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Joseph Bedford

Associate Professor

Joseph Bedford is an Associate Professor of History and Theory at Virginia Tech. He is the director of the Architecture Exchange, a platform that fosters discourse and exchange in architecture through podcasts, conferences, books, workshops, oral history projects and teaching resources. He is the author of Is There an Object-Oriented Architecture (Bloomsbury 2020) as well as numerous book chapters and articles in journals such as JAE, ARQ, AA Files, OASE, Log and NYRA. He is the series editor of a new book series at Bloomsbury Press called Architecture Exchange: Engagements with Contemporary Theory as well as the e-flux Architecture series Theory’s Curriculum. He was educated at Princeton University, The Cooper Union and Cambridge University where he received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate and he was the recipient of a one-year Rome Scholarship at The British School in Rome. His scholarship explores the intellectual history of architectural thought in the later third of the twentieth century as it lays at the intersection between philosophy, theory and architectural education.

Architectural History Theory and Criticism, Contemporary Architectural Discourse, Global History, Architectural Education, Architecture and Philosophy

Arch 3115: Histories of Architecture from Pre-history to the Eighteenth Century
Arch 3116: Histories of Architecture from the Eighteenth Century to the Present
Arch 4114: Ideas, Concepts and Representations
Arch 4705: Qualifying Design Seminar
Arch 4506: Qualifying Design Seminar

Joseph Bedford “Dalibor Vesely’s Performance of Crisis: Ideology and the Moment of Truth in Totalitarian Czechoslovakia” in Jay Cephas, Ana Miljacki, and Igor Marjanovic eds., The Journal of Architecture Education vol.76, no.2 “Pedagogies for a Broken World.” (2022) 

Joseph Bedford, “The End of Theory and the Division between History and Design,” in Elie G. Haddad ed., The Contested Territory of Architectural Theory (London: Routledge, 2022), pp43-67

Joseph Bedford, “Instagram, Indifference, and Postcritique in US Architectural Discourse," in Caroline Voet, Eireen Schreurs and Helen Thomas eds., The Hybrid Practitioner Building, Teaching, Researching Architecture (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2022), pp261-274 

Joseph Bedford, “The Essex School of Architectural History: Its Contents and Methods” in Salvador Guerrero and Joaquin Medina Wamburg eds. Built and Thought: European and Transatlantic Correspondence in the Historiography of Architecture (Madrid, AhAU, 2022)

Joseph Bedford, “A New Disciplinary Apparatus,” in Beatriz Colomina ed, Radical Pedagogies (Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press. 2022), pp138-139

Joseph Bedford, “The Cambridge Collage: Dalibor Vesely, Phenomenology, and Architectural Design Method,” in R. Heynickx, & E. Couchez (Eds.), Architectural Education Through Materiality: Pedagogies of 20th-Century Design (London: Routledge, 2021)

Joseph Bedford, “The Heterotopias of Tafuri and Teyssot: between Language and Discipline,” in P. Lewis, & S. C. Santos (Eds.), Architecture and Collective Life (London: Routledge, 2021) 

Joseph Bedford, “Architectural Association Archives’s Video Collection,” (Review) Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, vol.79, no. 3 (September 2020), pp354–358

Joseph Bedford, “Is There an Object-Oriented Architecture?” in Joseph Bedford ed. Is There an Object-Oriented Architecture? (London: Bloomsbury Press, 2020)

Joseph Bedford ed., Is There an Object-Oriented Architecture? (London: Bloomsbury Press, 2020) 

Joseph Bedford “Schooling Theory” in Joseph Bedford ed., Theory’s Curriculum (AE Press, 2020) 

Joseph Bedford, “Notes on the Meaning Moment: Architectural Discourse before the Ideology Wars.” in Roberto Damiani ed. The Architect and the Public: On George Baird’s Contribution to Architecture (Milan: Quodlibet, 2020), pp87-109

Joseph Bedford, “From the Particular to the Universal” in Theory’s Curriculum, e-flux Architecture, 22 April, 2019.

Joseph Bedford, “Whitewashing Philosophical Graffiti: Education versus Research at Cambridge University (1978 - 2004) in OASE no.102 (March, 2019), pp81-90

Joseph Bedford, “Towards Rethinking the Politics of Phenomenology,” in Log 42 (April, 2018)

Joseph Bedford, “Writing and Teaching Architectural History in the Second Machine Age,” in The University is Now on Air: Broadcasting Modern Architecture (Montreal: Canadian Center for Architecture, 2018)

Joseph Bedford, “Being Underground: Dalibor Vesely, Phenomenology and Architectural Education during the Cold War,” Moravánszky, Ákos Lange, Torsten eds. Re-framing Identities: Architecture's Turn to History, 1970-1990 (Birkhäuser/De Gruyter, 2016) 

Joseph Bedford, “In Front of Lives that Leave Nothing Behind,” in AA Files no.70 (June, 2015), pp. 4-17

Joseph Bedford, “Stirling’s Rational Facade: Rereading Garches to Jaoul,” in Architecture Research Quarterly, vol.14, no.2, (June 2010)

Member of the Scientific Committee for the conference “The zero degree of architectural writing” to be held at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium in 2 and 3rd November 2022 

Joseph Bedford, “Dalibor Vesely and the Model of the Late Baroque,” paper given at The European Architectural History Network (EAHN) Conference in Madrid (June, 2022) in the session "Untimely Teachers: Recovering Postmodernism's Anachronic Pedagogies" 

Joseph Bedford, “The Essex School of Architectural History: Its Contents and Methods.” Paper delivered at : “Transatlantic Correspondence in Historiography Architecture” III Congreso Internacional AhAU Madrid (18-19, November 2021)

Joseph Bedford, “On the Uses of History, Theory and Criticism for Architecture.” ACSA 110th Annual Meeting, May 19 2022, Los Angeles, CA.

Joseph Bedford, “Dalibor Vesely’s Philosophy of the City.” Paper accepted for “Histories of Urban Design: Global Trajectories and Local Realities” at Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH), Zürich (November 15-17, 2021). 

Joseph Bedford, “The Energies, Geo-Politics, and Capitalist Spatial Imaginaries of Iron in Architectural History.” Paper accepted for “Architectural History + Climate Emergency” SAHGB conference, virtual online (10-11 and 17-18 June 2021).

Joseph Bedford, “The Generation of Theory: Recuperating Modern Architecture (1980-1990)” at the ACSA 108th Annual Meeting, March 12-14, 2020, San Diego, CA.

Joseph Bedford, “Theory into History: Rethinking Global History,” at the 73rd Annual International Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians in Seattle, Seattle, Washington, April 29–May 3, 2020 in the panel Architectural History Education Now.

Joseph Bedford, “Foucault’s Spatial Phenomenology” at the 16th Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA) Annual International Conference: Architecture and Collective Life, Dundee, Nov 21-24, 2019. 

Joseph Bedford, AHRA Session Chair: Dispositif Collectif: Revisiting Foucault and Architecture, at the 16th AHRA Annual International Conference: Architecture and Collective Life, Dundee, Nov 21-24, 2019. Panelists: Joseph Bedford (Virginia Tech), Meredith Tenhoor (Pratt Institute), Moritz Gleich (ETH,) Anne Kockelkorn (ETH), Óskar Arnórsson (Columbia University) and Dennis Pohl (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology). 

Joseph Bedford, “How Architecture Distributes the Sensible” 3rd Architecture Exchange Symposium: “How Does Architecture Distribute the Sensible?” with Jacques Ranciere, Peggy Deamer, Anthony Vidler, Michael Young, and Joan Ockman, The Cooper Union, Nov 16, 2019. 

Joseph Bedford, “Critical Global History as the History of Universal Planetary Processes,” at Society of Architectural Historians 72nd Annual International Conference in Providence, Rhode Island, April 24-28, 2019.

Joseph Bedford, “Collage and the Imaginative Agency of Architectural Representation,” 107th Annual Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Annual meeting, BLACK BOX: Articulating Architecture's Core in the Post-Digital Era, 28-30, March, 2019, Pittsburgh, PA. 

Joseph Bedford, ACSA Session Chair: Theory’s Rise and Fall: Conditions and Contexts (for the 107th Annual ACSA meeting in Pittsburgh).

Joseph Bedford, “The Prince and The Pauper: The Politics of Stirling’s Irony (1965 – 1985),” European Architectural History Network (EAHN), Tallin, 2018.

Joseph Bedford, “Philosophical Anthropology and Twentieth Century Architectural Discourse (1910 - 1980),” Society of Architectural Historians (SAH), St Pauls, 2018

Editor of Bloomsbury Press Book Series: Architecture Exchange: Engagements with Contemporary Theory and Philosophy (2017 - Present) 

Joseph Bedford, “Theory, Phenomenology and Crisis: Dalibor Vesely’s Seminar (1968 – 1989),” Paper delivered at the International Conference, Theory's History: Challenges in the Historiography of Architectural Knowledge: 196X-199X, KU Leuven, Brussels, 8-10 Feb, 2017.


M.A., Princeton University; Ph.D. Princeton University.

Rome Scholar, The British School at Rome

B.Arch., The Cooper Union

B.A., Cambridge University