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  • Faculty

  • Robert Kirkbride

    Dean of SCE & Professor of Architecture and Product Design

    Email
    kirkbride@newschool.edu

    Office Location
    L - Sheila C. Johnson Design Center - 2 West 13th Street

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    Robert Kirkbride

    Profile

    Robert Kirkbride is Dean of Parsons' School of Constructed Environments and Professor of Architecture and Product Design. Dr. Kirkbride has directed studio ‘patafisico since 1991, and is also Spokesperson and a founding Trustee for PreservationWorks, a non-profit organization for the adaptive reuse of Kirkbride Plan Psychiatric Hospitals. Robert’s work integrates scholarship and practice, exploring forms of knowledge and know-how that don’t quite fit; things that have been lost or overlooked, including the impressions of memory and habits on the built environment. Robert designed the Morbid Anatomy Museum, in Brooklyn, NY, with collaborator Anthony Cohn, and authored the award-winning multimedia online book, Architecture and Memory, which focuses on two Renaissance memory chambers. Dean Kirkbride has been a visiting scholar at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and architect-in-residence at the Bogliasco Foundation in Genoa, Italy. At Parsons/The New School, where he received the University Distinguished Teaching Award, Dr. Kirkbride established the Giuseppe Zambonini Archive at the Kellen Design Archives, and is an ongoing contributor to the Memory Studies Group. Robert received his Ph.D. in the History and Theory of Architecture from McGill University, and a Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Arts in Design of the Environment from the University of Pennsylvania.

    Robert's website may be visited at http://robertkirkbride.com. 


    Degrees Held

    Ph.D., History and Theory of Architecture, McGill University, 2003

    Master of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania, 1990

    Bachelor of Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Design of the Environment, 1988


    Professional Affiliation

     

     


    Recent Publications

    Design Projects: 

    Memorial stone for Giuseppe + Claudia Zambonini (2019): Cimitero Monumentale (Verona, Italy). Commission by C. Zambonini. Design complete. Fabrication in process. 

    Morbid Anatomy Museum (2014): Renovation of 4200 sq. ft. 3-story museum for anatomical curiosities, including a library for the permanent collection, an exhibition gallery, café and retail, a lecture space and workshop. Brooklyn (Gowanus), NY. In collaboration with Anthony Cohn, AIA.

    Caitlin O’Connor Apartment (2013-15): 720 sq. ft. residential renovation. Brooklyn (Park Slope), NY. Interiors, furnishings. 

    Books:

    Architecture and Memory: The Renaissance Studioli of Federico da Montefeltro, XML Title List: American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Humanities E-Book, 2013 (launched in XML on ACLS site; reformatted from original multimedia open source and print versions published by Columbia University Press, 2008). http://www.gutenberg-e.org/kirkbride/ 

    Edited Volumes:

    Geometries of Rhetoric, Guest Editor, Nexus Network Journal, Vol. 12 No. 3 (Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag, Winter 2010) pp. 363-535. Online access: http://www.nexusjournal.com/volume-12/number-3--november-2010.html (Peer-reviewed journal)

    Select recent articles + at press:

    • 2020. Interview, “The Syntax of Space,” by Mark Hage, about Kirkbride Psychiatric Hospitals for Issue 29 of A Public Space journal, Ed. Brigid Hughes, available in print and online (12/2020).
    • 2019. “Mnemonics and Pneumatics,” I Stand in My Place With My Own Day Here: Site-Specific Art at The New School, ed. Frances Richard (New York: The New School, 2019). Commissioned monograph on Rita McBride’s Bells and Whistles, a site-specific work at The New School’s University Center, pp. 191-94.
    • 2019. “Stepping Stones Through Disaster,” Earth Manual Project: This Could Save Your Life, exhibition report (New York: The Japan Foundation), pp. 82-85.
    • 2018. “The Many Phantoms of Kirkbride Hospitals of the Insane,” Society of Architectural Historians 2017 International Conference (Glasgow, Scotland). To be included in Architectural Ghosts: 100 Hauntings, a book edited by K. Koehler and A. Lepine, in development. This article provided core material for 9 unique full lectures in F2017–S18, including the National Building Museum, Columbia University GSAPP Historical Preservation lecture series, Athens College, OH, Architecture Practice Talks lecture series at the 53rd Street NYPL (NYC).
    • 2017. "That Dark Cabinet: Building the Morbid Anatomy Museum," Montreal Architecture Review Vol. 3, ed. Olaf Recktenwald (Montreal: School of Architecture, McGill University) AT PRESS
    • 2016. "Introduction" to Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, R. Tagliareni and C. Mathews (Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing, Images of America Series, 2016) pp. 7-9.
    • 2016. "On Ornament and the Mind," Work 9, ed. Johanne Woodcock (NYC: Parsons AAS Interior Design, 2016) http://parsonsinteriorwork.org/ornament-and-the-mind/ (retrieved: 11/19/16) 
    • 2014. “Rhetoric and Architecture,” commissioned chapter for The Oxford Handbook of Rhetorical Studies, eds. M. MacDonald, A. McMurry (Oxford University Press, 2014).
    • 2014. “The Reading Chamber,” Architecture’s Appeal, eds. M. Neveu, Negin Djavaherian (London: Routledge, 2014) pp. 5-15.
    • 2014. “Upstream/Downstream,” Cuaderno 53Centro de Estudios en Diseño y Comunicación, eds. M. Cuervo, M. Veneziani and S. Faerm (Buenos Aires: University of Palermo UP, 2014) pp. 215-29. ISSN 1668-0227
    • 2013. “Veils and Velocities,” Cuaderno 48: Centro de Estudios en Diseño y Comunicación, eds. Marisa Cuervo, Marcia Veneziani and Steven Faerm (Buenos Aires: University of Palermo UP, June 2013) pp. 177-90. ISSN 1668-5229. 

     


    Performances and Appearances

    2021 June (PBS television production)

    Interview about Kirkbride Psychiatric Hospitals, for 4-part series on mental health, in production by Pangloss Films for PBS. Expected release in June 2021.

     

    2020 November 6 (panel discussion)

    AIA/Center For Architecture: NYC

    Deans Roundtable, panelist with deans from Schools of Architecture in NYC and northeast region

     

    2020 October 15  (panel discussion)

    The New School University: NYC (Producer + Moderator)

    Fall 2020 SCE Public Events series

    Adaptations and Reconstructions

    Panel included David Gissen, Grace Jun, Jorge Otero-Pailos

     

    2020 April 26 (musical performance)

    Bourdon 50Hz (No38) album, accessible on Bandcamp: livestreamed improvisatory performance for Basilica Hudson’s 24-Hour Drone at Home Festival (our segment was “sunrise,” 5:30-6:30 am). Link to video recording. Bourdon is a sound meditation tuned to a utility frequency. Music composed by l’Artiste ordinaire and performed with Robert Kirkbride. All funds raised were donated to Arts Holding Hands And Hearts (AHHAH) – which provides literacy, arts, and movement programs for very young children in vulnerable communities – to enable them to deliver their programming online in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Melissa Grey – sine wave synthesizer & live processing; David Morneau – trombone; Robert Kirkbride – guitar

     

    2020 January 18 (panel discussion)

    KIITO Design and Creative Center: Kobe, Japan

    Center for Resilient Design, Kobe University

    Disaster + Creativity panel

     

    2019 November 5 (panel presentation)

    Special panel for World Tsunami Awareness Day

    “Art, Design and Disaster Preparedness”

     

    2019 April 9 (lecture, panel presentation)

    Manchester, UK: (INVITED) Keynote Speaker         

    Title: Upstream-Downstream

    2nd International Conference on Sustainable Smart Manufacturing (S2M 2019)

     

    2019 March 28

    Parsons School of Constructed Environments: NYC (Producer + Presenter)

    Title: A Tale of Two Asylums: the Fall of Greystone and Rise of the Richardson Olmsted Campus

    Featuring: Paul Goldberger, Stephen Brockman, R. Kirkbride

    Spring 2019 Parsons SCE Public Programs

     

    2018 November 14

    Japan Society: NYC 

    This Could Save Your Life: Collective Wisdom for Disaster Response

    Moderator for panel including Hirokazu Nagata, Ruttikorn Vuttikorn, Ikaputra

    Co-organized by The Japan Foundation Asia Center

     

    2018 November 3

    AIA/Center For Architecture: NYC 

    Deans Roundtable, panelist with deans from Schools of Architecture in NYC and northeast region

     

    2018 October 26

    Quebec City, Canada 

    Panelist – Around the World: Research Metrics

    ACSA 2018 Administrators Conference (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture)

     

    2018 June 23

    Ohio University, Southeast Ohio History Center and Ohio Humanities: NYC (INVITED)

    Athens Asylum Sesquicentennial Speaker Series

    Site visit to protect the Athens Lunatic Asylum (The Ridges)

    Title: The Many Phantoms of the Kirkbride Hospitals for the Insane

    FB video link

     

    2018 June 16

    Otter Tail County Historical Society: Fergus Falls, MN 

    Site visit to protect the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center

    Title: The Many Phantoms of the Kirkbride Hospitals for the Insane

    FB video link

     

    2018 April 19

    Parsons School of Constructed Environments: NYC (Produced + Moderated)

    Spring 2018 Parsons SCE Public Programs

    Title: SCE New Faculty: Short Talks and Conversation

    Featuring: Dr. Sharon Sutton, Fiona Raby, Dr. Arta Yazdanseta, Carla Diana, Yu Nong Khew

     

    2018 April 14

    The New School Memory Studies: NYC (Moderated)

    Space Unbound panel, featuring current New School graduate students and alumni

    Memory Rebound, 10th annual conference of the Memory Studies Group

     

    2018 April 12

    Roosevelt Island Historical Commission: NYC

    Spring 2018 Lecture Series co-sponsored with New York Public Libraries

    Title: The Many Phantoms of the Kirkbride Hospitals for the Insane

     

    2018 March 19

    The Pantheon Institute: Rome, Italy 

    Architecture and Memory

            

    2018 February 28

    The New School University: NYC 

    New School Memory Studies Group Spring 2018 Lecture Series

    Title: The Many Phantoms of the Kirkbride Hospitals for the Insane

    FB video link

     

    2018 February 22

    The New School University: NYC

    Short talk and panel conversation, Sleeping Bodies: Observation, Calibration and Control

    With co-presenters Jonathan Crary and Kenton Kroker

    Demitasse talk title: Bedside Manners at the Kirkbride Hospitals for the Insane

     

    2017 November 21

    APT (Architecture Practice Talks) Series: NYC

    co-sponsored with New York Public Libraries @ 53rd Street

    The Phantoms of Kirkbride Hospitals of the Insane (link)

     

    2017 November 4

    AIA/Center For Architecture: NYC

    Deans Roundtable, panelist with deans from Schools of Architecture in NYC and northeast region

     

    2017 November 2

    Columbia University GSAPP: NYC

     Historic Preservation Lecture Series

    The Many Phantoms of the Kirkbride Hospitals for the Insane (link)

    FB video link

     

    2017 October 26

    National Building Museum: Washington, D.C.

    Lecture for the exhibit “Saint Elizabeths: The Architecture of an Asylum”

    Title: The Many Phantoms of the Kirkbride Hospitals for the Insane (link)

    FB video link

     

    2017* June 8

    Glasgow, Scotland

    Society of Architectural Historians 2017 International Conference

    The Phantoms of Kirkbride Hospitals of the Insane

    Session, “Architectural Ghosts”

     

     


    Research Interests

    architecture,furniture,product design,memory + identity,sustainable design


    Awards And Honors

    Author Award for Popular Non-Fiction, for Introduction to Greystone Park State Hospital, from the New Jersey Sutdies Academic Alliance

    University Distinguished Teaching Award, Parsons/The New School 

    Gutenberg-e Prize, American Historical Association in conjunction with Columbia University Press; to publish multimedia open access e-book, Architecture and Memory

    CCA Fellow, Visiting Scholar: Canadian Centre for Architecture. Montréal, Canada 

    Bogliasco Fellow, Architect-in-Residence: Liguria Study Center for the Arts and Humanities, Genoa, Italy


    Portfolio

    Project Website


    Current Courses

    Poetics of Design (Fall 2020)

    Theories of Architectural Form

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