About me


Dr. Elisa Dainese is a theorist and historian with architectural background. She is currently Assistant Professor of History and Theory at the Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Architecture. She specializes in African modernism with a focus on knowledge production and the cross-cultural exchange between Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Her research and teaching examine twentieth and twenty-first century architecture; non-western modernisms and indigenous cultures; postcolonial theories and questions of race, gender and power in the design disciplines. In 2012, she obtained a PhD in Architectural Composition from the IUAV University of Venice, with a dissertation focused on post-war architecture, Team Ten, Aldo van Eyck, and the fascination for Dogon architecture of Mali (Africa). She started her career as an EU-licensed architect in the Atelier of Prof. Arch. Boris Podrecca (Wien, Austria) and in the Italian office of Prof. Arch. Aurelio Galfetti (Lugano, Switzerland) where she worked on public and private projects of urban and architectural design. Her research has received grants, fellowships, and awards from Columbia University (Italian Academy of Advanced Studies in America, 2016-17), the Bruno Zevi Foundation (Bruno Zevi Prize for historical-critical essays, 2017), the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA, 2018), the Mellon Foundation funded Global History of Architecture Teaching Collaborative (MIT, School of Architecture + Planning, 2017-19), the Graham Foundation (2019-21) and the University of Pisa (2021). In 2013-16, she was the recipient of a three-year Marie Curie International fellowship funded by the EU and developed in connection with Harvard University (Department of African and African American Studies), the University of Pennsylvania (History of Art Department), and the University of Venice (IUAV, Faculty of Architecture). She is currently completing a publication on the results of the research where she explores the key role that sub-Saharan traditions played in the historical and conceptual refashioning of modern European and North American architecture from the 1940s to the 1970s. Her book projects also include the manuscript entitled War Diaries: Design after the Destruction of Art and Architecture (co-editor, University of Virginia Press, 2022). Elisa Dainese is the author of articles and essays in Thresholds (Spring 2020), Bauhaus (Dec 2020, in English and German), Architecture 68 (2020, in English and French) Theory’s Curriculum (2020), the Journal of Architecture (June 2019), e-flux (Apr 2019), Routledge Handbook of Urban Planning in Africa (2019), Time Frames (2017), the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (Dec 2015), New Urban Configurations (2014), Nuove qualità del vivere in periferia (2013), EAEA11 2013: Envisioning Architecture (2013), Landscape and Imagination (2013), and Catalogo della Mostra Internazionale Triennale d’Architettura Milano (2012). She has participated in numerous international conferences and served as an organizing team member of both the Venice Biennale of Architecture (2010), IUAV AFRICA – Rwanda Pavilion, and of the Milan Triennale of Architecture (2013) where she focused on the Great Green Wall projects of Africa and China.

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