Dennis P. Doordan

Dennis P. Doordan

Associate Dean of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Work and Professor


Dennis Doordan, author of  Twenthieth Century Architecture  and co-editor of  Design Issues, a journal devoted to the history, theory, and criticism of design, is an architectural and design historian and museum consultant and the Associate Dean of Research, Scholarship and Creative Work at the School of Architecture. He has a Ph.D. from Columbia University and a B.A. from Stanford University. He holds a joint appointment in the School of Architecture and the Department of Art, Art History and Design.

Prior to joining the faculty at Notre Dame in 1990, Doordan taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Tulane University. In 1999 and again in 2006, Doordan received the John A. Kaneb Award for Undergraduate Teaching at the University of Notre Dame.He has published books and articles on a wide variety of topics dealing with 20th-century architecture and design including political themes in architecture, the impact of new materials, and the evolution of exhibition design techniques. He is the author of  Twentieth Century Architecture, a new survey of this subject, published in the UK by Laurence King Publishing and in North America by Harry N. Abrams. He has served as an exhibition consultant and contributed catalog essays for architecture and design exhibitions organized by The Art Institute of Chicago, The Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Toledo Art Museum, and the Wolfsonian Foundation in Miami Beach, Florida. He has spoken about design education and interdisciplinary research at international conferences in Melbourne Australia (2004) London, England (2002), Perth, Australia (2000), Helsinki, Finland (1999), and Columbus, Ohio (1999). Dennis Doordan has provided on-camera commentary for "Frontiers of Construction: Worlds Fairs" produced by Barna-Alper Productions for Discovery Channel Canada (2000), and "Building for Meaning: The Architecture of Evans Woollen" produced by Spellbound Productions (1994) for broadcast on the PBS affiliate in Indianapolis, September 1994.

Recently Taught Courses

ARCH 20221 Architectural History II: Renaissance to Present

ARCH 50811 History of Design (cross-listed as ARHI 40580/60580)

Select Publications


Columbia University, Ph.D. History of Architecture 1983, M.Phil., 1978, M.A. 1976

Stanford University, B.A. History of Art 1973

Kaneb Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Notre Dame 2006 & 1999
Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC 2003
Nierenberg Distinguished Visiting Professor of Design, Carnegie Mellon University, Spring 1997

2009, April 16 & 17 and November 6 & 7, 2008 Invited Participant:  Design as a Discipline  Workshops Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and organized by the Design Science Program at the University of Michigan (November 2008) and the Segal Design Institute, Northwestern University, Evanston IL (April 2009).

2008, December 8 Invited participant for the conference  Creative Scholars: Research Economies in Art and Design, sponsored by Tate Britain, Wimbledon College of Art and University of Brighton.

2008, September 15 Invited Conference presentation for  Design: History and Identity  Second International Conference on Historical Studies in Design, sponsored by the Facoltà di Design e Arti   of the Università IUAV di Venezia.   Paper title: The Future of the Past.

2008, June 20 Langfang, Hebei Province, China, Invited Conference Presentation for the  2008 International Forum on Urban Development and Planning.   Paper title: Looking Back in Order to Look Forward: The Contribution of History to Our Understanding of Ecological Cities.

2008, April 11 Keynote address: €œDesign/Research/Community € for the Symposium  From Here to There: Design Research, sponsored by Arizona State University.
2007, March 1 Keynote address: €œReflections on Modernism and the History of Architecture after World War Two € for the Symposium:  Sanctioning Modernism: Post WWII Architecture.   Sponsored by the School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin.

2007, April 24 Public Lecture: Materials and Materiality in Contemporary Design, Sponsor:   San Jose State University.

2007, January 4 Conference Paper Title:   Frank Lloyd Wright and American Cultural Diplomacy in the Early Cold War   presented at the  Research Symposium on Cold War Fairs and Expositions, co-sponsored by the Victoria & Albert Museum and the University of Brighton Location: Victoria & Albert Museum, London.


Twentieth Century Architecture  (Harry N. Abrams & Prentice Hall: 2001)

€œScott Johnson and the Commerce of Ideas € in  The Big Idea: Criticality and Practice in Contemporary Architecture  by Scott Johnson (Balcony Media Press, Glendale CA: 2006): 7-11.

€œCatalysts of Perception:   Material Consideration, € in  Ettore Sottsass Architect and Designer.   Ron Labaco, ed. (Merrell Publishers, New York: 2006): 55-73.

€œFrom the Cold War to Postmodernism: Architectural Criticism in the 1960s, € in  Universal versus Indivdiual: the Architecture of the 1960s. Pekka Korvenmaa and Esa Laaksonen, eds., (Alvar Aalto Academy, Helsinki: 2004): 130-147.

€œDefining Materiality:   An Interview with Dennis Doordan, €  Surface Design  28 no. 4 (Summer 2004): 8-14.

€œOn Materials, € Design Issues, 19 (Autumn 2003): 3-8.


College Art Association

Design Research Society

Society of Architectural Historians


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