Jordan Kauffman is an architectural historian whose work spans from the Renaissance to the late twentieth century. His present teaching and research focuses particularly on drawings and representations.
His current book project uses extensive interviews and archival research to trace the networks of individuals, collectors, galleries, and museums, and the development of a market for architectural drawings that influenced the perceptions of architectural representations during the 1970s and 1980s. The interrelation of these and the networks that arose therein forced a reconsideration of architectural drawings specifically and architecture more generally. Exhibitions were mounted that emphasized drawings in and of themselves, collectors and galleries promoted architectural drawings as autonomous art objects, and architectural museums were founded that understood architectural representations as constitutive parts of architectural and cultural history. During this period, the role and perception of drawings fell between and among aesthetic, artistic, architectural, commercial, conceptual, and historical understandings, and at an extreme architecture itself was theorized as being located in drawings, not buildings.
Kauffman’s other interests include the interrelation between architecture and art, aesthetics, sociology, philosophies of the self, and poststructuralism. He is also a member of the Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative, committed to rethinking architectural history survey courses.
His research has been funded by grants and fellowships from the School of Advanced Study at the University of London, the Morgan Library & Museum, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He has previously worked as the managing editor of the architectural journal Log, worked in the press and marketing department of Zaha Hadid Architects, and spent a number of years working in architecture firms as a designer and project manager.
He holds a BA, Magna Cum Laude, in Architectural Studies from Hobart and William Smith, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received an MA from the Architectural Association, London in Histories and Theories of Architecture, and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture.
2015 PhD Dissertation: Drawing on Architecture: The Socioaesthetics of Architectural Drawing, 1970-1990