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Matthew Allen


Matthew Allen is an architect and writer whose work focuses on architecture and computation. He has a Ph.D. from Harvard University in the history and theory of architecture. He also has a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard and degrees in Physics and the Comparative History of Ideas from the University of Washington. His writing has been published in Log, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Perspectives on Science, Domus, Disegno, Harvard Design Magazine, and other venues. He previously worked as an architect at Preston Scott Cohen, MOS, SSD Architects, and urbanDATA.



"The Wiring of the World," e-flux Architecture (co-authored with Antonio Furgiuele; forthcoming)
“The Touch of the Unknown,” Very Vary Veri 4 (forthcoming)

“Architecture becomes Programming,” Theory’s History, 196X-199X: Challenges in the historiography of architectural knowledge (forthcoming)

"Almost Nothing: Architecture’s Subcultural Aesthetics,” See/Saw 1, 2018

“The Inner Life of Things: Object-Oriented Architecture, Programming, and Ontology,” Scapegoat 11 , 2018

“Stranger Thoughts: Log's 'Disorienting Phenomenology,'" Avery Review (co-authored with Kian Hosseinnia), 2018

“Computational Labor, Computational Aesthetics,” Project 7, 2018

“Drawing a Blank,” Archinect, September 2018

“The Computational Imagination,” Leonardo 51:4, 2018

“Subtractive Urbanism: The Morphology/Ideology Homology,” Architecture is All Over, Columbia Books on Architecture, 2017

“Post-Digital Microcosms,” Archinect, August 2017

"Archaeology of the Digital: Complexity and Contradiction" (on Greg Lynn's exhibition at the CCA), Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, June 2017

"Pedagogy Today," Archinect, July 2017

The Screenshot Aesthetic,” MOS: Selected Works (Princeton Architectural Press, 2016)

"Arata Isozaki and the Invisible Technicians," CCA, October 2016

"Representing Computer-Aided Design: Screenshots and the Interactive Computer circa 1960" Perspectives on Science 24:6 (November-December 2016)

"Reflections on Transparency" (on SANAA's Grace Farms), Disegno 10 (May 2016)

"Gehry Toronto Remix," Place-holder 3 (2016)

"The American Graph Fleeting Hologram," Still Life: Platform 9 (Actar, 2016)

"The Big Move" (on public transportation in Toronto), Disegno 9 (Fall 2015)

"Compelled by the Diagram: Thinking through C. H. Waddington’s Epigenetic Landscape," Contemporaneity, August 2015

"Artificial Natures" (interview with George Church), Harvard Design Magazine, Summer 2015

"Flying Buttresses," Harvard Design Magazine, Summer 2015
“What We Know Now: Historiography and Architecture Criticism after the Decade of the Brain,” Modernity Across Time and Space, Cambridge Scholars Press, forthcoming 2015

"Architecture’s Struggle with Authorship," Reviews in Cultural Theory, April 2014

Archaeology of the Digital,” Domus, May 2013

Reading of Proposal for a Museum,” PROJECT, April 2013

Parrish Art Museum,” Domus, January 2013

An Empathetic Twist,Domus, November 2012

“In the Beginning,” O.D., no. 1, Fall 2012

“Distsiplineeri End!” MAJA: Estonian Architectural Review, April 2011

Control Yourself! Lifestyle Curation in the Work of Sejima and Nishizawa,” Architecture at the Edge of Everything Else, WORK Books / MIT Press 2011

“Speaking of the Contemporary…” Hey You!, No. 2, March 2007

“Speculative Sensationalists,” Log, no. 10, Fall 2007

“Ad Hoc Urbanism,” Column 5, vol. 19, 2005

Other Current Work

Research: "Design without Genius: Computers, Engineers & SOM's Hajj Terminal," 2018 Society of Architectural Historians Annual Conference, Saint Paul, MN

Research: "Data Hoarding and Reenacting Design Methods," Architecture, Design & Engineering (ADE) Summit, Library of Congress, November 2017, Washington DC

Research: “Architecture and the Algorithm, or: What happens when abstract art meets concrete poetry?,” 2017 Society for Social Studies of Science Annual Conference, Boston, MA

Exhibited Work: "architecture, architectural, & Architecture," A+D Museum, June 2017, Los Angeles, CA

Research: "Architecture becomes Programming: invisible technicians and local theories in the late 1960s," Theory's History 196X-199X conference, KU Leuven, February 2017

Exhibited Work: "Anachronometrics," Loeb Gallery, Harvard University, October 2016

Exhibition: "Tell me about a Rhino command. Software and Architecture History," Harvard University, April 2016

Research: "Postmodernist Parametrics: How architecture became non-representational," Image Here conference, Harvard University, April 2016

Research: "Circulation between Architecture and Computer Programming circa 1970, or: Allen Bernholtz Moves to Canada," 2015 Canadian Science and Technology Historical Association Annual Conference, Toronto, ON

Exhibition: “When the GSD Designed Software: experiments in computer vision, 1965-1991,” Spring 2014, Harvard University
Research: "The Screenshot as Medium and Model: Sketchpad and the Myth of Computation," 2014 College Art Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL
Exhibition: “Animating the Archive: representing the changing technical regimes in a decade of GSD student work,” Spring 2014, Harvard University

Symposium: "Architecture, Starting with the Brain," Spring 2014, University of Toronto

Session: "Deep History: physiology, cognitive science, and architecture," 2014 Society of Architectural Historians Annual Conference, Austin, TX