Design Thinking

Across Multiple Scales + Platforms + Networks 

Stephen Fan is a designer and researcher working at the intersections of architecture, planning, and art.

His work has been featured in the Architectural Record, the Atlantic's City Lab, Buildings and Landscapes, JSAH, Metropolis, Next City, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Shinkenchiku, and the World Journal. He is the curator and editor of SubUrbanisms: Casino Urbanization, Chinatowns and the Contested American Landscape, and has published research domestically and internationally. Recognized for his contributions to architecture and planning, he is a fellow of the Urban Design Forum, and served on the board of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, New England Chapter.

He has served as an adjunct assistant professor in the art history and architectural studies department at Connecticut College, where he developed the curriculum for the introductory design studio, "Architecture: Conventions, Inventions, and Transgressions," an advanced studio, "Architectural Mis-Fits: a Museum of Architecture," and a participatory design-build seminar/workshop: "Evidence-based Design: Interdisciplinary Approaches," co-taught with environmental psychologist Ann Devlin. The design-build seminar/workshop culminated in the construction of the first phase of a park for Hodges Square, New London, CT.

Hodges Square Park Kickstarter Campaign


P R A C T I C E   E X P E R I E N C E

Sou Fujimoto Architects, Tokyo, JAPAN
2007 Architectural Record Design Vanguard
2006 Architectural Review Emerging Architects Award Recipient

Leers Weinzapfel Associates, Boston, Massachusetts, US
2007 AIA Firm Award Recipient

Boston Redevelopment Authority, Boston, Massachusetts, US

C O N S T R U C T I O N   E X P E R I E N C E

Habitat for Humanity, BOLIVIA
Kenya Voluntary Development Authority, KENYA


Harvard Graduate School of Design (Master in Architecture, Letter of Commendation), Cambridge, Massachusetts, US
Harvard College (AB, History of Art and Architecture and Visual and Environmental Studies, with Highest Honors), Cambridge, Massachusetts, US

H O N O R S / F E L L O W S H I P S / G R A N T S

Scholar, Aspen Ideas Festival
Fellow, Institute for Public Architecture, NY
Paul E. Buchanan Award, Vernacular Architecture Forum
CCAPA Media Award, CT Chapter, American Planning Association
AASLH Award of Merit, American Association of State and Local History
CLHO Award of Merit, Connecticut League of History Organizations (SubUrbanisms)
Connecticut Humanities Grant (SubUrbanisms Public Forum Event)
Margaret Sheridan Community Learning Award (Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy)
Cogan Humanitarian Fund (Design/planning team for disaster recovery following the 3/11 tsunami/earthquake in Japan)
Thomas Temple Hoopes prize (Scholarly work on architecture, race and commemoration)
Harvard GSD Community Service Fellowship
Julia Amory Appleton Fellowship (Finalist, Research on Open Building systems)
Joseph Pulitzer Research Grant, William H. Overholt Research Grant (Research on tourist representations of Hong Kong)
Radcliffe Fellowship (Violin making apprenticeship under Oliver Radke, Fussen, Germany)
Harvard College Scholar, Gates Millenium Scholar, National Elks Foundation Scholar, Connecticut Building Congress Scholarship

T A L K S / L E C T U R E S / S Y M P O S I A

"Mapping Chinatown Food Systems" (Mary Miss / City as Living Laboratory)
"SubUrbanisms, Updated" (American Planning Association, CT Chapter)
"SubUrbanisms" (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
"Reimagining the Vanderpoel Asian Art Collection" (Slater Museum)
"The Future of Chinatown" (NYC Art in the Parks)
"Live/Work for the Workforce: Bringing Affordable Workspaces to Affordable Housing" (Institute for Public Architecture)
"Learning from Los Chinos" (Urbanism and the Social Good, Congress for New Urbanism 24)
"Urbanization of the Chinese Diaspora" (National University of Singapore)
"Urbanization of the Chinese Diaspora" (Hong Kong University)
"Casino Sub-Urbanisms in Southeast Connecticut" (Trinity College)
"Reimagining the American Dream" (Bard College)
"Casino Urbanization, Chinatowns, and the Contested American Landscape" (Understanding America Lecture Series, Yale)
"Cultures of Congestion: Overcrowding Standards, Co-living, Microunits, and the Sharing Economy" (Society of Architectural Historians, Metropolitan Chapter; Dept of Art History, NYU)
"Sustainable SubUrbanisms" (Gallatin School, Institute for Public Knowledge, A/P/A Institute, Urban Democracy Lab, NYU)
"Periphery: Informal Transit Networks" (Van Alen Institute, NY)
"Is there a Right Way to Live? Reimagining the American Dream" (Museum of Chinese in America, NY)
"Chinese Urbanization in American Suburbia" (Urban China Forum, Columbia University)
"Museums as Platforms for Community Engagement" (Building Community Workshop, Dallas TX)
"Casino Chinatowns" (Urban Humanities, UCLA)
"SubUrban In-fill, In-frastructure" (School of Architecture and Planning, University of Utah)
"Peripheral Urbanisms" (Vassar College)
"Un-Glitz: Art Activism and Global Cities" (A/P/A Institute and the Global Asia/Pacific Art Exchange, NYU)
"SubUrbanisms: Casino Urbanization, Chinatowns, and the Contested American Landscape" (Connecticut College/Lyman Allyn Art Museum)


Venice Architecture Biennale (Dimensions of Citizenship, Form N-X00) Venice, Italy
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA USA
Performa 17 (Circulations: Architecture and Performance), New York NY
Oslo Architecture Triennale, Oslo, Norway
Museum of Chinese in America, New York, NY USA
Lyman Allyn Art Museum, New London, Connecticut USA
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA USA


Urban Design Forum, Fellow
Vernacular Architecture Forum, Board Member, New England Chapter (2016-2019)