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Douglas E. Graf, RA

  • Professor, Architecture Section
222 Knowlton Hall

Douglas Graf is a Professor of Architecture at the Knowlton School. He received an A.B. in architecture and urban planning from Princeton and an M.Arch. from Harvard. Graf currently teaches courses in design and architectural theory. His teaching career includes positions at the University of Kentucky, the University of Washington, and Yale, as well as positions in Britain, Germany, and Finland, where he first went on a Fulbright to study the work of Alvar Aalto. Graf has received five awards for teaching excellence.

Graf’s interest in design theory has a primary focus on formal analysis, which is applied not only to architecture but also to urban form, landscape, photography, painting, product design, and graphics. One of his signature investigations has been into the structure and use of diagrams as tools for 'close reading,' beginning with an article in Perspecta. Many of his investigations have explored 'metaphoric time' as a central design strategy with essays on buildings as diverse as the Sancturary of Aesklepios, Ronchamp, Villa Mairea, and Vaux-le-Vicomte. He has also written about the idea of the 'encyclopedic set' as a persistent means of modeling complexity and the use of 'fictive landscapes' to derive narratives for the city.

Recent Work

Source Books in Architecture: No. 10, No. 11

In the most recently published and forthcoming issues of Source Books in Architecture: Stan Allen / Four Projects and Preston Scott Cohen / Taiyuan Museum of Art, Douglas Graf contributed two articles and associated diagrams detailing the design processes of Stan Allen and Preston Scott Cohen. 

Source Books in Architecture is a product of the Herbert Baumer seminars, a series of interactions between students and seminal practitioners at the Knowlton School at The Ohio State University. Following a significant amount of research, students lead discussions that encourage the architects to reveal their architectural motivations and techniques. No. 10 Stan Allen / Four Projects is the most recent publication and focuses on Stan Allen, the 2012-13 Herbert Baumer Distinguished Visiting Professor. No. 11 Preston Scott Cohen / Taiyuan Museum of Art is the next forthcoming publication.