Mireille Roddier is an associate professor of Architecture and teaches in both the design and history/theory curriculum. She also holds a joint appointment with Women’s Studies, and a faculty affiliation at the Institute for Research on Women & Gender.
Her current research focuses on the cyclical emergence of vernacular forms, both architectural and linguistic. Since exploring the architecture of working-class women’s civic spaces in Lavoirs: Washhouses of Rural France (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2003), she has studied the feedback loops between the visual representation of the built environment and architecture itself as an indexical representation of its place and time. More recently, she has focused on relationship between urban narratives, the production of the public realm, belonging, and appropriation. Borrowing theories of representation developed in other fields (theatre, photography, ethnography), and informed by interdisciplinary fellowships (Institute for the Humanities, Institute for Critical Social Inquiry), her work has explored the specific processes and patterns through which visual narration perpetually transform the world, with a heavy focus on the media representations of Detroit and Paris.
Her critical writings have appeared in the Architectural Review, Places Journal, Volume, MONU, New Writing, etc. and she regularly lectures on the necessity for energetic degrowth, on the aestheticization of urban decay, on women’s representation of cities, and on the paradoxes of preservation. Recent graduate seminars include “New Babylon Redux” (2013-15) on the Situationist critique of the city, “Medusa in the Metro: urban representation and the gendered gaze” (2018-2021) and “Radical Vernacular: dwelling, diversity and domesticity“ (2023-).
Her ongoing interest in the mechanisms and politics of representation has also fueled her design work. The projects of Mitnick-Roddier, her shared practice with Keith Mitnick, have received numerous awards, including a 2021-22 Rome Prize in Architecture from the American Academy in Rome, the Architecture League of New York’s Young Architects Prize and Architectural Record’s 2005 Design Vanguard, and have been widely published and exhibited (Log, Mark Magazine, Storefront, SFMoMA, etc).