Richard Wesley


Adjunct Professor of Architecture


202 Addams Hall
University of Pennsylvania
200 S. 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6221

Richard Wesley has taught architecture design and theory at the University of Illinois, the University of Notre Dame and Harvard University,  His writings on the history and theory of architecture have been published in Architectural Research Quarterly, Harvard Design Magazine, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Rassegna, Res, and VIA.


Office Hours
By appointment

Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch), Pennsylvania State University
Study Abroad, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College, London
Master of Architecture, (M.Arch II), Harvard University, Graduate School of Design

Research Interests

Architecture as cultural ecology, especially in the buildings and landscapes of modern architecture.

The history and theory of the origins of architecture.

Geometry in architecture and design, including the history of Euclidean, projective and descriptive geometries in pre-modern architecture; the use of regulating lines, conic sections and geodesics in modern architecture; and the prospect of ruled surfaces, developable surfaces and free-form curved surfaces in contemporary digital architecture.

Courses Taught

ARCH-1010/DSGN-1011: Introduction to Design
ARCH-1020: Introduction to Architecture
ARCH-4110: Geometry in Architecture & Design
ARCH-4120: Architecture as Cultural Ecology

Selected Publications
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Architecture as cultural ecology:

Three Cultural Ecologies. David Leatherbarrow & Richard Wesley, London: Routledge, 2018 Learn more

Villa Savoye: Building on a Clear Horizon. In Twentieth-century Architecture, David Leatherbarrow & Alexander Eisenschmidt, editors, Volume 4, Companions to the History of Architecture, Harry Francis Mallgrave, editor. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2017. Learn more

Performance and Style in the Work of Olgyay and Olgyay. David Leatherbarrow & Richard Wesley, ARQ: Architecture Research Quarterly 18, no. 2, 2014: 167-176.

Frameworks of Performance and Delight. David Leatherbarrow & Richard Wesley, Harvard Design Magazine 30 (2009), 84-95.

Origins of architecture:

Edenic Affinities. In Critical Juncture, edited by Louise Noelle & Sarah Topelson. Mexico City: Docomomo, 2014.

Living and Working in Paradise. In The Religious Imagination in Modern and Contemporary Architecture, edited by Renata Hejduk & Jim Williamson. New York: Routledge, 2011.

The Idea of a House. Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics, 34, (Autumn 1998): 118-127.

Polarities of Paradise in the Works of Frank Lloyd Wright, VIA 9: Re-presentation, (1988): 53-65.

Geometry in architecture:

Redrawing to Know: Geometric Descriptions of the City Tower. In Louis Kahn: The Importance of a Drawing, edited by Michael Merrill. Zurich: Lars Müller Publishers, 2021. Learn more

Robert Le Ricolais and the Search for Automorphic Form: Introduction to Things Themselves Are Lying, and So Are Their Images. In Dirt, Megan Born, Helene Furján & Lily Jencks, editors. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2012. Learn more

The Triumph of Monumentality in the Treatises. In Harvard Architecture Review, IV: Monumentality and the City, Spring 1984, 184-197.

Gabriel Guevrekian e il giardino cubisto [Gabriel Guevrekian and the Cubist Garden] Rassegna, 8: La natura dei giardini, (October 1981), 17-24.

The Fourth Dimension and the Ineffable Space, Modularist Review, Summer 1976, 69-73.



Registered Architect, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
LEED Accredited Professional
Green Roof Professional