Michael Speaks

Michael Speaks

Lexington, KY, US



MICHAEL SPEAKS, Ph.D., is Dean of the College of Design and Professor of Architecture at the University of Kentucky. Former Director of the Graduate Program at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles, Speaks has also taught in the graphic design department at the Yale School of Art, and in the architecture schools at Harvard University, Columbia University, The University of Michigan, UCLA, Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, and the Berlage Institute and TU Delft, in the Netherlands. Speaks has published and lectured internationally on contemporary art, architecture, urban design, and scenario planning.  His essays and exhibitions in the 1990s were among the first to introduce a new generation of Dutch architects and planners to a broader audience in the U.S. Speaks has also played an important role in recent debates about city branding and alternative models of city planning, authoring a number of essays and advisory studies as well as overseeing scenario studies commissioned by city and regional governments in the Netherlands. More recently, Speaks has been at the center of debates about the role innovation and prototyping plays in design and has written a series of influential essays that argue for the importance of what he calls “design intelligence,” or the various forms of design knowledge generated during design but which are often overlooked in favor of “the design.” Such intelligence, Speaks argues, offers an important area for design research, especially in an increasingly knowledge-based economy. Speaks was founding editor of the cultural journal Polygraph, and former Senior editor at Any in New York, where he also edited the book series, “Writing Architecture,” published by MIT Press. In addition, he served for many years on the editorial advisory board of a+u and as a contributing editor for Architectural Record.



Feb 2008 - current

Areas of Specialization