Cassim Shepard

Cassim Shepard

Nationality: American

Lives in: New York City, USA


Cassim Shepard is an urbanist, filmmaker, and writer. As the founding editor-in-chief of Urban Omnibus, an online publication of The Architectural League of New York, he spent six years working with hundreds of local architects, designers, artists, writers, and public servants to share their stories of urban innovation. His video work has been screened at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Ford Foundation, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and the United Nations, among many other venues around the world.

Shepard teaches in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University and has been a guest lecturer in the Cities Programme of the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Poiesis Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University.

He studied filmmaking at Harvard University, urban geography and Kings College London, and city planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Personal statement

All of my work, in one way or another, is about creating expressive audio-visual and text-based narratives that assert the inextricability of the physical form and social experience of complex environments and the manifold ways that the built environment reflects cultural and political attitudes in particular places at particular points in time. As a scholar of urbanism, I am interested in asserting the importance of such narratives to the professional practice of urban planning and design as well as both social scientific and popular understanding of cities. As an artist and writer, I experiment with new modes of analysing and representing the relationship between form, location, and experience through research, writing, and filmmaking. I am particularly interested in exploring this relationship in urban environments: those places where the social possibilities that arise from forced confrontation with people unlike oneself are greatest, where what we build most affects how we live and interact, and where spatial inequalities are most explicit.