• Robert Kirkbride

    Dean of SCE & Associate Professor of Architecture and Product Design


    Robert Kirkbride is Dean of Parsons' School of Constructed Environments and Associate Professor of Architecture and Product Design. His website may be visited at Dr. Kirkbride has been director of studio ‘patafisico for 25 years, and is also Spokesperson and a founding Trustee for PreservationWorks, a non-profit organization for the adaptive reuse of Kirkbride Plan Hospitals. Robert’s work integrates scholarship and practice, exploring forms of knowledge and know-how that don’t quite fit; things that have been lost or overlooked, including everyday habits and their impressions on the built environment. Robert designed the Morbid Anatomy Museum, in Brooklyn, NY, with collaborator Anthony Cohn, and authored the award-winning multimedia online book, Architecture and Memory, which focuses on two Renaissance memory chambers. Dean Kirkbride has been a visiting scholar at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and architect-in-residence at the Bogliasco Foundation in Genoa, Italy. At Parsons/The New School, where he recently received the University Distinguished Teaching Award, Dr. Kirkbride established the Giuseppe Zambonini Archive at the Kellen Design Archives, and is an ongoing contributor to Memory Studies. Robert received his Ph.D. in the History and Theory of Architecture from McGill University, and a Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Arts in Design of the Environment from the University of Pennsylvania. 

    Degrees Held:

    Ph.D., History and Theory of Architecture, McGill University, 2003

    Master of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania, 1990

    Bachelor of Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Design of the Environment, 1988

    Recent Publications:

    Design Projects: 

    Memorial stone for Giuseppe + Claudia Zambonini (2016): Cimitero Monumentale (Verona, Italy). Commission by C. Zambonini. Design complete. Fabrication in process. 

    Morbid Anatomy Museum (2014): Renovation of 4200 sq. ft. 3-story museum for anatomical curiosities, including a library for the permanent collection, an exhibition gallery, café and retail, a lecture space and workshop. Brooklyn (Gowanus), NY. In collaboration with Anthony Cohn, AIA.

    Caitlin O’Connor Apartment (2013-15): 720 sq. ft. residential renovation. Brooklyn (Park Slope), NY. Interiors, furnishings. 


    Architecture and Memory: The Renaissance Studioli of Federico da Montefeltro, XML Title List: American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Humanities E-Book, 2013 (launched in XML on ACLS site; reformatted from original multimedia open source and print versions published by Columbia University Press, 2008). 

    Edited Volumes:

    Geometries of Rhetoric, Guest Editor, Nexus Network Journal, Vol. 12 No. 3 (Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag, Winter 2010) pp. 363-535. Online access: (Peer-reviewed journal)

    Select recent articles + at press:

    • 2017. "That Dark Cabinet: Building the Morbid Anatomy Museum," Montreal Architecture Review Vol. 3, ed. Olaf Recktenwald (Montreal: School of Architecture, McGill University) AT PRESS
    • 2016. "Introduction" to Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, R. Tagliareni and C. Mathews (Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing, Images of America Series, 2016) pp. 7-9.
    • 2016. "On Ornament and the Mind," Work 9, ed. Johanne Woodcock (NYC: Parsons AAS Interior Design, 2016) (retrieved: 11/19/16) 
    • 2014. “Rhetoric and Architecture,” commissioned chapter for The Oxford Handbook of Rhetorical Studies, eds. M. MacDonald, A. McMurry (Oxford University Press, 2014).
    • 2014. “The Reading Chamber,” Architecture’s Appeal, eds. M. Neveu, Negin Djavaherian (London: Routledge, 2014) pp. 5-15.
    • 2014. “Upstream/Downstream,” Cuaderno 53Centro de Estudios en Diseño y Comunicación, eds. M. Cuervo, M. Veneziani and S. Faerm (Buenos Aires: University of Palermo UP, 2014) pp. 215-29. ISSN 1668-0227
    • 2013. “Veils and Velocities,” Cuaderno 48: Centro de Estudios en Diseño y Comunicación, eds. Marisa Cuervo, Marcia Veneziani and Steven Faerm (Buenos Aires: University of Palermo UP, June 2013) pp. 177-90. ISSN 1668-5229. 


    Research Interests:

    architecture,furniture,product design,memory + identity,sustainable design

    Awards And Honors:

    University Distinguished Teaching Award, Parsons/The New School

    Gutenberg-e Prize, American Historical Association in conjunction with Columbia University Press; to publish multimedia open access e-book, Architecture and Memory

    CCA Fellow, Visiting Scholar: Canadian Centre for Architecture. Montréal, Canada

    Bogliasco Fellow, Architect-in-Residence: Liguria Study Center for the Arts and Humanities, Genoa, Italy

    Current Courses:

    Poetics of Design

    Poetics of Design (Fall 2018)