Faculty Profile

Simon Sadler
Professor of Design


He has been a UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellow, a Fellow of the University of California Humanities Research Institute, and a Fellow of the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London. He has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Architectural Education, the Advisory Board of The Architect’s Newspaper, and the Advisory Board to the Architectural Humanities Research Association.


Sadler’s research currently focuses on the holistic and libertarian tendencies of Californian, British and Italian design. Recent publications include: 

  • “TEDification versus Edification,” Places (January 2014)
  • “Autonomy’s Ghost and General Education,” Architectural Histories 1.16 (2013)
  • “Steve Jobs: Architect,” Places (March 2013)
  • “The Varieties of Capitalist Experience” and “Spectacular Failure: the architecture of late capitalism at the Millennium Dome, 2000 CE,” in Peggy Deamer, ed., Architecture and Capitalism (New York: Routledge, 2013)
  • “Archigram’s Los Angeles: Sentimentality for the Future,” in Sylvia Lavin and Kimberli Meyer, eds., Everything Loose Will Land: 1970s Art and Architecture in Los Angeles (Los Angeles: MAK Center and Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg, 2013)
  • “A Container and its Contents: Re-Reading Tomás Maldonado’s Design, Nature, and Revolution: Toward a Critical Ecology,” Rm 1000, 1 (Spring / Fall 2013)
  • “Plug-in City,” Beyond Sant’Elia. A Hundred Years of Urban Visions (Como: Villa Olmo, 2013)
  • “Architecture—An Art of Alteration,” Nordic Journal of Architecture, 2.3 (2012)
  • “Diagrams of Countercultural Architecture,” Design and Culture, 4.3 (2012) 
  • “A Culture of Connection,” Boom: A Journal of California, 2.1 (2012)
  • “The Dome and the Shack: The Dialectics of Hippie Enlightenment,” in Iain Boal, Janferie Stone, Michael Watts, Cal Winslow, eds., West of Eden: Communes and Utopia in Northern California (Oakland: PM Press / Retort 2012)
  • “Warren Chalk” and “Archigram,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)
  • “Matrix vs. Möbius: An Architectural Historian’s Guide to Recycling,” Dédalo, 8 (2011)
  • L’Architecture dans le Salon: The Civic Architecture of a Projective Modernism,” in Mark Crinson and Claire Zimmerman, eds., Architecture from Neo-Avant-garde to Postmodern in Britain and Beyond (New Haven: Yale, 2010)
  • “An Architecture of the Whole,” Journal of Architectural Education, 61.4 (2008)
  • “Drop City Revisited,” Journal of Architectural Education, 58.1 (2006) 
Recent keynote and guest lectures include:
  • “Archigram’s Los Angeles,” Graham Foundation, Chicago, 2014
  • “Holism: an Incomplete History,” College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley 2013
  • “Architecture—A Hermeneutics of Alteration?” and “A Natural History of the City,” Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2011
  • “Delirious California,” Architectural Humanities Research Association, Cardiff, 2011
  • “Better City, Better Life: New Babylon and Beyond,” University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal, 2010
  • “After Archigram,” Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona, 2009.

Publications and Work

His publications include 

  • Archigram: Architecture without Architecture (MIT Press, 2005)
  • Non-Plan: Essays on Freedom, Participation and Change in Modern Architecture and Urbanism (Architectural Press, 2000, co-editor, Jonathan Hughes)
  • The Situationist City (MIT Press, 1998)

He is Affiliated Faculty with the Graduate Programs in Cultural Studies, Performance Studies, Art History, Transportation Studies, and the Environmental Humanities Supercluster, and is Faculty Mentor for students in the University Honors Program. He is a Mellon Researcher at the Canadian Center for Architecture (CCA). 

He was co-convener of the symposium

  • “Icon And Anonymity: What Is Californian Architectural History?” at the University of California, Santa Barbara, 2012, with Volker Welter
  • UC Multicampus Research Group “California Architecture & Design,” 2012-13, with Christina Cogdell and James Housefield
  • The academic session “Driving History: Cars In/As Architecture,” Society of Architectural Historians Annual Conference, 2011, with Gabrielle Esperdy “The Whole Earth” Symposium at the University of California, 2006, with Douglas Kahn 

In 2011 he co-curated the photographic show “Roberta Price: Across the Great Divide” at the Nelson Gallery, UC Davis, with Renny Pritikin.

More details and downloads of his work can be found at ucdavis.academia.edu/SimonSadler


Simon Sadler teaches the history and theory of architecture, design and urbanism, and researches ideologies of design since the mid-twentieth century.

His current courses at UC Davis include DES 221, Theory and Issues in Design; DES 40B, History of Design: Ideology; AHI 168, Great Cities: London, Paris, Vienna in the Nineteenth-Century; AHI 184, Twentieth Century Architecture; and AHI 187, Contemporary Architecture.

Previously, he taught at the University of Nottingham; Trinity College, University of Dublin; Birmingham City University; and the Open University.

(530) 754-2605
Room 229, Cruess Hall


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