skip to primary navigationskip to content

Dr Mark E Breeze

Dr Mark E Breeze

MA, MPhil, PhD (Cantab) | MArch (Harvard)


Director of Studies, St. John's College, Cambridge

Founding Chair, Sustainable Shelter Group

UK Board Director, American Institute of Architects


Mark E Breeze is a Harvard-trained architect, a University of Cambridge academic, and an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker.  Beyond his professional architectural and film practice, he serves as Director of Studies in Architecture at St.John's College, Cambridge, and he is the Founding Chair of the Sustainable Shelter Group.  

Mark's academic and design research examines the theories and practices of human shelter, with a particular interest in rethinking the overused notions of 'sustainability' and 'performance'. His research has been published by Douglas & McIntyre, Routledge, and Berghahn, and he has given invited public talks about his work at a range of international institutions, including MIT, the United States Library of Congress, the University of Oxford, the American University in Washington DC, The Chinese Academy of the Arts, the Royal Institute of British Architects, and the London Design Museum for the BBC.  He recently completed his post-doctoral research on the 'Architectures of Displacement' at the University of Oxford Refugee Studies Centre.  His documentary feature Shelter Without Shelter will be released in 2020, as will his co-edited volume Structures of Protection? Rethinking Refugee Shelter.  

Mark has practised architecture in Beijing, Boston, London and New York, working on commercial and mixed-use projects for Norman Foster, cultural projects for Colin St John Wilson and MJ Long, and residential projects for Annabelle Selldorf.  He is a licensed architect (NCARB, AIA) with a specialty in integrated sustainability: he is an Accredited Professional Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED AP), he holds a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Design (GCSD), he has been selected as a member of the Al Gore Climate Leadership Corps, and he founded and chaired the Harvard Green Design Group (later incorporated into the Harvard Green Campus Initiative). He has served as an invited juror for international architectural design competitions held by the Royal Society of Arts, the Architects' Journal, the American Institute of Architects, and the Architecture Foundation. Mark is a UK Board Director of the American Institute of Architects.  He is currently leading a series of public discussions at the University of Cambridge with contemporary design practitioners exploring 'The Futures of Architecture'.

Mark's professional documentary film experience includes working as a Producer, Architectural Consultant, and Field Director for the Discovery Channel and Dreamworks.  He was nominated for an Emmy for his work on the award-winning architectural documentary Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero.  His independent film work has been exhibited at the Royal College of Art, London, and the Barbican, London; his feature documentary Shelter Without Shelter will be released in 2020.  He was nominated and named as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in recognition of his interdisciplinary creative work.  

Mark has taught architectural design, history, and theory at a variety of international universities: he has directed architecture studios at the University of Cambridge, Nanjing University, and the Architectural Association and he has served as a Teaching Fellow for graduate studios at Harvard.  He has participated in juries at a wide variety of leading UK and US design schools - from UCLA, UC Berkeley, Michigan and Columbia, to the AA, the Bartlett, and the RCA.  Mark currently teaches architectural design, history, and theory at the University of Cambridge. 

Mark graduated from the University of Cambridge as a Senior Scholar with a Bachelor and Master of Arts with First Class Honours, a UK Arts and Humanities Research Board Scholar with a Master of Philosophy with Distinction, and he received his Doctorate as a UK Arts and Humanities Research Council Scholar.  He has also studied sculpture and painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, and he has participated in the Cornell School of Theory and Criticism as an Evans Scholar. He received his professional Master of Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design as a Herchel Smith Scholar, an Eliot House Resident Scholar, and a John F Kennedy Scholar.  He completed his post-doctoral research at the Oxford Refugee Studies Centre, and he has held fellowships at The Huntington in Los Angeles, the United States Library of Congress, and the University of Oxford.  

Contact: meb35[at]