Patricio del Real

Patricio del Real

Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture
Modern Architecture

Patricio del Real is an architectural historian who works on modern architecture and its transnational connections with a focus on the Americas. He explores the changing ideological maps and geographies of modernity, and the ways in which cultural and racial imaginaries have shaped the story of modern architecture. His courses—including, Making Buildings Beautiful, Architecture and Authoritarianism, Mestizo Nations: Modern Architecture in Mexico and Brazil, Architecture and Utopia in the 20th Century—explore modernism as a global phenomenon, taking on practices of design as these shape political and cultural power in our built environment.


His new book, Constructing Latin America: Architecture, Politics, and Race at the Museum of Modern Art, examines multiple architecture exhibitions and MoMA as a cultural weapon. It looks at its Department of Architecture and Design as it navigated the thorny politics of Pan Americanism and the cultural conflicts of the second postwar era. Del Real co-edited the anthology, Latin American Modern Architectures: Ambiguous Territories (Routledge, 2012).


Del Real is Exhibitions Review Editor for the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians and futher investigates curatorial practices in architecture through seminars, workshops, and courses. Seeking new ways to collaborate, he developed Displaying Latin America and Architecture in the ‘Museum’—with departments across Harvard and UNAM, Mexico and PUC, Chile—and in Curating Architecture Across the Americas, an ongoing program that brings together historians, scholars, and curators to define this nascent field.


Del Real holds a PhD in Architecture History and Theory from Columbia University and a Master of Architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. Before coming to Harvard, he was Visiting Associate Research Scholar and Lecturer in the Program of Latin American Studies at Princeton University. Prior, he worked at MoMA’s Architecture and Design Department on several collection and temporary exhibitions, and co-curated Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980, which received the 2017 Philip Johnson Exhibition Catalogue Award, recognizing excellence of architectural history scholarship in exhibition catalogues. He was the recipient of the 2015 Ann and Lee Tannenbaum Award for Excellence in Curatorial Practices, given by the Museum of Modern Art Board of Trustees.

Contact Information

485 Broadway,
MA 02138
Room 514
p: 617.495.8599