• Shannon Mattern

    Professor of Anthropology


    Shannon Mattern is a Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research. Her writing and teaching focus on archives, libraries, and other media spaces; media infrastructures; spatial epistemologies; and mediated sensation and exhibition. She is the author of The New Downtown Library: Designing with CommunitiesDeep Mapping the Media City, and Code and Clay, Data and Dirt: Five Thousand Years of Urban Media, all published by University of Minnesota Press. In addition to writing dozens of articles and book chapters, she also contributes a regular long-form column about urban data and mediated infrastructures to Places, a journal focusing on architecture, urbanism, and landscape, and she collaborates on public design and interactive projects and exhibitions. You can find her at



    Recent Publications:

    RECENT SAMPLE: “Community Plumbing," Places Journal (July 2018); “Databodies in CodespacePlaces Journal (April 2018); “Extract and Preserve: Underground Repositories for a Posthuman Future,” New Geographies 09: Posthuman (Harvard University Press, 2017); “The Big Data of Ice, Rocks, Soils, and Sediments,” Places Journal (November 2017); Code and Clay, Data and Dirt: Five Thousand Years of Urban Media (University of Minnesota Press, 2017); “A City Is Not a Computer,” Places Journal (February 2017); “Before BILLY: A Brief History of the Shelf,” Harvard Design Magazine 43 (Fall/Winter 2016); “Of Mud, Media, and the Metropolis: Aggregating Histories of Writing and Urbanization,” Cultural Politics 12:3 special issue on Geological Media, edited by Jussi Parikka (November 2016): 310-31; “Public In/Formation,” Places Journal (November 2016); “Animated Aberrations, Rebellious Objects: Zoe Beloff’s The Infernal Dream of Mutt and Jeff,” Volume 49 (September 2016); “Cloud and Field,” Places Journal (August 2016); “Instrumental City,” Places Journal (April 2016); “Indexing the World of Tomorrow,” Places Journal (February 2016); “Middlewhere: The Landscape of Library Logistics,” Urban Omnibus (June 2015); “Mission Control: A History of the Urban Dashboard,” Places Journal (March 2015); “Media Archaeology of Poetry and Sound: A Conversation with Shannon Mattern,” with Christine Mitchell, Amodern 4, “The Poetry Series” Issue (March 2015); “Speculative Archaeology,” Places Journal (December 12, 2014); Deep Mapping the Media City (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015); The New Downtown Library: Designing with Communities (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007). For digital copies of most of Dr. Mattern's publications, see her website


    Performances And Appearances:

    For all upcoming and archived talks and conferences, see her website

    Research Interests:

    archives, media architectures, media infrastructures, mediated sensation, maps, materiality, urban data, urban intelligence

    Awards And Honors:

    RECENT SAMPLE: Faculty Research Fund Grant, “Designing Knowledge” (collaboration with Metropolitan New York Research Council and Finnish Cultural Institute New York), Provost’s Office, The New School, $5000, 2018 – 19; Public Knowledge Scholar, Public Knowledge Project, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and San Francisco Public Library, 2018; Möbius Fellowship, with Jussi Parikka, Finnish Cultural Institute, New York, 2017 – 19; Innovations in Education Grant, Provost’s Office, The New School, $10,000, 2017; Senior Fellowship, Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany, Spring 2016; Invited Lecturer/Curator, Critical Dialogues, Media Design Practices Program ArtCenter College of Design, October – December 2015; Visiting Scholarship, Digital Cultures Research Lab, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany, June – July 2015; Faculty Fellow, Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography and Social Thought, The New School, 2014 – 15


    Current Courses:

    Anthropology & Design

    DataArtifctsInfrstrctrsLndscps (Spring 2020)

    Independent Study

    Independent Study (Spring 2020)

    Material Life of a Thing (Spring 2020)

    Thesis Proposal

    Thesis Supervision

    Thesis Supervision (Spring 2020)

    Thesis Tutorial (Spring 2020)

    Thinking Through Interfaces (Spring 2019)

    Tools: Anvils to Androids