Charles L. Davis, “Playing Against Type: Race, Space and Domesticity on Buffalo’s East Side”

Dark yellow and white poster advertising the Architecture Department lecture with Charles Davis.

Event Description

As a follow-up to last evening’s lecture “Cannon Fodder: Debating the Racial Politics of Canonicity in Modern Architectural History,” the Architecture Department will be hosting “Playing Against Type: Race, Space and Domesticity on Buffalo’s East Side.” The talk will feature a presentation by Charles L. Davis on his work, Building Character: The Racial Politics of Modern Architectural Style, followed by a conversation with GSD faculty member Lisa Haber-Thomson.


Charles L. Davis II is an assistant professor of architectural history and criticism at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. His book manuscript, Building Character: The Racial Politics of Modern Architectural Style (University of Pittsburgh, 2019) traces the historical integrations of race and style theory in paradigms of “architectural organicism,” or movements that modeled design on the generative principles of nature. He is co-editor of Race and Modern Architecture: A Critical History from the Enlightenment (University of Pittsburgh Press). His current book project, tentatively entitled Black By Design: An Interdisciplinary History of Making in Modern America recovers the contributions of black artists in shaping the built environment from the Harlem Renaissance to Black Lives Matter. He has published articles and essays in multiple venues, including Architectural Research Quarterly, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Harvard Design Magazine, Log and Aggregate. This research has been supported by grants from the Canadian Center for Architecture, the Graham Foundation, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of North Carolina.

How to Join

Register to attend the lecture here.

To request accessibility services for this event, please contact Kelly Wisnaskas at [email protected].

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].