Inside RSA

Sara Stevens

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in HRC


Ph.D., Princeton University

M.E.D., Yale University

B. Arch, Rice University

B.A., Rice University



Sara Stevens holds a Ph. D. in the history, theory, and criticism of architecture and urbanism from Princeton University. Her interests include the history and theory of architecture, urban history, economic theory, and the history of infrastructure. Her research focuses on American real estate developers of the twentieth century, intending to better situate architectural practice within an economic context.


Her current book project, tentatively titled Developing Expertise: The Architecture of Real Estate, 1908-1965, studies how American architects and real estate developers adopted and deployed a new kind of expertise that resulted in a qualitatively different set of professional practices while also influencing urban form—bigger, better, faster. Sara’s masters’ thesis,  Systems of Retail: The Bigger Box, studied big-box architectural formats of the suburban landscape and the underlying networks of business and finance that produced them.  With a professional degree in architecture from Rice, she has also worked as an architect in Houston and New York. 


Sara has taught in the schools of architecture at Columbia, Princeton, and Yale. She has been a guest reviewer at Princeton University, Yale University, Columbia University, Rice University, Temple University, University of Illinois at Chicago, Tongji University (Shanghai), and the University of Pennsylvania. She has co-organized conferences on the history of urban infrastructure at Princeton through the Center for Architecture, Urbanism + Infrastructure; one focused on recent historical research, and two others combined historians with practitioners and policy makers under the themes watershed and mobility. Her writing has been published in Thresholds, Pidgin, Constructs, and The Globetrotting Shopaholic

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