George B. Johnston is Professor of Architecture at Georgia Tech and principal of Johnston+Dumais [architects]. He has over 40 years of experience as an architect, educator, academic leader, and cultural historian. He teaches courses in architectural and urban design, cultural theory, and social history of architectural practice. Johnston’s research considers the political economy of building and the dynamic processes of profession formation by which variable notions of “the architect” emerge, take hold over time, and are transformed by diverse cultures and new technologies. He is author most recently of Assembling the Architect: The History and Theory of Professional Practice from Bloomsbury (2020) as well as the award-winning book from The MIT Press (2008), Drafting Culture: A Social History of Architectural Graphic Standards, which has been lauded for its insights into the ongoing technological transformation of the profession.
Born in Mississippi, a native of Eden, Johnston was raised in the Delta, between the woods and the road. In his youth, he worked summers as manual laborer, drafter, and historic building surveyor. He has practiced professionally in architectural firms in Mississippi, Texas, and Georgia, and apprenticed in the Corinth office of architect Ben A. Ledbetter. Johnston was educated at Emory University (Ph.D. in American Cultural History, 2006), Rice University (M.Arch., 1984) and Mississippi State University (B.Arch., 1979). Johnston’s scholarly imagination is animated by this central matter of concern: What recuperative roles can architects’ practices play in this age of social and technological upheaval?