Mark Alan Hewitt, FAIA, is one of America’s foremost scholar-architects. His research on American architecture of the Progressive Era has won awards and recognition from academic peers as well as the public at large. In six books and dozens of articles he has advanced knowledge and appreciation for the Arts & Crafts movement, early 20th century American domestic architecture, and the history of architectural representation, among other subjects. He has taught at several universities, including Rice, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
Following training in architecture and architectural history at Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, Hewitt began teaching architecture full time at Rice University in 1982. In addition to research, he practiced architecture with his first wife, the late Lynn Bensel Hewitt. After fifteen years in academia, and two award-winning books, Hewitt resumed full-time practice on his own in 1996, specializing in adaptive re-use and historic preservation.
In addition to his work in preservation, Hewitt has designed projects for private and institutional clients, ranging from geothermal-heated country houses to community rooms and education facilities at historic churches in New Jersey. His design work has been published both in Europe and the United States. His book on the American country house is acknowledged as the standard work in the field. In addition to opening up a new avenue of research on the country house, Hewitt was the first scholar to seriously examine the architecture of Gustav Stickley and his Craftsman companies, shedding light on an often-misunderstood chapter in the American Arts & Crafts movement. He is known as one of the most prolific biographers of American architects and for his work on the history and theory of architectural representation.
During the past ten years Hewitt has resumed his research on design thinking and architectural representation. His new book, the first of its kind, advances the theory that drawings are external memory prompts for designers, who develop concepts in “cognitive loops” between hand sketches and internal mental images. He is an advocate for the emerging theory of embodied cognition, the most important idea to emerge from brain science in recent years.