Peter Olshavsky

Peter O

Peter Olshavsky

Associate Professor of Architecture

Brief Vitae

Brief Vitae

Ph.D., McGill University, History and Theory of Architecture

M.Arch. II, McGill University, History and Theory of Architecture

B.Arch., The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Architecture

Sede di Roma, The Pennsylvania State University, Study Abroad in Rome, Italy


Dr. Peter Olshavsky is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Besides UNL, he has taught at McGill and Temple University and has practiced professionally in Philadelphia, PA. He holds a Ph.D. and M.Arch. II in history and theory from McGill University and B.Arch. from The Pennsylvania State University.

With a focus in history, theory and design, his current work examines contemporary phenomenology to attend to the entanglements of innovation, media, and chatter in architectural discourse and pedagogy. These are examined in the context of Modernism and Late-Modern American architecture. His work has been recognized and published both nationally and internationally. Support for his research and teaching has come from Canada-US Fulbright Fellowship, Fulbright Eco-Leadership Award, National Endowment for the Arts as well as UNL’s Layman Award and Grant-in-Aid.


On-Going Research:

Daniel Libeskind’s pedagogy at Cranbrook Academy of Art, 1978-85

Steven Holl Architect’s collaborations with BNIM

Videos of MOS Architects


Publications (selected):

“Michael’s Mouth,” LOG 55 (Summer 2022).

“Technological Disobedience and the Value of Limits,” AArchitecture 39 (2020).

“Allure of Water: An Interview with Steven Holl,” Journal of Architectural Education, 74:1 (2020).

“Steven Holl: Reconfiguring Architectural Agency” in Steven Holl: Making Architecture (New York: SUNY, 2020).

“The Untimely Thinking of Alberto Pérez-Gómez,” in Alberto Pérez-Gómez, Timely Meditations: Select Essays on Architecture (Montreal: RightAngle International, 2016).

“Hidden Multitude: Libeskind’s Three Lessons in Architecture,” Dialectics IV, (Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah, 2016).

“Nebraska,” SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2016, Book-length digital humanities project with H. Keith Sawyers. This multi-year effort included co-coordination, photography and writing of intro essay and 99 texts on building in the state of Nebraska.

“An Ubuist: Eileen Gray’s Embodied Practice,” KTISMAjournal 5, (2015).

“La Maison Suspendue: Imaginary Solutions for an Everyday Domestic Machine” in Designing the French Interior: The Modern Home and Mass Media, ed. Anca I. Lasc, Georgina Downey, and Mark Taylor (New York: Bloomsbury, 2015).

“Building Upon Love in the Age of Innovation,” in Architecture’s Appeal: How Theory Informs Architectural Praxis, ed. Marc J. Neveu and Negin Djavaherian (New York: Routledge, 2015).

“Situating ’Pataphysical Machines: A History of Architectural Machinations” in Chora: Intervals in the Philosophy of Architecture, vol.6 (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011).


Teaching (selected):

DSGN 140: History of Design

ARCH 210: Representation (2nd year studio)

ARCH 211: Ideation (2nd year studio)

ARCH 240: Architecture History and Theory I

ARCH 241: Architecture History and Theory II

ARCH 311: Situate (3rd year studio)

ARCH 497/597: Paris (education abroad)

ARCH 497/597: London Program (education abroad)

ARCH 497/597: Architectural Imaginary (graduate seminar)

ARCH 500: Project (3M graduate studio)

ARCH 613/614: Graduate Design Thesis



Lied Center for the Performing Arts


UNL Dance Program

UNL Computer Science and Engineering

AIA Lincoln


Service (Selected):

SAH Archipedia/BUS Editorial Advisory Committee (National)

Faculty Senator (UNL)

Student Success Council (UNL)

Chair of Faculty Affair Committee (CoA)

Chair of Graduate Studies (CoA)

Chair of Professional Program Committee (PoA)

Chair of Faculty Search Committees (PoA)

Coordinator of Arch 210, Arch211 and Arch 311 (PoA)