BA in Architecture, 2002, Columbia University, NY; Master in City Planning, 2006, and PhD in History and Theory of Architecture, 2015, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. Publications: Landscape + Urbanism: Looking Around the Bay in Mumbai (co-edited with Alan Berger and Rahul Mehrotra). Awards: Mellon Jr. Fellowship in the Humanities, Urbanism, and Design. Professional experience: Associate Director, Urban Design Research Institute, Mumbai (2003–2004).

Personal Statement

Shiben Banerji is a historian of architecture and urbanism with a particular interest in the global formation of American landscape, urban, and architectural design. This approach to the historiography of cities and buildings motivates three related projects. The first, a book titled Lineages of the Global City, situates the Chicago architects Marion Mahony and Walter Burley Griffin in a transnational milieu of artists, architects, pacifists, and anti-colonial thinkers who turned to city design and development to shape a new democratic subject. Supported by a Mellon fellowship in the urban humanities from the University of Pennsylvania, this book examines projects originated between 1905 and 1945 across Europe, South Asia, Australia, and the Americas, and addresses the emergence of modernist urban design as a process-oriented practice engaged in the spiritualization of democracy and the transformation of what it meant to be human. Other related projects will highlight the work of communitarian thought in the making of the 20th century's first global tax havens, and will historicize the modernist configuration of the wall as a globalizing, multimedia surface.

Shiben is an active participant in inter-disciplinary conversations on globality. Abstracts of recent talks and publications are included on this page.

Since 2003, Shiben has worked with government agencies and NGOs on how best to respond to competing demands for justice in Indian cities, first in his role as the Associate Director of the Urban Design Research Institute in Mumbai, subsequently as a Research Fellow in the MIT Urbanization Laboratory, and more recently as a Short-Term Consultant to the World Bank.

Thesis Advisees

  • Farah Zeynep Aksoy (MA 2016): Mediated Modernism: Jewad Selim's Wall Paintings and the Vacillations of Postcolonial Iraq
  • Sabrina Greig (MA 2016): Order and Chaos in the City: Cartography's Mediation of Race Relations, Labor, Industry, and Transit in Chicago
  • Alison Reilly (MA 2015): The Following is a True Story: Fiction, Bunkerization and Cinema in Post-Socialist Albania


Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.