Gans’s research, writing and practice form an integrated whole focused on new forms of social engagement. Her essays create an international public platform for her thinking particularly on housing and ecologies -- both of which are also central to her practice. While responsible scholarship, they are written for a larger popular audience and so find their way into translation or travels across the web.

"Design Action," Concurrent Urbanities: Designing Infrastructures of Inclusion, ed. Miodrag Mitrasinovic, Routledge 2016

"Hospitality Begins at Home: Spatial Peace for Jerusalem,” began as a piece for PLACES/Design Observer 1.30.2012

  • Subsequently Published in Spanish: Arquine #59 Mexico 6.2012

  • Subsequently Published in Hebrew and Arabic in Artis 8.2012

“Biennial for the People: Landscape Urbanism in Israel,” Architects Newspaper 2.24.2011

“I Love Bat Yam,” in Hebrew, the catalogue for TIMING, Bat Yam Biennial, 5.2010

“Lust and Loathing in Venice,” Constructs, Yale School of Architecture, Fall 2008

“Review of Home Delivery,” Journal of Architectural Education, Fall 2008

“Bill Katavolos by Deborah Gans,” BOMB 9.2006

“Terra Incognita,” Architect’s Newspaper 4.6.2005

“Darwinian Urbanism,” Architect’s Newspaper 6.4.2005

“Response to Kenneth Frampton” Urban Life Catalogue, The Architectural League 2003


"Missing Scales," Waterproofing New York, eds. Brandt and Nordenson, Terreform 2015

"Missing Scales," Ground Rules in Humanitarian Design, 2015

"When Bottom-up Meets Top-down" The benefits of community engagement in post-disaster rebuilding plans, Oculus Spring 2015

“Top Down Bottom Up," Concurrent Urbanities: Designing Infrastructures of Inclusion. Routledge 2014.

"Missing Scales" Boundaries 'Architectures for Emergencies' 2014


These writings accompany the work Gans accomplished in New Orleans between 2006 and 2010. Some of them tell the story of the challenges her interdisciplinary team faced and the limits of their methodology, which combined bottom-up and top-down planning. This critical self-assessment is valuable to the profession-at-large as evidenced by the number of essays she has been asked to write on the subject for an international range of publications. 

“Plum Orchard Mon Amour,” New Orleans Under Reconstruction, eds. Reese, Sorkin, Fontenot, Verso Books 2014

“Repositioning in Place,” Evasions of Power, Slought Foundation and U Penn, Philadelphia 2012

“The Coastal Suburb and The Goose,” Boundaries # 2, Rome. December 2011 in English and Italian

“Below the Sill Plate,” Beyond Shelter, ed. Marie J. Aquilino, Metropolis Books 2011

Excerpted and republished in: Places/Design Observer 2011

“Pines Village,” Stadt Bauwelt 36/06 2006 in German On Resilient Landscapes


These writings accompany Gans work on displacement and its consequences for environmental sustainability. Because they include research and thinking on root causes of displacement, they have been commissioned for publication in fields outside of architecture per se. For example, ‘Ladies and Gents: A History of the Public Toilet’ is a volume of cultural studies, and ‘Cities without Citizens’ combines essays on politics, culture and architecture.

 “Last Chance for the First Nation,” Last Round Ecologies, Slum Lab 2011

“Humanitarian Design: Refugee Camps,” Architectural Record 10.08

“Were Our Customs So Beautiful,” Ladies and Gents, ed. Gershenson, Temple U Press 2009

“Unbearable Lightness,” Expanding Architecture, Bryan Bell ed., Metropolis Books 2008

“Extreme Housing,” Design Like You Give a Damn, Cameron Sinclair ed. PAP 2006

“Refugee Camps of Today/Cities of Tomorrow,” Extreme Sites: Greening the Brownfield AD 2004

“The Realpolitik of Utopia,” Perspecta 34 2003

Excerpted and Republished in Cities Without Citizens, Slought Press, 2004

Translated into German and Republished as: Über Nomaden,” Bauwelt 24, 6.04

“Avoiding Disaster,” AD, vol. 8-9. 2003

“Home/Furnishings,” AD, 9-10. 2002

ON Le Corbusier:

Le Corbusier continues to be a figure of concern and Deborah Gans continues to contribute to Corbusian scholarship as she is frequently asked to contribute essays to books or review them for Architects Newspaper or RIBA journal. In each essay she frames Le Corbusier’s work in terms of contemporary issues -- as in her recent essays on his relation to capitalism, “Big Work,” and his understanding of landscape, “Middle Ground." Her writings simultaneously bring relevancy to his work and put the burning issues of contemporary practice like globalization and environmental challenges in his larger historical framework.

"Inside the Visionary Mind that Shaped Our Landscape," The New European 2016

“Le Corbusier Situated,” RIBA Journal 2014

“Middle Ground," Mostly Modern: Essays on Art and Architecture, ed. Joseph Masheck, Hard Press 2014

“Le Corbusier: State of the Industry,” Architects Newspaper 2013

“Le Corbusier: Big Work,” Architecture and Capitalism, ed. Peggy Deamer, Routledge 2013

“Out of India,” Architects Newspaper 9.10.2011

“Le Corbusier Le Grand,” RIBA Journal 2009

“Still Life After All, Le Corbusier’s Paintings,” AD vol. 73 no 3 2003‘

“Chandigarh: Ecology of the New,” Chandigarh Perspectives 2001