Joseph L. Clarke

Assistant Professor
Sidney Smith Hall, Room 6055


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Architecture since the Enlightenment
  • German Romanticism
  • Le Corbusier
  • Media studies
  • Sound art


My research and teaching explore how modern architecture has defined itself as a discipline through particular techniques, theories, and representational conventions. I am especially interested in the complex relationships between media and architectural form. My first book, Echo’s Chambers: Architecture and the Idea of Acoustic Space (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021), shows how acoustic experimentation in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries challenged European systems of architectural thought. At present, I am studying methods of office design in the 1960s that attempted to derive spatial organization from models of bureaucratic communication. I am also developing a project on the history of architectural autonomy as an idea.

In recent years, I have held visiting fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. Before becoming an art historian, I was trained as a designer and practiced architecture at Eisenman Architects and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

I co-organize the project Canada Constructed: Architecture, Landscape, History.

Recent Courses

  • Acoustic Space (graduate)
  • Architecture and the Project of Industrial Modernity (graduate)
  • Modern Architecture from 1750 to the Present (undergraduate)
  • Art and Ideas: The City Seen (undergraduate)

Selected Publications

  • Echo’s Chambers: Architecture and the Idea of Acoustic Space (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021).
  • “The Electronic Campanile at Ronchamp,” in The Sound of Architecture, ed. Angeliki Sioli and Elisavet Kiourtsoglou (Leuven University Press, 2021).
  • “That Great Brouhaha: Picturing Sound in Nineteenth-Century France,” in Impressionism in the Age of Industry, ed. Caroline Shields (New York:
    Prestel, 2019), 50–9.
  • “Catacoustic Enchantment: The Romantic Conception of Reverberation,” Grey Room 60 (Summer 2015): 36–65.
  • “‘Worin das Angenehme dieses Nachhall besteht’: Carl Ferdinand Langhans und räumlicher Klang um 1810,” tr. Christoph Borbach, in Die Kunst der Romantik im Kontext von Naturphilosophie und Naturwissenschaft, ed. Nina Amstutz et al. (Fink Verlag, 2020).


PhD, Yale University, 2014
MArch, University of Cincinnati, 2006