Ellen Dunham-Jones

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  • Job Title: Director of Urban Design Program and Professor, School of Architecture
    Full, School of Architecture, School of City and Regional Planning, Urban Design
  • E Dunham Jones 03/2016
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Ellen Dunham-Jones is Coordinator of the MS in Urban Design. She teaches “Theories of Urban Design,” “Retrofitting Suburbia” and urban design studios.

A leading authority on suburban redevelopment, she and June Williamson wrote Retrofitting Suburbia; Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs (Wiley & Sons, 2009, update in 2011, mandarin edition in 2013). The book documents successful retrofits of vacant big box stores, dead malls, aging office parks, etc., into more sustainable places. The book received the PROSE award from the American Association of Publishers as best architecture/urban planning book of 2009, was featured in Time Magazine’s March 23, 2009 cover story, “10 ideas changing the world right now” and is the subject of her 2010 TED talk and 2012 TED-NPR Radio Hour interview. She appeared in the 2011 documentary Urbanized, the 2012 PBS series “Designing Healthy Communities” and was recently interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition. She continues to build her database of suburban retrofits, lecture widely, and publish successful strategies for meeting 21st century challenges.

Ellen’s published over 60 additional papers linking contemporary architectural theory and practice. Most recently, “Irrational Exuberance: Rem Koolhaas in the Nineties” in the 2013 book Architecture and Capitalism was named one of the ten most popular essays of 2013 by The Design Observer Group.  

She has served in several national leadership roles including Board Chair of the Congress for the New Urbanism, AIA Design and Health Leadership Group, the Hanley Wood Sustainability Council, and the advisory boards of the Journal of Urbanism, Places, (in)Forma, the Livability Index, and is chair of the board of Commons Planning.

She received undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture from Princeton University and taught at UVA and MIT before joining Georgia Tech’s faculty to serve as Director of the Architecture Program from 2001-2009. 

Educational Background
1980 – A.B. in architecture and planning, summa cum laude, Princeton University
1983 – M.Arch, Princeton University


  • Sustainable Urban Design
  • Suburban Redevelopment – (Re-inhabitation, Re-Greening, and Redevelopment of dead malls, big box stores, office parks, etc.)
  • New Urbanism & Smart Growth
  • Health and Urban Design
  • Post-Industrial Development Patterns and Globalization
  • Contemporary Architectural Theory

Additional Information


College of Design, School of Architecture

  • Created By: Erin Howe
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: May 12, 2010 - 6:57am
  • Last Updated: Sep 21, 2016 - 4:47pm