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Chantal El Hayek

Visiting Assistant Professor


Chantal El Hayek is an architect and an architectural and urban historian. Her work explores the intertwined material and intellectual histories of modern architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, and geography, with a focus on French architects and their global activities in the early twentieth century, spanning Europe, North and South America, as well as the colonial Eastern Mediterranean, North and East Africa, and Southeast Asia. She holds a B.Arch. from the Lebanese American University, an M.Arch. from Princeton University, and both an S.M.Arch.S. and a Ph.D. from MIT, where she recently completed a dissertation entitled “The Société Française des Urbanistes and the Invention of Urbanism.” El Hayek argues that since the early twentieth century, urbanism has been misattributed and misconstrued as a positivist science concerning the development and design of the built environment, incorporating infrastructural and hygienic systems. Rectifying this misconception, her dissertation, the first study on the Société Française des Urbanistes, reveals that this interwar Paris-based association of architects and scholars, with global social reform aims, coined the term urbanisme and established the field, grounding it in Henri Bergson’s philosophy of time and consciousness, as well as Paul Vidal de la Blache’s principles of human geography.

Ph.D., History and Theory of Architecture, MIT


M.Arch., Princeton University

B.Arch., Lebanese American University