Michelangelo Sabatino trained as an architect, historian, and preservationist. His research explores the productive tensions between tradition and innovation in the modern project. From his research on preindustrial vernacular traditions and their influence on modern architectures of the Mediterranean region, to his current project, which looks at the transnational forces that have shaped the architecture, infrastructure, and landscape of the Americas over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, he has trained new light on larger patterns of architectural discourse and production. Sabatino is Director of the PhD Program in Architecture and is former Dean and former Rowe Family College of Architecture Endowed Chair of the College of Architecture of the Illinois Institute of Technology. He currently serves as the inaugural John Vinci Distinguished Research Fellow.
He earned a Laurea in Architecture at the Università di IUAV (Venice) and a doctorate in the Department of Fine Art, University of Toronto, and pursued a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of History of Art + Architecture, Harvard University. Sabatino taught history and theory of architecture at Yale University and the University of Houston before his appointment to IIT in 2014. He has been a research fellow at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montréal, The MacDowell Colony, the Georgia O’Keefe Museum Research Center, and the Wolfsonian at Florida International University. He lectures widely in Europe and the Americas, participates in juries, and serves on a number of editorial boards, including Architectural Histories, journal of the European Architectural History Network. Sabatino has served as Visiting Professor at the Instituto Universitario di Architettura (IUAV), Universita degli Studi della Campania, and TU Delft.
Sabatino publishes regularly in scholarly journals and anthologies. His monograph Pride in Modesty: Modernist Architecture and the Vernacular Tradition in Italy (2011) was recognized with multiple awards, including the Modern Language Association’s Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies, the Society of Architectural Historians’ Alice Davis Hitchcock Award, and the American Association of Italian Studies’ Best Book Award, 20th and 21st Centuries; a multi-author volume on Modern Architecture and the Mediterranean: Vernacular Dialogues and Contested Identities (2010), co-edited with Jean-François Lejeune, received a Commendation award from the International Committee of Architectural Critics. Sabatino is the founding Commissioning Editor of Canadian Modern (Dalhousie Architectural Press). His newest books include: Canada - Modern Architectures in History (2016), co-authored with Rhodri Windsor Liscombe, Avant-Garde in the Cornfields: Architecture, Landscape, and Preservation in New Harmony (2019), co-edited with Ben Nicholson, and Carlo Mollino: Architect and Storyteller (2019) co-authored with Napoleone Ferrari.
Photograph by Peter Rigali, S. R. Crown Hall, IIT Architecture Chicago