Sectional Thinking Circa 1950

The second program in our 2022 series Image Complex, which introduces new scholarship on the way visuality shapes the history and politics of identity, technology and imperialism.



Zeynep Çelik Alexander’s work focuses on the history and theory of architecture since the Enlightenment. After being trained as an architect at Istanbul Technical University and Harvard Graduate School of Design, she received her Ph.D. from the History, Theory, and Criticism Program at M.I.T.

Çelik Alexander is the author of Kinaesthetic Knowing: Aesthetics, Epistemology, Modern Design (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2017), a history of an alternative mode of knowing—non-propositional, non-linguistic, and based on the movements of the body—that gained saliency in the nineteenth century and informed the epistemological logic of modernism in the German-speaking world. A second volume, co-edited with John J. May (Harvard University) and forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press, examines the histories of a series of techniques that have come to dominate contemporary design disciplines. Çelik Alexander is also currently at work on new book that explores nineteenth-century architectures of bureaucracy from the Kew Herbarium to the Larkin Administration Building.

Çelik Alexander has published in numerous venues, including Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, New German Critique, Harvard Design MagazineLoge-fluxGrey Room, Journal of Design History, and Centropa. Çelik Alexander is a member of the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative and an editor of the journal Grey Room.