Dennis Frenchman is the Class of 1922 Professor of Urban Design and Planning at MIT, where he is Founder and Chair of DesignX, the school’s program for accelerating innovation in design cities, and the human environment. He has served as Director of the Center for Real Estate, Associate Dean of the school, chair of the Masters in City Planning degree program, and head of the City Design and Development group. Professor Frenchman has taught and practiced extensively in Asia, Europe, and South America and served as External Advisor on urban livability to the President of the World Bank. An architect and city designer, he has a distinguished record of practice, most recently as senior principal of Tekuma Frenchman Urban Design LLC, with projects in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.
Dennis Frenchman’s practice and research focuses on the transformation of cities. He is an expert on the application of digital technology to city design and has designed large-scale, media oriented cities and industrial clusters including Seoul Digital Media City in Korea, the Digital Mile in Zaragoza, Spain, Media City: UK in Salford, England, Twofour54 in Abu Dhabi, Ciudad Creativa Digital, Guadalajara, Mexico, and the Medellin Innovation District in Columbia. He has a particular interest in the redevelopment of industrial sites and has prepared plans for the renewal of textile mill towns, canals, rail corridors, steels mills, coal and oil fields, shipyards and ports, including many of international cultural significance. Currently he is leading an MIT research effort to develop new models for clean energy urbanization in China, sponsored by the Energy Foundation.
Professor Frenchman is the author of articles and books on advanced urban design, including Technological Imagination and the Historic City (2008, Ligouri, with William J. Mitchell, et al). His work has been widely recognized including awards from Progressive Architecture, the American Institute of Architects, and three citations from the American Planning Association for the most outstanding projects in the United States.