Mason White

Director, Master of Urban Design
Director, Post-Professional Program

Professor Mason White’s work and research privileges architecture as a mutable territory that is formed out of and responsive to its environment and history. White founded the design practice Lateral Office in partnership with Lola Sheppard in 2003. He is also a founding editor of the journal Bracket, established in 2008. His work, research and teaching invites readings of architecture as a by-product of complex networks within ecology and culture. His recent research pursues questions of the role of infrastructure and networks within contemporary spatial practice.

In the graduate program, White teaches core and advanced design studios on architecture’s complex relationship to environment, and analysis-based electives on the culture of technology in architecture. In the undergraduate program, he teaches a lecture course on forms of urbanism.

Lateral Office has received numerous awards and recognitions, including:

  • Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, Silver Award - 2021

  • RAIC National Urban Design Award - 2016
  • Venice Biennale in Architecture, Special Mention - 2014
  • Progressive Architecture Award - 2013
  • Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, Gold Award - 2011
  • Architectural League of New York, Emerging Voices - 2011
  • Canada Council for the Art, Professional Prix de Rome - 2010

Lateral Office was a 2020-21 University Design Research Fellow at Exhibit Columbus, and has been invited to the 2022 Tallinn Architecture Biennale, the 2020-21 Venice Biennale in Architecture, 2019 Oslo Architecture Triennale, 2017 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial, and the 2014 Venice Biennale in Architecture, where they were awarded Special Mention from the international jury for the project “Arctic Adaptations.”

Professor White has received multiple Faculty Design awards (2022, 2012, 2011) from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. White’s recent research and design work has focused on public infrastructures in northern and remote contexts. White has developed a growing record of interdisciplinary work pursued collaboratively. He has been a primary investigator and collaborator on several major tri-council grants, including:

  • SSHRC, “Niwiigwaaminaanin: Co-Design for On-Reserve Housing,” (2021-24)

  • SSHRC, “Housing Nunavut for All Ages,” (2020-24)
  • SSHRC, "Envisioning an Arctic Indigenous Wellness Centre," (2018-19)
  • SSHRC, “Renewing Newfoundland’s Outports: Architecture as Catalyst,” (2017-21)
  • SSHRC, “Nunavut’s Urban Futures,” (2014-18)
  • CIHR, “Transforming Primary Health Care in Remote Northern Communities,” (2012-17)

White’s significant publications include:

  • Bracket 4 [Takes Action], Neeraj Bhatia and Mason White, editors, (Applied Research and Design, 2020)
  • “Arctic Architecture: Standards, Experiments, and Consensus,” in Canadian Modern Architecture 1967 to the Present, ed. by Elsa Lam and Graham Livesey, (Princeton Architectural Press, 2019)
  • Third Coast Atlas: Prelude to a Plan, Daniel Ibanez, Clare Lyster, Charles Waldheim, Mason White, editors, (Actar, 2017)
  • Many Norths: Spatial Practice in a Polar Territory, Lola Sheppard and Mason White (Actar, 2017)
  • Bracket 1 [On Farming], Maya Przybylski and Mason White, editors, (Actar, 2010)
  • Pamphlet Architecture #30, “Coupling: Strategies for Infrastructural Opportunism,” Lateral Office / InfraNet Lab, (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010)

Professor White was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 2021. White was the 2012-13 Howard Friedman Professor at UC Berkeley; the 2008-09 Arthur W. Wheelwright Fellow from Harvard Graduate School of Design; and the 2003-04 Lefevre Emerging Practitioner Fellow at Ohio State University. His work has been published in the Globe and Mail, Canadian Architect, Landscape Architecture Magazine, Architectural Record, C3, Architect, Praxis, and Architectural Record. His writing has been published in Perspecta, New Geographies, Praxis, Kerb, OZ Journal, MONU, A+U, and 306090. He has lectured and exhibited work internationally in the U.S., Germany, Chile, Bulgaria, Russia, Korea, Iceland, the Netherlands, and England, among others. White previously taught at Harvard University (2015, 2011), Cornell (2004-05), and Ohio State University (2003-04). He has been an invited external critic at schools widely and internationally.