Ellen Dunham-Jones

Ellen Dunham-Jones

Professor, School of Architecture

Coordinator of Master of Urban Design Program

ellen [dot] dunham-jones [at] coa [dot] gatech [dot] edu
Phone: (404) 894-0648Fax: (404) 894-0572Office location: 247 4th Street Mez 3

View Dunham-Jones's C.V.

Ellen Dunham-Jones is an award-winning licensed architect and professor teaching contemporary architectural and urban design studios and theory. As co-author with June Williamson of Retrofitting Suburbia; Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs (Wiley & Sons, 2009) her work has received significant media attention in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Harvard Design Magazine, Urban Land, Planning, Architectural Record, TEDx and other venues. The book received the 2009 PROSE award for architecture and urban planning from the American Association of Publishers and was featured in Time Magazine’s March 23, 2009 cover story, “10 ideas changing the world right now.”

She has published over 50 articles and 10 chapters in books, consults on urban design projects, and lectures widely. She serves as co-peer review editor for Places Journal and is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Congress for the New Urbanism.

She received undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture from Princeton University and taught at UVA and MIT before joining Georgia Tech’s faculty to serve as Director of the Architecture Program from 2001-2009. In 2006-7 she was the Ax:son Johnson Visiting Professor in Sustainable Urbanism at LTH in Lund, Sweden and the 2010 Visiting Fellow in Sustainable Urban Development at SFU in Vancouver.

Educational Background
1980 – A.B. in architecture and planning, summa cum laude, Princeton University
1983 – M.Arch, Princeton University


  • Sustainable Urban Design
  • Suburban Redevelopment – (Re-inhabitation, Re-Greening, and Redevelopment of dead malls, big box stores, office parks, etc.)
  • New Urbanism & Smart Growth
  • Health and Urban Design
  • Post-Industrial Development Patterns and Globalization
  • Contemporary Architectural Theory

While I continue to maintain interest in contemporary architectural theory and in the impact of the post-industrial economy on global development patterns, I am primarily focused on expanding my research on suburban retrofits in the following areas: metrics comparing before and after social, economic, and environmental performance to assess sustainability; additional examples of re-inhabitation, re-greening, and redevelopment; retrofitting suburbia for an aging population; case studies of morphological changes; tools for the assessment and modeling of retrofittability; regional design/planning targeting appropriate locations for different retrofit strategies; strategies/case studies for improving architectural design excellence in urban/suburban design

Recent Publications

  • Dunham-Jones, E. & Williamson, J.  Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons. 256 pages. First printing December 2008, second printing in May, 2009, third printing in January 2010, updated paperback edition printed in March,2011.

Parts of Books:

  • Dunham-Jones, E., “Foreword: Atlanta, Public Health, and New Urbanism?” in Lerner J. (Ed.), Building Metropolitan Atlanta: Past, Present & Future, (pp.1-2), www.lulu.com, 2010.
  • Dunham-Jones, E., “Free Trade Zones, Downtown Financial Cores, and Sprawl: the Landscapes of  Globalization “ in Owen G., (Ed.), Architecture, Ethics, & Globalization, (pp. 17-32), London: Taylor & Francis, 2009
  • Dunham-Jones, E., “New Urbanism: A Forum not a Formula” in Hass T., (Ed.), New Urbanism and Beyond: Designing Cities for the Future, (pp.70-73) New York, Rizzoli. 2008
  • Re-publication of “New Urbanism’s Subversive Marketing” (2005) in Blauvelt A, (Ed.), Worlds Away, New Suburban Landscapes, New York, D.A.P. 2008. Catalog to exhibition of the same name at the Walker Art Center, Heinz Architectural Center and Yale School of Architecture.
  • Re-publication of “New Urbanism, A Counter-Project to Post-Industrialism” (2000) in Kelbaugh D. & McCullogh K. (Eds.), Writing Urbanism, An ACSA Reader, (pp.185-193) London, Routledge, 2008
  • Dunham-Jones, E., “Economic Sustainability in the Post-Industrial Landscape,” commissioned  essay in Tanzer K.,  and Longoria R. (Eds.), The Green Braid, Towards an Architecture of Ecology Economy, and Equity, An ACSA Reader. (pp.44-59) London, Routledge, 2007
  • Dunham-Jones E., “Seventy-Five Percent” and “Smart Growth in Atlanta” republished in Saunders,  W. S., (Ed.), Sprawl and Suburbia, A Harvard Design Magazine Reader, (pp.1-20 and 57-70) Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005
  • Dunham-Jones, E. “New Urbanism’s Subversive Marketing,” in M. Shamiyeh (Ed.), What People Want, Populism in Architecture and Design (pp.255-269). Basel, Birkhauser, 2005

Recent Exhibitions

Team leader for “LWARPS-we can reduce sprawl”, winner of the Infiniti Award for Extraordinary Design and 2nd Place in the 2008 History Channel’s City of the Future design competition for visions of Atlanta in 2108. This proposal has since been exhibited numerous times:

  • 2010 – included in the traveling exhibition “Adapting Suburbs in the 21st Century” and displayed at the Rochester Regional Community Design Center in Rochester NY, the Museum of Design Atlanta, and will travel to Seattle, WA. Ellen Dunham-Jones served as an advisor to the exhibition based largely on Retrofitting Suburbia and organized by the Rochester Regional Community design Center. 
  • 2008 – included in “Modern Atlanta,” Mason Murer Gallery, Atlanta, GA
  • 2008 – included in “City of the Future Exhibition,” Ernest G. Welch Gallery, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.

Recent Courses

  • Arch 4803/CoA 6120: Retrofitting Suburbia (interdisciplinary seminar)
  • Arch 7060/7090: Critical Positions and Masters Project Studio (required thesis prep and studio)
  • Arch 4822/6132: Architectural Theory and Criticism II (required lecture course)

Current PhD Committee member:

  • Jaechoel Kim
  • Dawn Haynie