PhD in Architecture

Sang Pil Lee

PhD Candidate in the History and Theory of Architecture

Sang Pil Lee is a PhD candidate in Architecture History and Theory at the University of Pennsylvania. He pursues research on postwar urban and architectural history with a focus on the interrelationship of media, post-industrialism, and the development of environmental conceptions. His dissertation, “Expanded Environments: Isozaki Arata and Hans Hollein, Architects of the City and Its Media in the First Electronic Age, 1955 – 1976,” explores the endeavors of postwar architects to create new living environments. It highlights Japanese architect Isozaki and his Austrian correspondent Hollein, who developed their designs and theories in response to novel modes of thinking, notably cybernetics, Gestalt psychology, and Marshall McLuhan’s media theory in association with electronic technology, as well as through their cultural exchanges with America. In these contexts I particularly focus on how the modern concept of space was reconceptualized by Isozaki and Hollein into environmental notions of architecture within discourses on the city and post-industrialism and, as a result, how the concepts of environment, architecture, the city, and media became, in certain decisive contexts, interchangeable.

Sang Pil earned his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012. His design work from the school has been published and exhibited in Barcelona and Philadelphia. He has over 3 years of professional work experience in New York and Seoul at architectural firms. His various academic experiences include research and teaching assistantships, the organization of symposiums and design competitions, and research and design reviews among others.

He has presented dissertation research on various occasions including the 2015 Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association Conference in New Orleans and the 2018 International Symposium on the Idea of Decentralization and Regional Planning in the 20th Century in Milan. In addition, he will present his research at the Annual International Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians in 2020. Sang Pil’s dissertation has been supported by the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the Stuart Weitzman School of Design at Penn, the Mellon Humanities, Urbanism and Design (H+U+D) Project at Penn, and the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies.