Guy Horton

Guy Horton

Los Angeles, CA, US



Guy Horton is a Los Angeles writer and author of the critical blog, The Indicator on, which covers issues ranging from the culture, politics, and business of architecture to theory and aesthetics. He is a frequent contributor to The Architect's Newspaper, The Atlantic Cities, Metropolis Magazine, Architectural Record, Architect Magazine, and GOOD Magazine. He writes on cities and architecture for The Huffington Post. He is a published poet and former member of Beyond Baroque. He has contributed extensively to Archinect.

You can find Guy on the radio as a guest host and design journalist for the KCRW show DnA: Design and Architecture, working with host and producer Frances Anderton.

As a consultant for strategic media, communications, and public relations development for architecture and design firms, he works with established media veteran Nancy Egan, founder of the respected firm New Voodou, Guy applies his extensive first-hand knowledge of practice and his journalism skills to help architecture and design firms significantly position themselves in the new media landscape. Guy's established industry connections and ability to understand and guide clients effectively advances client's industry standing and market reach.

He holds an M.Arch from SCI-Arc and formerly studied in the humanities, pursuing a PhD in modern Chinese literature and theory at UCLA. He's been told this is very obscure and esoteric.  His interest in architecture evolved from extensive traveling and stints living in cities throughout Asia. Guy is currently trying to teach himself how to play guitar--without much success. He is a fanatical listener of Henry Rollins' show though when he is writing he listens to baroque and consumes far too many jelly beans. Most mornings he can be found pushing his one-year-old in a stroller up and down hills on the westside where he lives with his wife, writer-scholar Sherin Wing, and his other daughter who does not need to be pushed around in a stroller. He ventures east of the 405 only when absolutely necessary. Current favorite band: The Allah Las. Favorite Wire record: Chairs Missing.

Photo credit: JR


Guy's Featured Articles on Archinect

The CRIT: Thoughts on MoMA's Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream, Mon, Jan 30 '12

"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work." — Daniel Hudson Burnham (1846-1912) “yes i was wondering how i go about not lossing my house it has been in my wifes ...

The CRIT: Thoughts on MoMA's Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream

CONTOURS: The Divisions that Bind Us, Mon, Jan 16 '12

As if the narratives and infographics of Occupy weren’t loud enough by now, Catherine Rampell, an economics reporter for The New York Times, decided to bang the drum a little louder by writing “Want a Job? Go to College, and Don’t Major in Architecture”.

CONTOURS: The Divisions that Bind Us

CONTOURS: EDD DE 1101 I - Part 2, Mon, Dec 5 '11

There are so many metaphors for being unemployed. My preference is a burial scenario. You are being buried and the earth keeps getting piled upon you deeper and deeper until you eventually stop trying to dig your way out. It becomes your early grave. Might as well just stay in there. When the ...

CONTOURS: EDD DE 1101 I - Part 2

CONTOURS: EDD DE 1101 I, Mon, Nov 28 '11

Author’s Disclaimer Hello! Author here. Just interjecting at the onset of this article to make it clear that, yes, I am indeed biased and this is not intended to be purely objective in any sense. I’m also blatantly stealing this device from David Foster Wallace, who used this little ...


CONTOURS: Get a Job!, Mon, Nov 21 '11

Disconnects. There are disconnects. You become aware of them when you pass from one reality into another. From employed to unemployed is one such transition. It’s hard to understand unless you have gone through it. I would compare the experience to going to war…without all the ...

CONTOURS: Get a Job!

CONTOURS: What Should Architecture Occupy? Part Two, Mon, Nov 7 '11

Of course, we know why architects are quiet on these fundamental issues of wealth and inequality. On the one hand they are just too busy trying to run their businesses and chase after ever fewer projects for less and less money. The other reason is that architects depend on the wealthiest ...

CONTOURS: What Should Architecture Occupy? Part Two

CONTOURS: What Should Architecture Occupy? Part One, Mon, Oct 31 '11

Unless you’ve been living under a very remote rock, you know by now that the OWS, or Occupy Wall Street movement, with its many offshoots including Occupy the Hood, has been continued for over a month, now. And what’s more, unless you are independently wealthy or a trustfund baby (and ...

CONTOURS: What Should Architecture Occupy? Part One

CONTOURS: The Real, Wed, Oct 5 '11

Let’s get real. What we generally call Reality is not something we should lose sight of at this juncture, when our economy is still faltering, protests are erupting in cities across the country (you have heard about this, right?), and conservatives are arguing that taxing the rich will ...


CONTOURS: Whither Goest Thou, Green Economy?, Mon, Sep 12 '11

Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night? --Jack Kerouac Did you tune into Obama’s jobs speech last Thursday night? Hopefully, you were too busy putting in unpaid overtime at your office. Or maybe you didn’t give a damn because you’ve been out there looking for ...

CONTOURS: Whither Goest Thou, Green Economy?

State of the Industry at the A+D Museum: A Panel on the Economy, Wed, Oct 13 '10

Loud music reverberated from speakers. The line at the sponsored free bar spilled out onto the sidewalk. The 2010 AIA/LA Design Award boards were perfectly leveled along the crisp white walls. With all the great design on display, the music, the mingling, the clinking of plastic glasses, one ...

State of the Industry at the A+D Museum: A Panel on the Economy

Last Supper at SCI-ARC: A Night of Beauty and its Problems, Mon, Sep 20 '10

It was a SCI-ARC night. LAPD helicopters thumping overhead, spotlights sweeping down. The twinkle of downtown just beyond. Derelict shopping carts and garbage just outside the fence. I parked between a shipping container and sheets of plywood near the shop. As I looked in, I could see some ...

Last Supper at SCI-ARC: A Night of Beauty and its Problems


Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), MArch, Architecture

My thesis evolved out of earlier studies of China at UCLA (see below). Entitled, "Beijing Grayscale", it investigated issues concerning the politics of development and contested identities communicated through architectural form, space, and place-making. The resultant architecture was a proposed series of new government offices stealthily inserted into the dense urban fabric of central Beijing. This was counter to official proposals to move the government outside the central city.

It was selected for inclusion in the 2006 juried Selected Thesis Exhibition.

Honestly, it's all still a blur!

Sep 2003 - Jan 2006

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Asian Languages & Cultures

PhD studies in Chinese culture, literature, film, urbanism, history, critical theory, and politics. My research investigated the intersections of urban transformation and contemporary literature. Related interests included semi-colonialism, political movements and their attendant cultural expressions, dissident artists and writers, and the Cultural Revolution and it's legacy in the arts. This had absolutely nothing to do with formal architecture, per se, but concerned cultural production in China's rapidly evolving urban settings.

Sep 1999 - Jun 2002


Mel Ferris Achievement Award, AIA California Council, Scholarship

The Mel Ferris Scholarship Program is named in honor of the late Mel Ferris, Hon. AIA, and former Executive Vice President of the AIA California Council. Funded by donations, the program grants scholarships to promising architectural students throughout California. All ten of the state’s accredited architectural schools participate in the Mel Ferris program, with 121 scholarships awarded since its launch in 1991.


AIA Pasadena-Foothill Design Award, Award


Mel Ferris Achievement Award, AIA California Council, Scholarship


AIA Pasadena-Foothill Design Award, Award


Areas of Specialization