Knowlton School Announces New Faculty

The Knowlton School welcomes incoming faculty for the 2019-20 academic year: Professor of Architecture Benjamin Flowers, and Assistant Professors of Landscape Architecture John Dean Davis and Michelle Arevalos Franco.


Benjamin Flowers

Benjamin Flowers is a professor of architecture at the Knowlton School. Flowers' work examines architecture as a form of social activity situated within the intersecting spheres of politics, culture and economy. Looking in particular at skyscrapers and stadiums, he focuses on the ways these structures are constructed, the ends to which they are used and the nature of public reaction to them. Flowers’ research has attracted recognition and funding from Columbia University’s Buell Center for Architecture, Cornell University’s John Nolen Fellowship, the Society of Architectural Historians and the Hagley Museum and Library. 

He is the author of Beautiful Moves: Designing Stadia (LundHumphries, 2018). His third book Sport and Architecture (Routledge, 2017) is a global survey of the stadium. His second book, Architecture in an Age of Uncertainty (Ashgate Press, 2014), examined the political economy of architecture during the recent great recession. His first book, Skyscraper: The Politics and Power of Building New York City in the Twentieth Century (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), was named a 2010 Outstanding Academic Title in Architecture by Choice Magazine.

Flowers was awarded the Georgia Tech School of Architecture’s 2017 Dean William L. Fash Award for Teaching Excellence and the College of Design's 2012 Georgia Power Professor of Excellence. In 2008 Flowers was awarded the Outstanding Teacher Award from the College of Design. Flowers received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and his B.A. from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. He grew up in Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Bulgaria, Romania and Washington, D.C. Prior to coming to Ohio State, he was a professor in the School of Architecture at Georgia Tech University.

John Dean Davis

John Davis is an assistant professor of landscape architecture at the Knowlton School. Davis’ primary research is on technology, design, construction and the environment in North America in the 19th century. He is currently working on a book manuscript on engineering, construction and environment in the U.S. South during Reconstruction. The project examines the physical processes of building that undergirded the central political metaphor of the Reconstruction Era. Davis’ research has been supported by fellowships from the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, where he was a Tyler Fellow from 2015-17, and from the Charles Warren Center for the Study of American History at Harvard University.

Davis received his PhD in History and Theory of Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 2018. He received his A.M. in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 2014 and his M.Arch (with distinction) from Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 2011. Before coming to Ohio State, he was an architectural and environmental historian and assistant professor at Texas Tech University.

Michelle Arevalos Franco — Starts Spring 2020

Michelle Arevalos Franco is a landscape designer, artist and an assistant professor of landscape architecture at the Knowlton School. Her work explores the confluence of landscape, ecology and the unintended consequences of urbanization. This expanded practice adopts methodologies from landscape architecture and the traditions of landscape photography, yet transforms them through narrative, documentation and the written word.

Franco is currently working on independent research and design projects, under the Peter Walker Partner’s Fellowship from Harvard University. Her most recent landscape designs were for Oehme, van Sweden & Associates in Washington, D.C. Prior to receiving her degree in landscape architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, she was program director of The Richard Avedon Foundation in New York and studied photography in the deserts of the American West.