Robert Mugerauer

Robert Mugerauer

Professor, Architecture; Professor, Urban Design & Planning; Adjunct Faculty, Landscape Architecture

Planning has its power in looking further forward than most of us have time to do.  However, in some cases a strong driving group, even though it may have a coherent and functional plan, is imposed upon a population and place.  To counter this, Robert Mugerauer comes to planning with the intent of maximizing ways for people not only to speak for themselves, but to be really heard and responded to.  To help in such a trajectory he combines sophisticated theory and pragmatic attention to effective action—especially by using qualitative research methods to focus on the everyday lifeworld’s problems such as health and well-being, ecological transformation, and housing.  In the past he has published extensively in theoretical and philosophical venues and has worked professionally on low-income housing (mainly with migrant and seasonal farmworkers), permaculture design, non-profit planning and building projects.

Recently he has been working to develop ways in which complexity theory can be combined with continental philosophies such as phenomenology to explore how neighborhoods can be self-organizing and sustaining, how the dynamic relationship between the built environment and health/well-being operates, and how psychological therapy can benefit from inducing the spatial realm of clients.  In using these approaches, especially as practically applied in qualitative research he works on many interdisciplinary projects with students from urban design and planning, architecture, landscape architecture, anthropology, nursing, and social work.  As a result, his focus is not only on specific “content areas” such as health planning, eco-design, or the cultural urban ecology, but on applying qualitative research in areas where the student has a focal expertise in such areas and he helps provide the research methodology.

His appointment is joint between urban design & planning and architecture, in addition to which he is an adjunct faculty in landscape architecture and anthropology. He has been a visiting-adjunct faculty member in the School of Health and Social Care within the Center for Qualitative Research at Bournemouth University, UK.  He is a cofounder of the International Association for Environmental Philosophy and the Environmental & Architectural Phenomenology quarterly; he is an active member of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments and the International Human Research Council.  He serves on the Board of Editors for JAPA (Journal of Architectural and Planning Research), and is a co-editor of Lexington Books series, Topophilia: Transdisciplinary Studies of Place/Space, Environment, Design, and Planning and of The University of Texas Press series Constructs.