Gregory K. Dreicer is a curatorial strategist, historian of technology, experience and exhibition developer, curator, and museum manager. Dreicer's multidisciplinary projects, which engage audiences in discovering and exploring everyday environments, have led public discussion on issues including infrastructure, city planning, community identity, preservation, livability, design, and sustainability. Dreicer's work is known for innovative strategies in project conception and design that create memorable experiences.
Public History and Museums
Dreicer’s exhibition projects, through their multidisciplinary focus on stories about infrastructure, architecture, art, landscape, cities, water, and land, emphasize the indivisible nature of natural, built, and social environments. He has developed projects for organizations including the National Building Museum, Museum of the City of New York, and the Smithsonian Institution Museum on Main Street program. At the Museum of Vancouver, Dreicer developed a new institutional vision based on social connection. At the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Dreicer developed the institutional thematic framework, was responsible for the creation of the master plan for a new facility, and developed a large-scale model of Chicago that made the CAF facility a destination. His projects have focused on issues including fences and land use; water supply systems; lighting and city life; preservation; livable communities; energy efficiency; and skyscraper engineering and architecture.
Dreicer’s scholarly research and publications investigate building as a process, rather than buildings as objects. His work, focused on the early development in the United States and Europe of building processes and long-span and high-rise design, demonstrates the crucial role of construction in the history of industrialization. This transnational investigation of design in action demonstrates how the fundamental ideas that shape understandings of technology—nationalism, evolutionism, and progress—are entwined in the process of invention itself. In articles such as "Nouvelles inventions: l’interchangeabilité et le génie national" in Culture Technique and "Influence and Intercultural Exchange: the Case of Engineering Schools and Civil Engineering Works in the Nineteenth Century" in History and Technology, Dreicer explores invention as a process of exchange between cultures while emphasizing the thinking behind the history of architecture and building. In articles such as "Building Myths: The ‘Evolution’ from Wood to Iron in the Construction of Bridges and Nations" in Perspecta, Dreicer explores the impact of evolutionary metaphors and nationalism on understandings of technology. In "Building Bridges and Boundaries: The Lattice and the Tube, 1820-1860" in Technology and Culture he analyzes the relationship between the construction of engineering infrastructure and national identity.
Education and Academic Career
Dreicer completed a PhD in Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University and a Masters in Historic Preservation at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Dreicer's post-doctoral academic positions include a Senior Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, a Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. Dreicer has taught at the Parsons School of Design and MIT School of Architecture and Planning. He previously worked in New York City as an architectural conservator specializing in the restoration and repair of high-rise building facades.
Dreicer has developed and curated more than 25 humanities-based exhibition projects.
Chicago Architecture Foundation
- Loop Value: The How Much Does It Cost? Shop (2012–13)
- Chicago Model City (2009–10)
- Green With Desire: Can We Live Sustainably in Our Homes? (2008)
- Do We Dare Squander Chicago’s Great Architectural Heritage? Preserving Chicago, Making History (2008)
- Chicago: You Are Here (2007–2012)
Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service - Museum on Main Street (national travel)
- Between Fences (2005–2012)
- Barn Again! (1997–2005)
American Society of Civil Engineers
- Me, Myself and Infrastructure (New York Historical Society, National Building Museum, One Market [San Francisco], Turtle Bay Exploration Park, 2002–2003, Chicago Architecture Foundation, 2007)
Museum of the City of New York
- Transformed by Light: The New York Night (2005)
- New York Comes Back: Mayor Ed Koch and the City (2005)
- Trade (2004)
- Perform (2004)
Afikim Foundation (national travel)
- When Humanity Fails (2006)
New York Public Library Science, Industry and Business Library
- I on Infrastructure (2002)
National Building Museum
- Between Fences (1996)
- Barn Again! (1994)
- "Chicago Model City". Chicago Architecture Foundation. Retrieved November 30, 2009.
- "Between Fences". Museum on Main Street. Retrieved November 16, 2009.
- "Barn Again". Museum on Main Street. Retrieved November 16, 2009.
- "Me, Myself and Infrastructure". American Society of Civil Engineers. Retrieved November 30, 2009.
- "Past Exhibitions". Museum of the City of New York. Retrieved November 30, 2009.
- "When Humanity Fails". The Afikim Foundation. Retrieved November 30, 2009.
- I on Infrastructure. New York Public Library: Science, Industry and Business Library.
- Me, Myself, and Infrastructure: Private Lives and Public Works in America (Washington, DC: ASCE, 2002) ISBN 0-7844-0611-1
- "Standardization," "Maurice Koechlin," "Alfred Henry Neville," "Wilhelm Nordling," and "Ithiel Town." In Antoine Picon, ed., L’art de l’ingénieur: constructeur, entrepreneur, inventeur (Paris, France: Centre Georges Pompidou, 1997). ISBN 2-85850-911-5
- "Wired! The Fence Industry and the Invention of Chain Link." In Gregory Dreicer, ed., Between Fences (Washington, D.C./New York: National Building Museum/Princeton Architectural Press, 1996). ISBN 1-56898-080-9
- La Manufacture des Tabacs de Lyon: Historique, Analyse Architecturale, Reconversion. Report for Ministère de la Culture, Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles, Inventaire Général des Monuments et des Richesses Artistiques de la France, Région Rhone-Alpes, Lyon, France, August 1987.
- "High-Rise Wall Construction 1880-1930." History of Tall Buildings (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Committee 29, Third International Conference on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Chicago, Ill., January 1986), 119-199. ISBN 0-07-012532-5
Selected Articles on Dreicer's Work
- Hank Burchard. "Raised in a Barn." Washington Post, (8 April 1994).
- Gayle Worland. "Barn Again!." Springfield Illinois Times, (4 April 1994).
- David Montgomery. "One Downright Uplifting Experience." Washington Post, (14 March 1994).
- Benjamin Forgey. "Barn Praising: A Bittersweet Exhibit." Washington Post, (19 March 1994).
- Cathy Lynn Grossman. "Country Icon Finds a Home in the City." USA Today, (23 March 1994).
- Hank Burchard. "Fence Sitting." Washington Post, (7 June 1996).
- Benjamin Forgey. "The Great Walls of America." Washington Post, (1 June 1996).
- Patricia Leigh Brown, "Good Neighbors Make Good Fences." New York Times, (6 June 1996).
- Lynda Richardson. "How Architecture Shapes Segregation." New York Times, (2 December 2000).
- Michael O’Sullivan. "A Lively Look at Living in America." Washington Post, (11 October 2002).
- Jeffery K. Stine. "Me, Myself and Infrastructure: Private Lives and Public Works in America." Technology and Culture, 4 (October 2003): 778-85.
- Peter Stegner. "Me, Myself and Infrastructure." Bauwelt (16 August 2002).
- Lisa L. Colangelo. "Now On Show: How Mayor Ed Koch Led New York City into Better Times," Daily News (30 October 2005).
- Fred Siegel. "The Mayor Who Brought the City Back from the Brink." New York Sun (24 October 2005).
- Steven Lubar. "Transformed by Light: The New York Night" at the Museum of the City of New York. Museumblog, September 3, 2006.
- Perform, WNET, SundayArts News, June 15, 2008.
- Kevin Nance. "Learned Folks Wreaking Havoc on Our ‘Built Planet.’" Chicago Sun-Times. (19 August 2007).
- Bill Cunniff. "Beyond Sustainable: Chicago Architecture Foundation Digs Deeper into Green Initiatives." Chicago Sun-Times (6 July 2008 ).
- William Mullen. "A Model City: Chicago Displayed in Miniature." Chicago Tribune (8 June 2009).