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Oklahoma State University

Spector, Tom, AIA, Ph.D., Professor

Brief Vita
Ph.D in architecture, University of California at Berkeley, MArch, Georgia Tech, B.S. in business administration, Florida State University. Professor Spector is a licensed architect with registrations in both Georgia and California, and he holds an NCARB certificate. Since 2010 Tom has been a Life Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge University.

Areas of Interest
The focus of Professor Spector’s doctoral work and of current scholarship is in developing topics in architectural design ethics. Other interests include improving architects’ writing skills and architecture design theory, especially as it relates to professional practice issues.


Professor Spector is managing editor of the new academic journal Architecture Philosophy. The journal has a print edition and can also be found online at He is working with his co-author Dr. Rebecca Damron on the second edition of How Architects Write.

Professor Spector’s upcoming publication “Publicness as an Architectural Value,” will appear in the Journal of Architecture and Urbanism.

Presentations and papers delivered recently include

“Truth or Architecture” conference paper presented at the ISPA 2014 conference, July 9-11, Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands.

“The Barnes Foundation” presentation to the “Facing Moral Complexity” graduate student workshop for the IDEA League of the EU in collaboration with the ASPIRE League of Asia.July 7-8, 2014, Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands.

Writing workshop, with co-presenters Rebecca Damron and Gordon Grice (OAA). May 7-9, 2014, Ontario Architects Association annual Convention, Montreal.

“Modernybe Nera Issisemusi Su architektu Tomu Spectoru” (Modernity is not Exhausted by architect Tom Spector) in Kulturos Barai 2013 #11, Vilnius, Lithuania.

“On the Public Good” College Art Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL 2/13/2014

 “Reflections on the writing form of OAA Perspectives” with co-author Rebecca Damron in production for 2014 OAA Perspectives, the journal of the Ontario Architects Association.

“Preserving Ideals: Some Problem in the Ethics of Preservation” presentation at the Technical University of Athens, Greece. May, 2013

He is the author of the books

How Architects Write with co-author Rebecca Damron (Routledge, 2012) 

The Ethical Architect: The Dilemma of Contemporary Practice (Princeton, 2001)

The Guide to the Architecture of Georgia (Univ. of South Carolina, 1993)

Other past publications include “Codes of Ethics and Coercion” in Architecture and its Ethical Dilemmas, (Routledge, 2006), “Architecture and the Ethics of Authenticity” Journal of Aesthetic Education, “Does the Sustainability Movement Sustain a Sustainable Design Philosophy?” in Environmental Ethics, Fall 2006 “How Well do Architects’ Codes and Laws Protect the Public? Not Enough!” Harvard Design Magazine, Summer-Fall 2005 “Pragmatism for Architects” in Contemporary Pragmatism, 2005, no.1. “The Morals of Modernist Minimalism” Harvard Design Magazine, 2006 “Feminist Architects: Meet Feminist Ethics” in Center 15, “Why Habermas?” in Scroope, the Journal of the Cambridge University School of Architecture, “Dewey and Dancy and the Moral Authority of Rules,” in Contemporary Pragmatism, “The Old Mans’ Profession” Harvard Design Magazine, “In Search of Meaningful Continuing Education” Harvard Design Magazine. He won the Halliburton Outstanding Faculty member award in 2011 from the College of Engineering Architecture and Technology.