Shantel Blakely Headshot
Assistant Professor


Shantel Blakely is an architectural historian and an architect. As an instructor she seeks to explain the fundamentals of architectural design and to make accessible the discipline's many aspects by way of canonical buildings and texts. She is driven by a passion for architecture and a commitment to characterize it without neglecting its complexity as a technical and aesthetic practice that is also a cultural and social one.

Blakely's teaching philosophy is a distillation of her research, which aims to enlarge the historiographic narrative through the analysis and evaluation of little-known architects and their work. Her forthcoming book Appartamento Aperto: At Home with Marco Zanuso (MIT Press) characterizes the architect's stance on the human potential of mechanization in industrial designs and buildings, in family homes and factories, in Italy and overseas. 

A second book underway on Charles E. Fleming, a Black architect who began his career in the 1960s, describes Fleming's architectural practice and his position within the political turmoil faced by his community as it sought stability amid racial segregation, sporadic violence, and endemic economic disparity in St. Louis. This research has been supported by a scholar-in-residence fellowship from the Getty Research Institute and a Graham Foundation research grant.

An instructor in both architectural history and design, Blakely held appointments at Columbia University and Washington University in St. Louis before arriving at Rice and worked for the architect Maryann Thompson. From 2011–16 Blakely was public programs manager at Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she organized lectures and conferences and cocurated the exhibition Happening Now: Historiography in the Making. Her writings have appeared in AA Files, Avery Review, PLOT, Log, and other journals. She was a recipient of the Richard Rogers Fellowship in 2017. She currently holds an appointment to Houston’s Historical and Archaeological Commission through 2025.


  • Ph.D. Columbia University
  • M.A. Tufts University
  • M.Arch. Princeton University
  • A.B. Harvard University

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