Dr. Stephanie Z. Pilat
University of Michigan
PhD, Architectural History and Theory
University of Michigan
MS, Architectural History and Theory
University of Cincinnati
Bachelor of Architecture
Stephanie Z. Pilat is the Director of the Division of Architecture in the Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma. Pilat is a designer and writer whose teaching and research examines points of intersection between politics and architecture.
Pilat’s work considers the ways in which design culture both reflects and constructs national identities and political agendas. Her first book, Reconstructing Italy: The Ina-Casa Neighborhoods of the Postwar Era, told the story of an Italian postwar housing program that activated the design and construction process for social aims. At a moment when most governments were building failed public and social housing projects, the Italian Ina-Casa plan succeeded due to the combination of carefully crafted public policy, funding and outstanding designs. The book was awarded the 2015 Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize for the best work on Italian history by the Society for Italian Historical Studies. It has recently been translated into Italian by Dr. Francesco Cianfarani and published with Castelvecchi Editore.
Pilat currently co-leads a team of approximately 30 faculty, students and staff working to bring the legacy of the American School of Architecture to light. The American School refers to the pedagogy and practices that emerged from the University of Oklahoma under the leadership of Bruce Goff, Herb Greene, and others. A 2020 exhibition at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art showcases the original approach to teaching and fantastic works of the American School. Pilat co-edited the companion book, Renegades: Bruce Goff and the American School of Architecture with Dr. Luca Guido and Dr. Angela Person. The team also worked with the OU Libraries to create the American School Archive as well as an exhibition in the Bizzell Memorial Library. In 2018, the American School history was showcased in a special installation at the Venice Architecture Biennale. This project has been generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts as well as over $500,000 in grants, private and corporate funding. See: https://architecture.ou.edu/the-american-school/.
Pilat recently co-edited The Routledge Companion Guide to Fascist Italian Architecture and Urbanism: Reception and Legacy with Professor Kay Bea Jones. This edited volume brings together the voices of thirty international scholars to investigate the afterlives of the architectural and urban projects of Italian Fascism. Essays examine the reception of fascist architecture through studies of destruction and adaptation, debates over re-use, artistic interventions, and even routine daily practices, which may slowly alter collective understandings of such places. This critical history of interpretations of fascist-era architecture and urban projects broadens our understanding of the relationships among politics, identity, memory and place.
At OU, Pilat has taught design studios as well as history courses, including: Modern and Contemporary Architecture; Cold War Architecture; and Architectural Theory and Criticism. She is the founder of the OU Rome program, which allows 10-20 OU architecture students to spend a semester in Rome each year. In 2015, Pilat was named as one of the “30 most admired educators” in the nation by DesignIntelligence magazine. In 2017, Pilat was named the Edith Kinney Gaylord Presidential Professor at the University of Oklahoma. Pilat’s research has been generously supported by a Fulbright Fellowship, a Rome Prize from the American Academy, a Wolfsonian-FIU fellowship, an American Fellowship from the American Association of University Women, a Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship and the National Endowment for the Arts as well as the University of Oklahoma and the University of Michigan. Pilat holds a professional degree in architecture from the University of Cincinnati and a Masters and Ph.D. in Architectural History and Theory from the University of Michigan. She has worked in architectural firms in Nashville, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Columbus and San Francisco. Pilat grew up in Columbus, Ohio, but roots for the Wolverines.
American Academy in Rome, Society of Fellows
Society of Architectural Historians member
American Institute of Architects Associate
Fulbright Fellow, Italy
Pilat, S. Z., Christie, J., Bogdanovic, J. (2016). “La Parola al Piccone: Demonstrations of Fascism at the Imperial Fora and the Mausoleum of Augustus.” The Political Landscapes of Capital University of Colorado Press, Vol. 2016.
Ward, J. A., Pilat, S. Z. (2016). “Terror, Trauma, Memory: Special Issue Dedicated to the Oklahoma City Bombing.” Social Science Quarterly, 1st ed., Vol. 97, 124.
Pilat, S. Z. (2014). “Reconstructing Italy: The Ina-Casa Neighborhoods of the Postwar Era.” Ashgate Press.
Jourdan, D. E., Pilat, S. Z. (2014). “Preserving Public Housing: Federal, State and Local Efforts to Preserve the Social and Architectural Forms Associated with Housing for the Poor.” Journal of Preservation Education & Research, Vol. 7, 19-30.
Presidential Professorship, University of Oklahoma. (2017).
Helen and Howard R. Marraro Book Prize, The Society for Italian Historical Studies. (January 10, 2016).
30 Most Admired Educators for 2015, Design Intelligence. (2015).
Donald and Maria Cox Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize Fellow in Modern Italian Studies, 2006-7, American Academy in Rome. (September 2006).
Fulbright Fellowship to Italy, Fulbright. (October 2005).
Featured Contracts, Grants, and Sponsored Research
Pilat, S.,, “Presidential Dream Course,” Sponsored by University of Oklahoma, The University of Oklahoma, $20,000. (January 2019 – May 2019).
Pilat, S.,, “Faculty Investment Program Grant,” Sponsored by University of Oklahoma, The University of Oklahoma, $14,000. (January 2018 – November 2018).
Pilat, S.,, “Program for Research Enhancement Grant,” Sponsored by Gibbs College of Architecture, The University of Oklahoma, $5,000. (January 2018 – November 2018).