Ignacio G. Galán headshot

Ignacio G. Galán

Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture


Architecture Department


503B The Diana Center



Ignacio G. Galán, is a New York based architect, historian, and educator concerned with the role of architecture in the articulation of societies. His scholarship addresses the relationship between architecture, politics, and media, with a particular focus on nationalism, colonialism, and diverse forms of population transience. His work expands the reach of architectural history through diverse media and platforms and is continuously informed by different kinds of conversations and collaborations.

He is currently completing a book-length manuscript entitled From the Chair to the Nation, which explores the relation between the modernist practices of furniture and interior design developed by Italian architects in the interwar period, the definition of an identity for the young Italian nation, and the politics of fascism. His second book project explores architecture's role in the representation, belonging, and assimilation of Italian migrants in New York City, from Ellis Island to the suburbs. These research projects have resulted in a number publications, most recently in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and exhibitions including the installation Cinecittá Occupata for the 2014 Venice Biennale by invitation of the general curator Rem Koolhaas.

He developed his interest on nationalism and migration with the After Belonging Agency as the Chief Curator of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale (Graham Foundation Grant 2015) and as an editor of the volume After Belonging: The Objects, Spaces, and Territories of the Ways We Stay in Transit (Lars Muller, 2016).

Galán is also a historian of architecture education, and is a member of the research project Radical Pedagogies. He has co-curated its exhibition at the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale and at the 2014 Venice Biennale, where it was awarded a Special Mention of the jury. He is currently one of the editors of the eponymous volume, forthcoming in 2021 by MITP (Graham Foundation Grant 2019). 

The designs of his office [igg-office for architecture] focus on housing and public space and bring to the fore questions of belonging, diversity, and accessibility. His work is included the permanent collection of the Pompidou Center and has been awarded in several competitions, including the First Prize for the New Velodrome in Medellín, and the Second Prize for the Beti Jai Stadium in Madrid. His speculations on the architectural politics of restrooms have been developed in two projects included in the intenational exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021, by invitation of the general curator Hashim Sarkis: Your Restroom is a Battleground (with Matilde Cassani, Iván L. Munuera, and Joel Sanders) and The Restroom Pavilion (with Cassani and Munuera).

Galán teaches both undergraduate and graduate studios, seminars and lecture courses in a diverse range of topics including curatorial practices, housing, migration, and globalization. He has developed collaborative studios with the UNAM in Mexico City and has received an Andrew Mellon Foundation grant for courses focusing on spatial inequality sponsored by the Center for Spatial Research, Columbia University, as well as the Inclusive Pedagogy Fund, Barnard College. His courses rehearse different media and formats including architectural drawing, research papers, mapping, graphic novel, video, and websites among others. He frequently collaborates with the Empirical Reasoning Center and the IMATS. 

Prior to joining the Department of Architecture at Barnard+Columbia Colleges in 2016, Galán taught studios and seminars at Columbia GSAPP and PennDesign and served as Assistant instructor at Harvard GSD, Princeton SOA, and ETSAM.

Galán studied Architecture at ETSAMadrid and TUDelft, he graduated with Distinction from the MArchII program at Harvard GSD, and has a PhD in Architecture History and Theory of Architecture from Princeton. He has been a Fellow at the Spanish Academy in Rome and a Fulbright Scholar. 

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