaged in three major projects. In Skyscraper: The Politics and Power of Building New York City in the Twentieth Century (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), I explore the role of culture and ideology in shaping the construction of skyscrapers and the way wealth and power have operated to reshape the urban landscape.

My second research project explores the architecture of urban football stadiums. As with my research on skyscrapers, I am interested not only in the technology that allows for the construction of these monumental structures, but the larger social and political agendas yoked to their creation.

My third research explores the intersection of race and space in the discipline and practice of architecture seeking to uncover how divisions of race were materialized in the built environment of the twentieth century, and how the practices of architecture and urban planning variously confronted, assuaged, and elided these divisions. 

Books

  • Flowers, Benjamin, ed. Architecture in an Age of Uncertainty (Ashgate, 2014).
  • Flowers, Benjamin. Skyscraper: The Politics and Power of Building New York City in the Twentieth Century (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).

*Winner, 2010 Outstanding Academic Title in Architecture, Choice Magazine.

*Nominated for the Spiro Kostof Award (Society of Architectural Historians)

*Nominated for the Kenneth T. Jackson Award for Best Book in North American Urban History (Urban History Association)
*Nominated for the New York City Book Award (New York Society Library)

Book Chapters

Flowers, Benjamin. “Stadium Architecture, Visual Iconography and the Shaping of Urban and Sporting Identities,” in The Visual in Sport, Huggins, Mike and Mike O’Mahoney, eds. (Oxford: Routledge, 2011).


Articles/Essays

Flowers, Benjamin. “Stadia: Architecture and the Visual Iconography of Football,” in The Visual Turn in Sport—A Special Issue of the International Journal of the History of Sport(2011).

Flowers, Benjamin. “Ada Louise Huxtable,” in The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, Joan Marter, ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

Flowers, Benjamin. “Thom Mayne,” in The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, Joan Marter, ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

Flowers, Benjamin. “Marxism,” in The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, Joan Marter, ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

Flowers, Benjamin. “New Brutalism,” in The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, Joan Marter, ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

Flowers, Benjamin. “Illuminating the Invisible: Race + Space in Architectural Pedagogy,” in The Journal of History and Culture (Summer 2009).

Flowers, Benjamin. “History as Index and Discipline in Design Pedagogy,” in The Value of Design: Proceedings of the 97th ACSA Annual Meeting. Washington, DC: Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, 2009.

Flowers, Benjamin. “Architecture, Ideology, and the Ends Beginnings Serve,” in We Have Never Been Pre-Disciplinary: Proceedings of the 24th National Conference on the Beginning Design Student. Atlanta, GA:NCBDS, 2008.

Flowers, Benjamin. “The Seagram Building and the Bomb: Architecture, Atomic Anxiety, and the Cold War in the United States,” in Fresh Air: Proceedings of the 95th ACSA Annual Meeting. Washington, DC: Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, 2007.

Flowers, Benjamin. “Race, Space, and Architecture in Oakland Cemetery,” in Scapes 6 (Fall 2007).

Flowers, Benjamin. “The Architects’ Collaborative (TAC)” in The Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Architecture. R. Stephen Sennott, ed. (New York: Routledge, 2004).

Flowers, Benjamin. “Corporate Office Park Architecture,” in The Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Architecture. R. Stephen Sennott, ed. (New York: Routledge, 2004).

Flowers, Benjamin. “Urban Renewal,” in The Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Architecture. R. Stephen Sennott, ed. (New York: Routledge, 2004).

Flowers, Benjamin. “Historic Preservation” in The Encyclopedia of American Studies. Kurian, Orvell, Butler, and Mechling, eds. (Danbury, CT: Grolier, 2001).

Flowers, Benjamin. “Urban Architecture,” in The Encyclopedia of American Studies. Kurian, Orvell, Butler, and Mechling, eds. (Danbury, CT: Grolier, 2001).

Flowers, Benjamin. “Frank Lloyd Wright,” in The Encyclopedia of American Studies. Kurian, Orvell, Butler, and Mechling, eds. (Danbury, CT: Grolier, 2001).

Recent Courses

  • ARCH 2112/6106: History of Architecture II
  • ARCH 4137/6137: Postwar Architecture and Urbanism in the United States
  • ARCH 6160: Race, Space, + Architecture
  • ARCH 4801/8801 BF: gray_matter(s)
  • ARCH 6132: Theory & Criticism II