Pep Avilés is a historian, architect, and educator whose academic research explores the impact media had in modern architecture after World War II. His work concentrates in the role that architecture images played in the redefinition of the concept of ornament in late modernity. His current book project is tentatively titled “Gaudí’s Afterlives: Image, Historiography, and Postwar Architecture.”
Avilés’ work represents a pedagogical and academic effort opening new paths for architectural research. This preoccupation has translated into an interdisciplinary and methodological approach to critically analyze, understand, and effectively respond to contemporary culture. Avilés founded in 2018 the journal “Faktur: Documents and Architecture,” a journal publishing the work of emerging scholars addressing global issues from a local perspective. More recently, he has concentrated on the environmental histories emerging at the Anthracite Region in PA, and the impacts of the modern culture of extraction.
Avilés taught previously at Columbia University and The Cooper Union. His work has been sponsored by the Canadian Center for Architecture, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and the Getty Research Center, among other institutions and has been exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale (2014), and the Oslo Architecture Triennale (2019). His essays have been published in journals such as the “Getty Research Journal,” “Thresholds,” and “Footprint,” and in edited volumes such as “Dust and Data: Traces of the Bauhaus Across 100 Years” (Ines Weizman ed., 2019), and “Climates: Architecture and the Planet Imaginary” (James Graham, et. alt., eds., 2016).
Avilés is the editor of the Spanish edition of Siegfried Ebeling’s 1926 publication “Der Raum als Membran,” (2015). He is also cofounder of the experimental architectural platform The Fautory.
- Ph.D. Princeton University, 2016
- M.A. Princeton University, 2010
- M.Arch. ETSAB, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, 2008
- Dipl. in Architecture, ETSAB, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, 2000
- Undergraduate Thesis
- Graduate Thesis
- Architecture, Materials, Culture
Honors + Awards
- Honorable Mention, Association of Collegiate School of Architecture & the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, Course Development Prize in Architecture, Climate Change, and Society.
- Avilés, Pep; Celma, Laia. Stuckeman Center for Design Computing. Faculty Interdisciplinary Grant, “Burn Out,” Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Penn State, 2020.
- Avilés, Pep; Celma, Laia. Grant, E+D Faculty Mini-Grant, “Burn Out,” Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Penn State, 2020.
- The Getty Foundation Library Research Grant, Getty Research Center.
- Foment de les Arts Decoratives, F.A.D, Barcelona, Finalist, Category: Theory and Criticism of Architecture. Faktur: Documents and Architecture.
- Avilés, Pep; Celma, Laia. “Scorched Earth,” Acción Cultural Española, AC/E, Spanish Foreign Ministry. Programa para la Internacionalización de la Cultura Española (Program for the Internationalization of Spanish Culture).
- Avilés, Pep; Celma, Laia; Miller, Marc; Miranda Esposito. Grant, “Scorched Earth,” Stuckeman Fund for Collaborative Design Research Grant, Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Penn State.
- Avilés, Pep,\; Kennedy, Matthew. Faktur: Documents and Architecture, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.
- Career Development Professorship. Penn State. College of Arts and Architecture. Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.
- Digital Humanities Travel Fellowship, Princeton University.
- Harold W. Dodds. Honorific Fellowship, Princeton University.
- TDA Bank Group-CCA Collection Research Grant for pre-doctoral research, Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal and Princeton University.
- Richard Cramer Fellowship, Princeton University.
- Joseph Memorial Shanley ‘17 Memorial Award, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies.
- Margaret Goheen, Summer Travel & Research Fellowship, Princeton University.
- Howard Crosby Butler Travel & Research Fellowship, Princeton School of Architecture.
- Henry N. Young III Award, Princeton University.
- Travel Fellowship, Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, K.T.H. Stockholm, Sweden.
- Erasmus Fellowship. Arkitekturskolan, K.T.H. Stockholm, Sweden.
Exhibitions + Productions
- Co-curator with Laia Celma, “Burn Out: The Architecture of Extraction,” Rouse Gallery, Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Penn State (Jan. 31 to March 4).
- Co-curator with Laia Celma, Miranda Esposito, Marc Miller “Scorched Earth,” Section within a larger venue under the rubric of “Enough: The Architecture of Degrowth,” The National Museum – Architecture, Oslo Architecture Triennale, Sept. 26 to Nov. 24.
- Co-curator with Beatriz Colomina, “Playboy Architecture 1953–1979.” Elmhurst Art Museum, Chicago, May 7 to Aug. 28.
- Contributor, Pietro Belluschi and György Kepes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1951–1965 for “Radical Pedagogies: Action-Reaction-Interaction,” Monditalia Section, 14th International Architectural Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, June 7 to Oct. 23. Special Mention.
- Assistant curator. “Playboy Architecture 1953–1979.” Frankfurt. Deutsches Architekturmuseum, February 15 to April 20.
- Assistant curator. “Playboy Architecture 1953–1979.” Maastricht, NAiM / Bureau Europa, September 29, 2012, to February 10, 2013.
- Invited architect. The Loitering Shipwrecked, Exhibition “Past Futures, Present, Futures.” Storefront for Art and Architecture, October–November.
- Research team. “Utopia’s Ghost: Postmodernism Reconsidered.” Director: Reinhold Martin, Canadian Center for Architecture.
- Architectural work. “House in Micheldorf,” Exhibition of work done by faculty Members, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, September.
- Architectural work. “Europan VI. In Between Cities, Architectural Dynamics and New Urbanity.” Sala de Arquería de Nuevos Ministerios, Madrid.
- Architectural work. “Europan VI. In Between Cities, Architectural Dynamics and New Urbanity.” Liege, Belgium.
Publications + Presentations
- Pep Avilés, “Nikolaus Pevsner, Photography, and the Architecture of Antoni Gaudí,” Getty Reseach Journal, 14, (Summer 2021): 123-150.
- Avilés, Pep. “Marcel Breuer Through a Multi-Lens Window. Agency in the Afterlife of Images.” Thresholds, The MIT Journal, no. 47, (Spring 2019): 105-118.
- Avilés, Pep. “Faktur, Photography, and the Image of Labor. On Moholy-Nagy’s Textures,” in Ines Weizman, eds., Dust and Data: Tracing the Materiality of Bauhaus Modernism, (Leipzig: Spector Books, 2019): 50-72.
- Avilés, Pep. “Gaudí’s Neues Sehen: Josep Lluís Sert y la mirada fotográfica de posguerra.” in Bauhaus In and Out: Perspectivas desde España, Laura Martínez de Guerreñu y Carolina B. García eds., (Madrid: Asociación de los Historiadores de la Arquitectura y el Urbanismo – AhAU, 2019): 133-143.
- Editor of Faktur: Documents and Architecture.
- “On Membranes, Masks, and Siegfried Ebeling’s Raumkubus,” in Climates: Architecture and the Planetary Imaginary, ed., James Graham with Caitlin Blanchfield, Alissa Anderson, Jordan Carver and Jacob Moore, (New York and Zurich: Columbia Books on Architecture and the City and Lars Müller Publishers, 2016), 319–327.
- Avilés, Pep. “On Consilience and Materials. Towards a Cultural Project,” Project. A Journal for Architecture, No. 5, (Spring 2016): 24-35.
- “Essays in Continuous Conversation,” in The Other Architect, ed., Giovanna Borasi, (Montreal, Canadian Center for Architecture & Spector Books, 2015), 403.
- Editor, Siegfried Ebeling: El espacio como membrana, (Barcelona: Mudito & Co, 2015). Trans. Guillermo López Ibáñez and Pep Avilés. Spanish edition of Der Raum als Membran, (Dessau: C. Dünnhaupt, 1926)
- Avilés, Pep. “A Hearth or a Kitchen: Reconsidering the Ethnographic Character of Semper’s Caribbean Hut,” San Rocco Magazine, No. 8, (Winter 2013): 54-60.
- House in Pichicuy, Chile.
- House for a Paraglider and Cameraman, Micheldorf, Austria. Unbuilt.
- House Upstate New York, US. Unbuilt.
- Competition, Housing Development and Museum in Ås, Norway.
- Award. Competition. Portes de Collserola: Porta de la Trinitat. Towards an Ecological Brutalism, Barcelona
- Competition. Social Center in Barcelona, Spain.
- Runner up. Competition. Contemporary Architecture Foundation, Córdoba, Spain.
- Competition. San Josepe’s Quarry, Basque Country, Spain.
- Apartment Design and Construction, Escipió st., Barcelona, Spain.
- Apartment Design and Construction, Joan de Garay st., Barcelona, Spain, 2002–04.
- Europan VIII Competition. Housing Development in Sagunto, Spain.
- Young Architects’ Competition. Housing c. Bronce, Barcelona, Spain.
- Award. Europan VI Competition. Housing in Añaza, Tenerife. Spain.
- Apartment Design and Construction, Sardenya st., Barcelona, Spain, 2000–01.
- Apartment Design and Construction, Pi I Margall st., Barcelona, Spain.
Service + Affiliations
- Member of the Graduate School’s Committee on Academic Standards
- Elected member of the University Graduate Council
- Chair of the Scholarships and Awards Committee, Department of Architecture
- Head of graduate studies, Barcelona Institute of Architecture
In the News
- New exhibition to examine the impact of extraction economies on climate change
- Stuckeman Center for Design Computing hosting spring lecture series
- Architecture professor earns honorable mention in national course development competition
- Architecture faculty’s work, processes highlighted in Stuckeman School exhibit
- Stuckeman School research and design on display in Oslo Architecture Triennale
- Architecture journal edited by Penn State professor gains international recognition