Department Chairs:
Art History: Erik Inglis
Studio Art: Pipo Nguyen-duy

Administrative Assistant:
Jamie Jacobs

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-8181
Fax: (440) 775-8969

Art Building 2, Room 166
91 N. Main St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Office Hours: 8:00am-4:00pm

John Harwood

John Harwood

Department Co-chair  
Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Architectural History

Contact Information


Allen Art Building, '37 Addition, Room 125
(440) 775-8992

John Harwood

John Harwood

John Harwood

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Arts, Brown University, 1999
  • Master of Arts, Columbia University, 2000
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Columbia University, 2006

John Harwood's research centers on the architectural articulation of science, technology and corporate organization.  He is the author of The Interface: IBM and the Transformation of Corporate Design (University of Minnesota Press, 2011), which received the 2014 Alice Davis Hitchcock Award from the Society of Architectural Historians as "the most distinguished work of scholarship in the history of architecture published by a North American scholar."  He is an editor of Grey Room, a journal of art, architecture, media and politics published by MIT Press, and a founding member of the architectural history collaborative Aggregate.  He is currently writing two books:Architectures of Mass Media: Telephony, Radio, Television; and Corporate Architecture, 17th to 20th Centuries.

His articles and reviews have appeared in Grey Room, the Journal of the Society of Architectural HistoriansDesign IssuesMedia-NPerspectaAA FilesArtforumArt in AmericaDesign and Dwellings and Settlements Review, and elsewhere.  He has contributed chapters to several edited volumes and catalogs, including: Jane Pavitt and David Crowley, eds., Cold War Modern: Art and Design in a Divided World, 1945-75 (Victoria and Albert Museum, 2008); Aggregate,Governing by Design: Architecture, Economy and Politics in the Twentieth Century(University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012); Arindam Dutta, ed., A Second Modernism: MIT, Architecture, and the "Techno-Social" Moment (MIT Press, 2013); Alexander Eisenschmidt and Jonathan Mekinda, eds., Chicagoisms: A City as Catalyst for Architectural Speculation (Scheidegger & Spiess, 2013).

Harwood's teaching at Oberlin covers architectural and design history and theory from the 17th century to the present.  He also teaches courses in critical theory and philosophical aesthetics, and the history of print and digital media.  He regularly teaches the Clarence Ward Seminar in Architectural History, an advanced-level course that is offered in conjunction with a series of guest lectures on a new theme each academic year.

He has also taught at the Princeton University School of Architecture, and been a visiting scholar or fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, at the University of Minnesota Institute for Advanced Studies, and at the Centre for Architecture Theory Criticism and History at the University of Queensland; and he has received the B. Wade and Jane B. White Fellowship and the Class of 1957 Distinguished Professor Award from Oberlin College.