Photo: Mark C.  Childs

Mark C. Childs

  • Professor
  • / 505.277.5059


    • M. Arch. U. of Oregon
    • M. Public Admin U. of Washington


    • Urban design
    • Public Arts + Spaces
    • Narrative Landscapes

    Professor Childs' Visual Portfolio

    M.C. Childs’ award-winning urban design books include The Zeon Files: Art and Design of Historic Route 66 Signs (UNM Press 2016), Urban Composition (Princeton Architectural Press 2012), Squares: A Public Space Design Guide (UNM Press 2004). He is a Fulbright Senior Scholar and interim dean of architecture at the University of New Mexico. He lectures internationally on story and placemaking, public art and public spaces, and context analysis.

    His poetry has recently appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Andromeda Spaceways Magazine, Abyss & Apex, Focus, Liminality and many others. He was a member of M.I.T.’s International Tiddlywinks Team.


    Research Methods

    Urban Design Methods

    Independent Projects


    The Zeon Files: the art and design of Route 66 signs. University of New Mexico Press, May 2016. New Mexico Historic Preservation Award 2017. See NM PBS episode -

    Urban Composition. Princeton Architectural Press, 2012. EDRA Great Places Book Award 2013.

    The Shapes of Transportation. New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration, 2007.

    Squares: A Public Space Design Guide for Urbanists. UNM Press, 2004. Planetizen Top Ten Books of 2005, and Top 8 Public Space Design Books.

    Never Say Goodbye: The Albuquerque Rephotography Project with Anthony Anella, Albuquerque Museum, 2000. Previously published in the Albuquerque Tribune, 1998 to 1999. Heritage Preservation Award from the State of New Mexico, 1999.

    Parking Spaces: A Design, Implementation, and Use Manual for Architects, Planners, and Engineers, McGraw-Hill, 1999. Reprinted in Mandarin, 2003.


    Selected Articles

    “Composing Speculative Cities,” Analog Science Fiction and Fact, April 2016.

    “Learning from New Millennium Science Fiction Cities,” Journal of Urbanism, V8, N1, March 2015, 97-109.

    “Urban Design Evidence,” Urban Design and Planning, V167, I4. August 2014, 145-147.

    “A Spectrum of Urban Design Roles,” Journal of Urban Design, V15, N1, 2010, 1-19.

    “Civic Concinnity,” Journal of Urban Design, V14, N2, 2009, 131-145.

    “Storytelling and Urban Design,” Journal of Urbanism, V1, N2, 2008, 173-186. http: //

    “Town Raisings,” Urban Design International, V9, N2, 2004, 73-80.

    “Civic Ecosystems,” Journal of Urban Design, V6, No. 1, 2001, 52-72.

    “The Incarnations of Central Avenue,” Journal of Urban Design, V1, No. 3, 1996, 281-298.


    Mark is currently developing a book on forecasting and urban design and continuing to write poetry. He is hosting a place-based writing competition in the spring of 2020.

    Science Fiction Poetry Association Competition- placed in short form poetry, 2018 and 2019. 

    State of New Mexico Preservation Award for his book, The Zeon Files: Art and Design of Historic Route 66 Signs with Ellen Babcock.

    Heritage Preservation Award from the State of New Mexico, 2017 for The Zeon Files, with Ellen Babcock.

    Roster of Fulbright Specialists, 2014 – 2019.

    Environmental Design Research Association Great Places Book Award for Urban Composition, 2013.

    Faculty Fellow of the Provost’s Office of Support for Effective Teaching focused on the scholarship of engagement, fall 2008 - spring 2009.

    Fulbright Senior Scholar, Cyprus 2005.

    Heritage Preservation Award from the State of New Mexico, 1999 for Never Say Good-bye: The Albuquerque Rephotography Project, with Anthony Anella.

    Dean’s Award for Teaching, School of Architecture and Planning, UNM, 1997.

    Boit Prize for poetry, MIT, 1980.

    For studio, seminar, and independent student projects under my direction:

    NCARB Prize 2006 for DPAC’s work with the State of New Mexico Main Street Program.

    2003 Charter Award from the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) for Doña Ana Plaza Plan.

    AIA New Mexico gave 1999 Honor Awards for (1) Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Plaza studio, (2) 4th Street Mall Balloon Park in the downtown studio, and (3) Senior Village studio.

    APA New Mexico awards: 2002 Innovation in Planning/Historic Preservation Award for Doña Ana Plaza Plan; 2004 Student Award for Albuquerque Arroyo Multi-use Plan developed in my Infrastructure seminar.