Skip to content

John Lobell



John Lobell has a widely ranging mind, addressing how new technology changes structures of consciousness, which in turn leads to cultural paradigm shifts affecting every corner of our lives.

Lobell studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. Since leaving Penn, he has studied with some of the most important creative and cultural figures of the twentieth century.

Lobell is a professor of architecture at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York where he teaches architectural history and theory and the social impact of technology, and has taught design at all levels, urban design, and creativity.

He consults on high profile technology projects, is the author of numerous articles, and has lectured throughout the world. His books include Visionary Creativity: How New Worlds are Born; Louis Kahn: Architecture as Philosophy; and Between Silence and Light: Spirit in the Architecture of Louis I. Kahn.

(See full CV at )

– Courses, lectures, and workshops at the AIA, Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, the New York Open Center, the New School for Social Research, NYU, Pratt, Parsons, the School of Visual Arts, etc. Subjects include the arts; design; computer science, graphics and applications; and culture.
– Nanotechnology with Eric Drexler and Ralph Merkle.
– Computer science with Herb Tesser.
– Mythology with Joseph Campbell (founding Advisory Board member, Joseph Campbell Foundation).
– Buddhism with the Dali Lama, Robert Thurman, Lobsang Sampton, Chogyam Trungpa, and Lama Tsultrim Allione.
– Shamanism with Michael Harner.
– Tai Chi with Professor Cheng Man-Ch’ing.

TEACHING AT Pratt Institute
Full time Since 1969
Full Professor with tenure since September 1980
Teaching has included design, history of architecture (survey courses, Non Western architecture, contemporary architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright, Kahn and Venturi), architectural theory, transportation and communication, city planning, impact of technology, computers and society, creativity.

– Ulrich Franzen and Associates, Architects, New York, 1967-69. Research for New Forms of the Evolving City, urban design in Manhattan, under a $250,000 grant from the Ford Foundation. Job captain on three housing projects.
– Abraham W. Geller, Architect, New York, 1966-67. Designer. Projects included housing, synagogue, mall, interiors.
– Harrison and Abramovitz, Architects, New York, 1966. Empire State Plaza.

– Louis Kahn: Architecture as Philosophy, Monacelli Press, June 2020.
– Architecture and Structures of Consciousness, JXJ Publications, 2020
– Notes on Architecture, JXJ Publications, 2020
– Movies, Myths, and Archetypes, JXJ Publications, 2020
– Visionary Creativity: How New Worlds are Born, JXJ Publications, 2015
– Joseph Campbell: The Man & His Ideas, Joseph Campbell Foundation, 1993.
– The Little Green Book: A Guide to Self-Reliant Living in the ’80s. Shambhala Publications, 1981.
– Between Silence and Light: Spirit in the Architecture of Louis I. Kahn, Shambhala Publications, 1979, reissued with a new introduction, 2009.
– The Philadelphia School: 1955 to 1965. Coauthor. Not yet published.

Numerous articles posted on,, and
– “Quantum Theoretical Issues in Architecture” Tarp, Issue 2, Spring 2004.
– “Campbell on Freud and Jung.” Joseph Campbell Foundation Newsletter, No. 1, Fall 1993.
– “A Primer on Joseph Campbell.” Whole Earth Review, Summer 1988.
– “Architecture and Structures of Consciousness,” Pratt Journal of Architecture, Vol II, 1988.
– “Interview with John Hejduk.” Pratt Journal of Architecture, Vol I, 1985
– “A Lucid Mystic.” Smithsonian, Jul. 1979. Article on Louis Kahn.
– “Kahn and Venturi: An Architecture of Being-in-Context.” Artforum, Feb. 1978.
– “Towards A Zero Energy Architecture.” On Site On Energy, Fall 1974
– Numerous book reviews

– “Art Is …” School of Visual Arts, New York, 2015.
– “Genomic Fabrication,” presented to Humanity+, New York, 2011.
– “Envisioning a Zero Energy Future” presented at the Oxford Roundtable, Oxford, 2008.
– “Quantum Issues in Architecture” presented at Universal Machines, Pratt, 2005. (Co-organizer of the conference. Stephen Wolfram was the keynote speaker.)
– “Art and the Malleability of Merleau-Ponty’s Body Subject,” Merleau-Ponty symposium, Pratt, 2005.
– “How Culture Reveals Structures of Consciousness” Toward a Science of Consciousness 2004, Center for Consciousness Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson, April 2004.
– Participated in a conference, “Building a Free Media in the CIS,” Sochi, Russia. American and Russian journalists, publishers, politicians, and academics. Spring 1992.

1967-present, lectures at over 25 universities and various other venues. 100+ lectures on YouTube with 200,000+ views.

1967, Environment IV, Corridors, Architectural League of New York.

– The Architectural League of New York, since 1967. Program director, 1967-69

M. Arch. (Post professional), 1966, University of Pennsylvania, degree for independent studies and thesis in architectural and cultural theory under Dean G. Holmes Perkins

M. Arch., 1965, University of Pennsylvania, design critics and instructors included Denise Scott Brown, Robert Geddes, Romaldo Giurgola, Stanislawa Nowicki, G. Holmes Perkins, Robert Venturi. Audited courses with Edmund Bacon, Ian McHarg, Louis Kahn.

B.A., 1963, University of Pennsylvania, honors major in architecture