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Faculty Bio

Laurence, Peter, Ph.D.

Laurence, Peter, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Graduate Director

Office: Lee 3-133
Phone: 864-656-1499

Ph.D. in Architecture, University of Pennsylvania School of Design (2009); M.S. in Architectural History and Theory, University of Pennsylvania School of Design (2004); M.Arch., Harvard Graduate School of Design (1999)

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Laurence started teaching at Clemson in 1999, and returned after completing coursework in architectural history and theory in the Ph.D. Program in Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Fine Arts. At Penn, he won the First Prize Will M. Mehlhorn Scholarship for "outstanding work in architectural history and theory" in 2002.

In 2006, Prof. Laurence's writing on Jane Jacobs and the history of urban design contributed to the establishment of the Rockefeller Foundation's Jane Jacobs Medals. In 2007, this work initiated the 2008 international conference "Re-Imagining Cities: Urban Design After the Age of Oil," hosted by Penn IUR and sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Penn-Rockefeller “Conference on Urban Design Criticism.” With the major challenges facing designers of the built environment in the decades ahead in mind, Laurence defined the “After Oil” theme, served as co-director of the conference, and contributed to The Penn Resolution: Educating Urban Designers for Post-Carbon Cities (2011).

Parts of Prof. Laurence's doctoral dissertation, "Jane Jacobs, American Architectural Criticism and Urban Design Theory, 1935-1965," have been published in Journal of Architectural Education, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and Journal of Urban Design.

Book chapters include “Modern (or Contemporary) Architecture c. 1959” in (Ashgate, 2014); “Jane Jacobs, the Townscape Movement, and Critical Urban Design” in Alternative Visions of Postwar Reconstruction: Creating the Modern Townscape (2014), and “The Unknown Jane Jacobs” in Reconsidering Jane Jacobs (Planners Press, 2011). Two books, Becoming Jane Jacobs and The Routledge Reader’s Guide to The Death and Life of Great American Cities are forthcoming from Penn Press and Taylor and Francis.

Apart from his research and writing in urban design, Dr. Laurence is interested in intersections of architectural theory and the history and philosophy of science, and in 2005, he presented a paper "On the Concept of Experience in Leon Battista Alberti's De re aedificatoria" at a European Science Foundation conference in Ireland. His teaching, which includes the foundations architectural history and theory course “Ten Revolutions and the Emergence of Modern Architecture” (ARCH 8600), covers a broad range of architectural and urban history and emphasizes intersections of architectural history and intellectual history at large.

Laurence's research has been supported and funded in part by fellowships and grants from Clemson University College of Architecture, Arts & Humanities, University of Pennsylvania, the Rockefeller Archive Center (2005), the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (2006), the Rockefeller Foundation (as part of “Re-Imagining Cities,” 2007), and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts (2012).

Prof. Laurence serves on the editorial board of Urban Design International. Previous teaching appointments have included lecturer in architecture at University of North Carolina Charlotte and visiting assistant professor in urban design at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.

Additional research information can be found at