George Johnston Headshot

George B. Johnston


George B. Johnston



Ph.D., Emory University, 2006
M.Arch., Rice University, 1984
B.Arch., Mississippi State University, 1979


architecture and urban design; social history of architectural practice; theories of representation; design culture


George B. Johnston is Professor of Architecture at Georgia Tech and principal of Johnston+Dumais [architects]. An architect and scholar of architectural practice, he has accrued over 40 years of experience as an educator, practitioner, and cultural historian. His research interrogates the political economy of the profession and broader cultural implications of making architecture in the American context. He teaches courses in architectural and urban design and social history of architectural practice and is author of the award-winning book from The MIT Press, Drafting Culture: A Social History of Architectural Graphic Standards, which has been lauded for its insights into the ongoing technological transformation of the profession. His most recent book, Assembling the Architect: The History and Theory of Professional Practice (Bloomsbury, 2020) traces the formation and standardization of fundamental relationships among architects, owners, and builders and cultivates a deeper understanding of the contemporary profession. As both practicing architect and cultural historian, George’s speculative inquiries are propelled by this central concern: What recuperative role can architects’ practices play in this age of social and technological upheaval? 

Johnston, G.B. (2020). Assembling the Architect: The History and Theory of Professional Practice. London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Guo, W. and Johnston, G.B. (2020). “Revisionist Approaches to the Historiography of Chinese Architecture.” Paper presented at the 108th Annual Meeting of the ACSA: Open. Proceedings of the 108th Annual ACSA Meeting, San Diego, CA.

Johnston, G.B. (2018). “Owners & Builders, Their Umpires & Agents.” Paper presented at the106th Annual Meeting of the ACSA: The Ethical Imperative. Proceedings of the 106th Annual ACSAMeeting, Denver, CO.

Johnston, G. B. (2017). “Drafting Room." In E. F. i Gilabert, A. Miljacki, A. Schafer, C. M. Carrasco & J. Reidel (Eds.), OfficeUS Manual. Zurich: Lars Müller Publishers.

Johnston, G.B. (2017). “Seeing Double: Stories from the Theater of Practice.” Paper presented at the The 105th Annual Meeting of the ACSA: Brooklyn says, "Move to Detroit." Proceedings of the 105th ACSA Annual Meeting, Detroit, MI

Johnston, G. B. (2016). “General Contractors, General Conditions, and the Architect's Distance from Labor.” Paper presented at the Shaping New Knowledges: Proceedings of the 104th ACSA Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA.

Johnston, G. B. (2014). “Value Engineering and the Life Cycle of Architecture.” In B. Flowers (Ed.), Architecture in an Age of Uncertainty (pp. 129-145). Surrey, England: Ashgate.

Johnston, G. B. (2012). “Professional Practice: The Ends and Means of Architectural Education.” In J. Ockman & R. Williamson (Eds.), Architecture School: Three Centuries of Educating Architects in North America (pp. 370-373). Cambridge, Mass.; Washington, D.C.: MIT Press; Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

Johnston, G. B. (2011). “Sweet's Catalog Files.” In J. M. Marter (Ed.), The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art (Vol. 4, pp. 622-623). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

Johnston, G. B. (2008). Drafting Culture: A Social History of Architectural Graphic Standards. Cambridge, MA: The M.I.T. Press.

2015 Fellow, Hambidge Center for Creative Arts & Sciences

2009 Book Award for Drafting Culture, Southeast Society of Architectural Historians

Design Studio

Arch 3016 Architectural Design Studio IV, “Construction Contingency and Place”
Arch 3017 Architectural Design Studio V, “Watershed”
Arch 6070 Advanced Architectural Design II, “Unsolicited Proposals”
Archi 8866 Design + Research Studio, “Performance Specifications”


Arch 4833/8833 Collage Making
Arch 6313/4316 Traditions of Architectural Practice
Arch 8101 Introduction to Architectural Research II: Representation
Arch 8102 Introduction to Architectural Research III: Historiography & Epistemology