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Anthony Raynsford
PhD - University of Chicago / M.Arch. - UCLA

San José State University
Associate Professor Department of Art and Art History

Anthony Raynsford is an architectural and urban design historian, whose interdisciplinary research interests bridge across cultural, intellectual and art history, particularly of the 20th century. His teaching seeks to develop a critical understanding of the interlocking social and aesthetic issues faced by architects and designers, both currently and historically. Professor Raynsford's current book project is entitled,Cities for an 'Open Society': The Aesthetic Politics of American Urban Design, 1940-1975 . Related to this project are also a number of papers and essays, including a recent article on the politics of the British Townscape movement.


Book Project

    Cities for an 'Open Society': The Aesthetic Politics of American Urban Design, 1940-1975 This research project explores a fundamental shift within Anglo-American urban design practices, from a relatively closed model of a hierarchically ordered, 'organic' city to a relatively indeterminate model of an open-ended, pluralistically constructed city.Explaining this shift entails posing two interrelated questions: How have Anglo-American urban planners and architects generally conceived the shapes of cities for complex, pluralistic societies in the postwar period? How were their psychological, aesthetic and political assumptions about urban citizenship shaped by the context of the Cold War? In order to frame these questions, I invoke the phrase 'open society' in its historical signification as that which opposed totalitarianism, in particular, and political utopianism more generally. This work builds on the conclusions found in my recent publications.


  • Sites of Lost Dwelling: The Figure of the Archaic City in the Discourses of Urban Design, 1938-70. Abstract of Dissertation.
  • Table of Contents. for Dissertation.

    Current Work

  • "Urban contrast and Neo-Toryism: On the Social and Political Symbolism of The Architectural Review's Townscape Campaign,", Article published in Planning Perspectives
  • "Simulating Spatial Experience in the People's Berkeley: The Urban Design Experiments of Donald Appleyard and Kenneth Craik,", Article published in Design and Culture
  • "Civic Art in an Age of Cultural Relativism: The Aesthetic Origins of Kevin Lynch's Image of
    the City,"
    , Article published in the Journal of Urban Design
  • "From Urban Village to Metropolitan Picturesque: Precincts, Townscape, and the ‘Cellular’
    Planning of World War II London,"
    Paper delivered the 1st meeting of the EAHN, Guimarães, Portugal, June, 2010
  • Previous Work

  • “Swarm of the Metropolis.”Article published in JAE.
  • “Mirrors within the Wall: Enlightenment Authority and the Dialectics of Visual Desire in
    Ledoux’s Project for the Saline de Chaux.”
    Article published in Chicago Art Journal.

    More Details

  • Teaching

    Current and Recent Courses at SJSU

    Courses Previously Taught

    Architecture Resources

    Bay Area Archives

    Bay Area Architectural Organizations

    National and International Architectural Resources

    Anthony Raynsford
    E-mail: Anthony.Raynsford@sjsu.edu
    Last Modified: 1/11/11