Richard Wesley


Adjunct Professor of ArchitectureUndergraduate Chair


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

Richard Wesley has taught architectural 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.

Geometric design including Euclidean, stereotomic, projective and descriptive geometries in pre-modern architecture; regulating lines, tessellations, conic sections, ruled surfaces, and geodesics in modern architecture; and tessellations, developable surfaces and free-form curves in contemporary digital architecture.

Courses Taught

ARCH 401: Advanced Design
ARCH 411: Geometric Design
ARCH 412: Architecture as Cultural Ecology
IPD 503: Design Fundamentals (Integrated Product Design)

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:

"As redrawing the City Tower project revealed, Anne Tyng utilized all three of the known regular polygonal tessellations in the two-dimensional mosaic of the plaza base and the generation of the main floor plates of the tower: deltille (equilateral triangle), quadrille (square), and hextille (regular hexagon)." Excerpt from Drawing to Know: Geometric Descriptions of the City Tower. Richard Wesley, In Louis Kahn: The Importance of a Drawing, edited by Michael Merrill. Zurich: Lars Müller Publishers, (Forthcoming, June 2021).

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

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