Everything Else Is Bric-a-Brac Princeton Architectural Press, 2022

How to Disappear: notes on invisibility in a time of transparency. Penguin Press, 2019

The Incidental Steward: Reflections on Citizen Science. Yale University Press, 2013 (paperback edition, 2014)

Patience: Taking Time in an Age of Acceleration. Sterling Books, 2010

Nine Ways to Cross a River: Midstream Reflections on Swimming and Getting There from Here. Bloomsbury U.S.A, 2007

The Uncommon Lives of Common Objects: Essays on Design and the Everyday. Metropolis Books/D.A.P, 2004

Geography of Home: Writings on Where We Live. Princeton Architectural Press, 1999

Rooftop Architecture: The Art of Going through the Roof, Henry Holt and Company, 1991

The Photography of Architecture: Twelve Views, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1987


Books (as editor):

Szenasy, Design Advocate, Metropolis Books, 2014

At Water’s Edge, (chapbook of student essays), School of Visual Arts, 2011

Fresh Dialogues 3, Princeton Architectural Press, 2004

Design Is: Words, Things, People, Buildings, Places, Princeton Architectural Press, 2002

Design for Sports, Princeton Architectural Press, 1998


Catalog Essays:

Held, “Kim Cridler,” The Metal Museum, Fall, 2021

In/Animate: Recent Work by Myra Mimlitsch-Gray, “Domestic Disruptions,” Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY, New Paltz, 2016

Ezra Stoller: Photographer, “Capturing House and Home,” 2012

Lives of the Hudson, “Reading the River,” The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, 2009

Objects for Use: Handmade by Design, “Perspectives on Craft and Design,” American Craft Museum, 2001

Let’s Entertain: Life’s Guilty Pleasures, “Branding, Bar Codes, and Other Assorted End Credits,” Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2000

Design for Sports: The Cult of Performance, “The Athlete Relocated,” Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, 1998

Turn of the Century Home, “Geography of Home,” University of Chicago, 1994

For the Floor, “The World at our Feet,” American Craft Museum, 1985

Pattern, “A Branch of Lilacs, A Blue Stripe: pattern in surface decoration,” American Craft Museum, 1982



Water’s Edge: writing on water, Northwestern University Press, 2022

Visualizing Nature: essays on truth, spirit, and philosophy, Princeton Architectural Press, 2021

Then Again: vintage photographs reimagined by one artist and thirty-one writers, Laura Christensen, Winglet Books, 2019

This is the Place: women writing about home, Seal Press/Da Capo, 2017



I was a contributing editor at Metropolis magazine for 20 years, and have written regular columns for Metropolis, American Craft, The New York Times Regional Section, and House & Garden. My essays and articles have also appeared in Architectural Record, Dwell, ID, Metropolitan Home, Harvard Review, Lapham’s Quarterly, London Financial Times, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Orion, Traditional Home, Travel & Leisure, TriQuarterly, and Wallpaper*, among other publications.


Regular blog for Next Avenue, a national public media website launched by PBS stations in 2012.



The Shape of the World with Jill Ridell, May, 2020

Secret Library with Carolyn Donahue, March, 2019

Spirituality and Health: Essential Conversations with Rabbi Rami, April 2019



Conversation with Tara Henley, Toronto Public Library, Spring, 2021

Conversations with Dan Skinner, Kansas Public Radio, Summer, 2020

The Book Show with Joe Donahue, WAMC, Winter, 2019

The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC, New York, NY, Spring, 2019

The Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC, New York, NY, Summer, 2007

Design for the Real World, Studio 360, (assorted segments), PRI, 2004-2005

Clearwater Moments (ten segments), WNYC Albany, Fall, 2008


Teaching Experience:

Bennington College: Visiting teacher, Spring 2008 and Fall, 2014 to Fall, 2020

School of the Visual Arts, MA Program in Design Research: “Reading Design,” 2009 to 2020

The Writing Institute, Sarah Lawrence College, 2015

University of Hartford: Richard Koopman Distinguished Chair for the Visual Arts at the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford, “The Design of Desire,” Fall, 2005


Lectures and Workshops (selected):
92nd Street Y, “Philosophy in Hard Times: conversations with John Kaag,” Via Zoom, Summer, 2020

Mass MoCA, “Gaining Ground: eight impressions of the work of Rafa Esparza,” North Adams, MA, Fall, 2019

Oakland University, “Invisible Ink,” Rochester, MI, Spring, 2019

TED Talk, “The Power of Invisibility,” Mumbai, India, Fall, 2019

The Katonah Museum, “Stories of Home,” Katonah, NY, Spring, 2015

Brown University, “Writing on Water: waterways and shorelines,” Providence RI, Spring 2018

The School of Visual Arts, Keynote, “Notes on Being a Generalist,” Spring, 2017

Providence Athenaeum, “Writing Nature,” Fall, 2016

Pacific Northwest College of Art, “Notes on Fit,” Spring, 2015

Bennington College, “Notes on The Incidental Steward,” Fall, 2014

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, “Living on the Edge,” Fall, 2014

Parsons The New School for Design: Aftertaste, “Objects and Language,” Winter 2013

The School of Visual Arts, “Assorted Notes on Fit,” Fall, 2013

The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, “Reflections on Citizen Science,” Spring, 2013

Hollins University, “The Written and the Made,” Summer, 2012

Bennington College, “River of Words,” Spring 2012

Cleveland Institute of Art, “Objects as Presence,” Fall, 2011

AIGA Design Conference: Pivot, “Designing Fiction,” Fall, 2011

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, “The Language of Craft,” Summer, 2008

Moravian College, “Landscape and Personal Narrative,” Fall, 2008

Utah State University, “Landscape and Personal Narrative,” Fall, 2007

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, “Gender and Design at Work,” Spring, 1994

Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, “Geography of Home,” Winter, 1994


Readings (selected):
Woodstock Bookfest, Woodstock, NY, Spring, 2019

The Millbrook Book Festival, Millbrook, NY, Spring, 2019

The School of Visual Arts, New York, NY, Spring, 2019

The Hillsdale Library, Hillsdale, NY, Fall, 2019

Oblong Books, Rhinebeck, NY, Winter, 2019

Northshire Books, Saratoga NY, Fall 2017

Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY/New Paltz, Fall 2017

Hudson Valley Writers Resist, Rosendale, NY, Spring 2017

Clermont Cottage, Clermont State Historic Site, Summer, 2015

Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Summer, 2013

The Beacon Institute of Rivers and Estuaries, Beacon, NY, Spring, 2010

The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, Tarrytown, NY, Spring, 2010

Maple Grove Summer Reading Program, Summer, 2010

Oblong Books, Rhinebeck, NY, Fall, 2010

Tivoli Bays Visitors Center, Spring, 2009

The Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY, Spring 2008

KGB Bar, New York, NY, Spring, 2008

Nashua River Watershed Association, Groton, MA, Fall, 2008

The City Library, Salt Lake City, UT, Fall, 2007

Barnes and Noble, New York, NY, Fall, 2002

National Building Museum, Washington, D.C., Spring, 1996

National Institute for Architectural Education, New York, NY, Winter, 1993



New York Foundation for the Arts, Grant in Literary Nonfiction, 2011

Furthermore Foundation Grant, 2011



Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Umbertide, Italy, Summer, 2013

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY, Spring, 2011

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME, Summer, 2009


Education: Bachelor of Arts in Literature, Bennington College, 1976