Michael Bell is Professor of Architecture at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP). At Columbia Bell is founding Chair of the Columbia Conference on Architecture, Engineering and Materials; a multi-year research program based at GSAPP and in coordination with Columbia’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design (ILEK) at the University of Stuttgart. Bell was Director of the Master of Architecture program Core Design Studios between 2000 and 2014 and the school’s Housing Design Studios between 2000 and 2011. Bell has taught at the University of California at Berkeley and Rice University, and held visiting professorships at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and the University of Michigan as the Saarinen Visiting Professor of Architecture. Bell was also a Fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University between 2011 and 2013.
Bell’s architectural design has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Venice Biennale, The Yale School of Architecture, The University Art Museum, Berkeley, and at Arci-Lab, France. Bell has received four Progressive Architecture Awards, and work is included in the permanent collection at SFMoMA. His Binocular House is included in Kenneth Frampton’s American Masterwork Houses of the 20th and 21st Century. Books by Michael Bell include Engineered Transparency: The Technical, Visual, and Spatial Effects of Glass; 16 Houses: Designing the Public’s Private House; Michael Bell: Space Replaces Us: Essays and Projects on the City; and Slow Space.
Michael Bell received a Master of Architecture degree from Berkeley and established practice while teaching at Berkeley. The practice has focused on housing and urban redevelopment. In 2001 Bell led a team of architects who provided research, planning, and design for 1800 units of housing on a 100-acre parcel of oceanfront land owned by the New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development (NYHPD). The project was commissioned by the Architectural League of New York and the NYHPD as a research proposal to guide city planning. Bell also founded 16 Houses, a housing research and design program in Houston, for the Fifth Ward Redevelopment Corporation. Recently Bell was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, to analyze and propose a future architectural and development model for older suburbs after the foreclosure crisis