Professor Heathcott (heathcott.nyc) studies the metropolis and its diverse cultures, institutions, and environments within a comparative and global perspective. His research and teaching interests include: cities real and imagined; urban spatial production; history and theory of built environments; race, class, and urban planning; and the politics of urban redevelopment. He is particularly interested in cities as living archives of creativity, urbanity, and design.
In 2019 Prof. Heathcott taught at the Paris campus of Parsons, and served as a Visiting Scholar at L'École Urbaine, Sciences Po. In 2016 he was the Mellon Distinguished Fellow at the Princeton University School of Architecture. During the academic year 2010-2011, he served as the U.S. Fulbright Distinguished Chair to the United Kingdom at the University of the Arts in London, and as a Senior Visiting Scholar at the London School of Economics. He has also been a visiting scholar at the University of Maastricht, the Catholic University of Lisbon, and the University of Vienna.
His work has appeared in a range of venues, from books and magazines, to exhibits, blogs, 'zines, and journals of opinion. His research on the social and design history of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe public housing project led to an exhibition at MIT titled Vertical City and contributed to the documentary film The Pruitt-Igoe Myth. HIs most recent photography exhibits include Post-Acropolis Metropolis, installed at the Town Hall Gallery in Stuttgart, Germany, and BQ Borderlands, installed at the Queens Museum.
Professor Heathcott has been awarded fellowships and grants from the Gerda Henkel Foundation, U.S. Fulbright, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Erasmus Institute, the Mellon Foundation, The Global Archtiectural History Teaching Collaborative/MIT, the Brown Center for the Humanities, and the Zolberg Institute for Migraton Studies. He has been invited to lecture, consult, and judge design reviews in a wide variety of venues both in the U.S. and internationally. He frequently volunteers his time with neighborhood groups and community organizations around issues of planning, preservation, and urban design. He served on the Board of Directors of the Center for Urban Pedagogy and the Urban History Association, and as President of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History. He currently serves as Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association, and on the editorial boards of the Journal of the Society for Architectural Historians, Planning Perspectives, the International Journal of Architectural Education, and the Journal of Arts Writing for Students, and on the advisory board for the Global Urban History Project.
Select interviews with Prof. Heathcott
The projects below are those completed since 2012. For a full overview, see heathcott.nyc.
Books and Editions
Global Queens: An Urban Mosaic. Forthcoming from Fordham University of Press's Empire State Series, 2023.
Urban Infrastructure: Historical and Social Dimensions of an Interconnected World. Joseph Heathcott, Jonathan Soffer, and Rae Zimmerman, eds. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2022.
The Routledge Handbook of Infrastructure Design: Global Views from Architectural History. Joseph Heathcott, ed. New York: Routledge, 2022.
Capturing the City: Photographs from the Streets of St. Louis, 1900-1930. Joseph Heathcott and Angela Dietz. Missouri Historical Society and the University of Chicago Press, 2016.
Special issue of the Journal of the American Planning Association on the 75th Anniversary of Public Housing. Guest Editor. Fall 2012.
Published Visual Work: Photographs, photographic essays, collage, maps, drawings
"Exploring Oaxaca's Peri-Urban Landscape." Edge Effects, Sept 2022.
"The House that Anti-Fascism Built: Red Vienna, 1919-1939." Photographic essay, Platform magazine, Sept 2021.
"A Street in Bratislava: Searching for a Post-Communist Urbanity." Photographic essay, Platform magazine, March 2020.
"Syntopic Landscape: The Wholesale Supply Market at Oaxaca." Photographic essay, Platform magazine, 9 January 2020.
"Urban Agendas: Beneath National Party Politics Lay Cities in Grave Distress." Platform magazine, 24 June 2019.
"Shops at Night" and "Cyclist, North St. Louis." Two photographs featured in The Fourth River magazine, Nov 2018.
"Mexico City's Multicolored Street Markets." Specially rendered satellite images featured in The Guardian, 15 October 2018.
"Shops at Night, Jackson Heights." Photograph. Packinghouse Review 12 (Fall 2018).
"Chairs, Brooklyn." Photograph selected for the cover of Blue Mesa Review 37 (Fall 2018).
"Cooking for Democracy." Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture 17, 3 (Fall 2017).
"Urban Data Streams: Selections from the Façade Project." Photographs. Domus (Mar 2017). Reposted under title "The Facade Project: Joseph Heathcott Captures Colorful Facades Around The World." Photogrist Magazine, Apr 2017.
Three pieces published in Ethnography in an Expanded Field, web project by the Graduate Institute of Design, Ethnography, and Social Thought: "Crosswalk, Fabourg St-Antoine"; "100 Objects"; and "Archive of Dying in Union County, 1921." (Feb 2016).
"Rumors of a New City." Collage. Bad Penny Review (April 2015).
"Vendors, Mombasa, 1995." Photograph. Chaffey Review VIII (Spring 2015).
"Boundary Worlds: Traveling the Brooklyn-Queens Border." Photographic and documentary essay in Urban Omnibus: The Journal of the Architectural League of New York, 15 January 2015.
"Skin flâneur." 100 Word Story. Fall 2013.
"Morning in the Casbah, Marrakech, 2010." 34th Parallel (October 2013).
"Loot." Graphic appropriation. Dark Matter 11 (Fall 2013).
"A Meal in Old Stone Town, Zanzibar." Photographic essay in The Inquisitive Eater (June 2013).
"The Archival Uncanny: A Family Lacunae." Rhizomes 23. Special issue on 'Deleuze and Photography.' (March 2012).
Exhibits, Juried Shows, and Curatorial Work
"Adapted for Devotion." Selectioin of 40 photographs featured in an animated rotation for the exhibit City of Faith at the Museum of the CIty of New York, November 2022 - August 2023.
"The Street Markets of Mexico City." Selection of ten large prints included by invitation to the inaugural group show Markets Through Contemporary Art, installed at the Museo Del Banco de México, Jul-Dec 2022.
"After the Fire, Roses." Photograph for juried group show, Core New Art Space, Denver, CO, May-June 2018.
"Colonia Federal, Mexico City." Photograph for juried group show, Barrett Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NY, May-Jun 2018.
"Buy, Sell, Trade." Photograph for juried group show, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Denver, CO, Sept-Nov 2017.
"Santa Katarina at Night, 2017" and "Street Scene, Chinatown, 2016." Two photographs for juried group show Being Sentient, Sentient Being, Allegheny Arts Council, Cumberland, MD, Sept-Oct 2017.
"Crosswalk, Faubourg St-Antoine." Rendered photograph for juried group show, Art League of Rhode Island, Providence, RI, Sept-Oct 2016.
"Whose River Is It?" Large agit-prop poster (high resolution aerial imagery with text) for juried group show "Landscapes: A Sense of Place" at Site:Brooklyn, May-Jul 2016.
"Goblins in the Industrial City." Worked photograph for juried group show, The Studio Door Gallery, San Diego, CA. May-July 2015.
"Urban Typefaces." Photograph for juried group show, Oceana Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Nov-Dec 2013.
"Borderlands." Installation of photographs and archival maps detailing the Brooklyn-Queens border landscapes, prepared for the reopening of the Queens Museum of Art. Nov 2013-Jan 2014.
"Joseph Heathcott Collection of Counterculture Publications, 1971-2000." Collection built between 1985-2000, subsequently organized and donated to the Archives and Manuscripts Department of the Saint Louis University Libraries Special Collections. Available to the public as of 2012.
Articles, Essays, Chapters
"Design Highs and Policy Lows in the Making of New Public Space in Mexico City." Co-authored with David López Garcia. Journal of Urbanism, November 2022.
"Showcase Politics: The Production and Distribution of New Public Space in Mexico City." Co-authored with David López Garcia. Journal of Urban Affairs, October 2022.
"What Is Theory? From Planning Theory to Theory for Planning." Commentary solicited by the Journal of the American Planning Association, published online July 2022, forthcoming in print 2023.
"Queens is the Future." Introduction to Rafael Herrin-Ferri, All The Queens Houses. (Berlin: Jovis, 2021).
"Archive of Dying in Union County, Kentucky, 1921." Green Mountain Review, January 2020.
"Landscape Entanglements: Toward a New Descriptive Project in Spatial Theory." Article co-authored with Kevin Rogan, Berkeley Planning Journal 31 (2020).
"Living in the Diagram: Colonia Federal and Urban Planning in Twentieth Century Mexico City." Published online in the Journal of Urbanism, 31 May 2020. Print version scheduled for December 2020.
"New York City’s Sunnyside Yards, and Our Urban Future." Public Seminar, 16 September 2019.
"Architecture, Urban Form, and Assemblage Aesthetics in Mexico City's Street Markets." International Journal of Architectural Research 13, 1 (Mar 2019).
"Geometries of Corn and Blood." In Dominic Pettman, ed. Dispatches from the Institute of Incoherent Geography. (Pittsburgh and New York: Flugschriften, 2019).
"Mexico City Morphologies." Streetnotes 26 (2019), special issue on The View From Above.
"What's In a Roofline? Architectural Memory in the Heart of Queens." Urban Omnibus: The Journal of the Architectural League of New York. Dec 2017.
"Public Housing as a Tool of Racial Segregation." In Daniel D'Oca and Tobias Armborst, The Arsenal of Exclusion and Inclusion (Barcelona: Actar Press, 2015).
"Creative Approaches to Public Space." In Yvonne Franz and Christiane Hintermann, eds., Understanding Public Spaces (University of Vienna Press, 2017).
"Janet Abu-Lughod." In Regan Koch and Alan Latham, eds., Key Thinkers on Cities (Forthcoming from Sage Press, 2017).
"Race, Class, and American City Planning." Essay for Black Lives Matter, a web-based resource project by the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborate, edited by Meredith TenHoor and Jonathan Massey, 2016.
"The Bold and the Bland: Art, Redevelopment, and the Creative Commons in Post-Industrial New York." City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action 19, 1 (2015).
"The World in a Cup: Coffee, from Kitchen Table to World Stage." The Montreal Review. January 2015.
"Myth No. 1: Public Housing Stands Alone." Chapter in Nicholas Bloom, Fritz Umbach, and Lawrence Vale, eds., Public Housing Myths: Perception, Reality, and Social Policy (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2015).
"A Library, A City." Meridian. Winter 2014.
"The Science and Art of City-Making: The Model Street at the 1904 World's Fair." In Robert Freestone and Marco Amati, eds., Exhibitions and the Development of Modern Planning Culture (London: Ashgate Press, 2014).
"The Historic Urban Landscape of the Swahili Coast: New Frameworks for Conservation." In World Heritage Papers Series No. 36: Swahili Historic Urban Landscapes (Paris: UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2013).
"The Promenade Plantée: Politics, Planning, and Urban Design in Post-Industrial Paris." Journal of Planning Education and Research 33, 2 (2013).
"Heritage in the Dynamic City: The Politics and Practice of Conservation on the Swahili Coast." International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (Fall 2012 on line, Winter 2013 in print).
"Ephemeral City: Design and Civic Meaning at the 1904 World's Fair." Journal of Design History (published online 2012, in print 2013).
Performances and Appearances
Istanbul Research Institute; Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; ETH-Zurich School of Architecture; NYC Department of Design and Construction Monthly Speaker Series; University of Vienna; Universidad de las Américas, Puebla, Mexico; Museu da Electricidade, Lisbon; Institute for Public Knowledge, New York University; Princeton University; Harvard Graduate School of Design; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; University of Iowa; University of Amsterdam; Brooklyn Academy of Music; Yale University School of Architecture; Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, Columbia University; Museum of the City of New York; Fitch Colloquium, Columbia University; University of the Arts, London; Benjamin Franklin House; Glasgow School of Art, Scotland; Photography Research Institute, Central St. Martin's College of Art, London; Chelsea College of Art and Design, London; Trinity College, Dublin; Deutsche-Amerikanische-Zentrum, Stuttgart, Germany; University of Pennsylvania Institute for Urban Research; College of Architecture, University of Illinois at Chicago; College of Architecture, University of Texas-Austin; Loyola University at Chicago; George Washington University; Royal Library, Brussels, Belgium; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Massachusetts Historical Society; Institut Charles V, Université de Paris VII; School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Chicago Historical Society, Urban History Speaker Series.
Studio reviews, organized tours, and master classes
Urban Design studio, Yale University; Walking tour of Jackson Heights for Princeton University; Graduate student workshop, University of Iowa; Walking tour in Queens for London School of Economics group; Urban Design studio, Parsons; Housing studio, Parsons; City Design studio, London School of Economics; MS in Historic Preservation studio, Columbia University; Walking tour series for the Municipal Arts Society; Master class, Ph.D. in Art, London College of Communication; Master class, Ph.D. Cities, London School of Economics; Master class, MA Curatorial Studies and MA in Art Theory, Chelsea College of Art and Design; Studio for work in progress, South London Gallery; Master class, Ph.D. in Art, Chelsea College of Art and Design; Master class MFA in Arts Research, Wimbledon College of Art; Master of Urban Design studio, Washington University School of Architecture; Housing studio, Washington University School of Architecture; Master of Landscape Architecture studio review, Knowlton School of Architecture, Ohio State University; Master of Urban Design studio, Knowlton School of Architecture, Ohio State University; Visual Studies studio, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; MArch studio, Washington University School of Architecture.
Main Areas of Study
Cities real and imagined; urban spatial production; history and theory of built environments; race, class, and urban planning; politics of urban redevelopment; cities as living archives of creativity, urbanity, and design.
Works in Progress
Life in the Rust Archipelago: Natural and Human Ecologies after Capital Flight. Three-year project funded by the Henkel Foundation to study disinvested post-industrial landscapes.
Worlding Heritage: Architecture, Urban Landscapes, and the Conservation Imaginary. Series of projects in progress.
Post-Pandemic Geographies: Life Beyond Covid-19 in Immigrant Queens. Research project funded by the Zolberg Institute for Migration Studies.
Urban Spatial Production in Mexico City. Series of projects in progress.
Awards And Honors
Gerda Henkel Foundation Grant; Grant from the Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative, MIT; Research Grant, Zolberg Institute for Migration Studies, The New School; Mellon Distinguished Fellowship, School of Architecture, Princeton University; Visiting Faculty, University of Vienna, Urban Studies Graduate Summer Institute; Visiting Faculty, Lisbon Consortium, Doctoral Program in Cultural Studies; U.S. Fulbright Distinguished Chair for the United Kingdom; U.S. Fulbright Senior Specialist Award; SAGES Visiting Faculty Fellow, Case Western Reserve University (declined); John Nichols Brown Center for the Humanities Visiting Fellowship; American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship; Catherine Wurster Prize, Society for American City and Regional Planning History; International Initiative Grant, American Studies Association; Erasmus Institute / NEH Faculty Fellowship (declined); Missouri Historical Society Research-in-Residence Fellowship; The John H. Edwards Dissertation Fellowship
Laboratory for Urban Spatial and Landscape Research