Photo: Aaron Cayer

Aaron Cayer

  • Assistant Professor of Architecture History
  • /


    • Ph.D. in Architecture, University of California, Los Angeles
    • M.Arch, Norwich University
    • B.S. Architectural Studies, Norwich University


    • History/theory of architectural practice
    • Labor and economic history
    • Theories of practice
    • Corporate capitalism

    Aaron Cayer, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Architecture History at the University of New Mexico. Prior to New Mexico, Dr. Cayer taught architecture history and theory courses at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and he was a Senior Research Associate at cityLAB, which is an urban research center with UCLA's Department of Architecture and Urban Design, from 2012-2017. He co-founded the Los Angeles and New Mexico chapters of The Architecture Lobby in 2016 and 2018 respectively, and he currently serves as the Lobby’s National Content Coordinator. He received his Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture from Norwich University in Vermont. His current research focuses on the histories and theories of postwar corporate architecture practices as they overlap with those of labor, capitalism, and urban political economies.

    ARCH 621: Research Methodology

    ARCH 224/524: World Architecture II

    ARCH 402: Architecture and War

    ARCH 462/662: Labor and Architecture

    ARCH 462/662: Cities and Literature


    Cayer, Aaron. “Subsidiary Architecture: Multi-Firm Practices and the Blurring of Distinction Between Large and Small Firms,” Proceedings for 108th ACSA National Meeting“Practice.” 2020.

    Cayer, Aaron. “The Urban Shape of Practice: AECOM and the Rise of Architecture Conglomerates” Journal of Architecture Education: “Work,” special issue ed. P. Deamer, and T. Yan Ng, vol. 73.2, 178-192, 2019.

    Cayer, Aaron, Peggy Deamer, Shawhin Rhoudbari, and Manuel Shvartzberg. “Socializing Practice: From Small Firms to Cooperative Models of Organization,” in Mel Dodd (ed.) Spatial Practices: Modes of Action and Engagement in the City, (New York: Routledge) [Currently in Press].

             Re-printed in: P. Deamer (ed.) Architecture and Labor, (New York:                     Routledge) [Forthcoming, 2020].

    Cayer, Aaron and Catherine Tsukasa Bender. “Beyond Public: Architects, Activists, and the Design of Akichi at Tokyo’s Miyashita Park,” Architecture Research Quarterly vol. 23.2, 2019.

    Cayer, Aaron. "From Archive to Office: The Role of History in Theories of Architecture Practice," in Albena Yaneva (ed), Ardeth: BOTTEGA: Ecology of Design Practice, no. 2 (March), 2018.

    Cayer, Aaron. "Metropolitan Living: The Los Angeles Parklabrea Apartments," Journal of Urban History (April), 2018.

    Cayer, Aaron. "Park La Brea," in Society of Architectural Historians Archipedia (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press), 2017.

    Cayer, Aaron. "Stabilizing Practice: A Culture of Business at Daniel, Mann, Johnson, Mendenhall," Proceedings for 105th ACSA National Meeting: Brooklyn Says, "Move to Detroit," 2017.

    Cayer, Aaron and Dana Cuff. "UNFIT: Los Angeles and the Empty Glass Box," Thresholds: Workspace 44 (MIT Press), 2016.

    Reports and Essays

      Cayer, Aaron, ed. Trace: “Practicing,” no. 3 (Albuquerque: UNM School of Architecture + Planning). 2020.

    Cayer, Aaron and Jen Hofer, “On Listening,” transcribed interview for LA Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, Fall 2019 Newsletter. 2019.

    Cayer, Aaron, et al. Not Our Wall. (New York: The Architecture Lobby), 2018.

    Cayer, Aaron and Peggy Deamer. “The Architecture Lobby,” transcribed interview by Marcin Szczodry, Rzut Magazin: “Profession,” no. 15, 2018.

    Deamer, Peggy et al. with Aaron Cayer, "Lobbying for Value--A Dialogue" in ARQ 97: Value (December), 2017.

    Cayer, Aaron, Dana Cuff et al. Re-Wiring an Urban Geography of Work (Los Angeles, CA: CityLAB-UCLA and Gensler), 2015.

    Cayer, Aaron and Catherine Tsukasa Bender, "Akichi Undercommons" in J. Crisman, ed. Shin-Shinjuku: New Tokyo, Again (Los Angeles, CA: UCLA Urban Humanities Initiative), pp. 68-81, 2014.

    Cuff, Dana, Carla Salehian, and Aaron Cayer. Information Technology Workplace Futures: A Pilot Study for UCLA IS Associates (Los Angeles: cityLAB-UCLA), 2014.

    Cuff, Dana, et al with Aaron Cayer (ed.). Backyard Homes and Local Concerns (Los Angeles: cityLAB-UCLA and Luskin School of Public Policy), 2014.

    Cuff, Dana, Tim Higgins, Aaron Cayer, et al. The Future of Office Work: How We Got Here. (Los Angeles: CityLAB-UCLA and Gensler Los Angeles).


    Cayer, Aaron. Design and Profit: Architectural Practice in the Age of Accumulation, in progress.

    Cayer, Aaron, Peggy Deamer, et al. Assymetric Labors: The Economy of Architecture in Theory and Practice (New York: The Architecture Lobby), 2016.

    “Maine’s River Valley,” New York Architecture League (Research), 2020 [link and public announcement forthcoming]

    Architecture Lobby (Activism), 2016 - present.

    cityLab, Times 10 (Exhibition), 2017.

    The Future of Work (Research), 2012-2015.

    Urban Humanities Initiative (Curricular), 2013-2014.

     Long-Term Research Fellow, The Huntington Library and Art Collections, San Marino, CA, 2020-2021

    Teaching Fellow, Center for Teaching Excellence, University of New Mexico, 2019-2020.

    Research Allocations Grant, University of New Mexico, 2019-2020.

    W.M. Keck Foundation Fellow in Residence, The Huntington Library and Art Collections, San Marino, CA, 2019.

    Opler Membership Grant for Emerging Professionals, Society of Architectural Historians, 2018-2019.

    Professor of the Year, Department of Architecture, Cal Poly Pomona, AIAS, 2018.

    Faculty Development Award, College of Environmental Design, Cal Poly Pomona, 2018.

    O' Kern Dissertation Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles, 2016-2017.

    Mary and Bruce Coffey Research Fellow, The Huntington Library and Art Collection, San Marino, CA, 2016.

    Cecilia Steinfeldy Fellow for Research in the Arts and Material Culture, Texas State Historical Association, 2016.

    Clifton Webb Fine Arts Award, University of California, Los Angeles, 2014.

    City Award for Research, Urban Humanities Institute, UCLA, 2014.

    cityLAB Doctoral Fellow, cityLAB-UCLA, 2012-2013.

    Henry Adams Medal, American Institute of Architects (AIA-National), 2012.

    King Medal, Architectural Research Center Consortium (ARCC), 2011.

    Award for Research Excellence in Sociology, Norwich University, 2011.

    Design Excellence Award, American Institute of Architects (AIA-Vermont), 2009.

    A. Francis Politi International Fellowship, Norwich University, VT, 2008-2009.