Original article by Will Kane; available at Berkeley News.
A professor of architecture at the College of Environmental Design, Crysler has spent his career examining the space and politics of cultural difference. But he doesn’t get lost in the academics: Crysler regularly invites top thinkers and experts to symposiums about race, gender and sexuality that have “transformed the College of Environmental Design, and become a model for other institutions.”
Almost since arriving at Berkeley in 1999, Crysler has tried to expand the study of the human-created physical world, called the “built environment” by scholars, to include issues of gender, sexual orientation, race, legal status and other forms of social difference.
His research has examined how national museums represent the Holocaust or colonialism, the “occupation, appropriation and interpretation” of buildings and feelings of fear and insecurity in North American cities.
Professor Greig Crysler was honored for his work with the Arcus Endowment for Gender, Sexuality and the Built Environment. Professor Greig Crysler was honored for his work with the Arcus Endowment for Gender, Sexuality and the Built Environment. “While his manner is fair and earnest, he often elevates debates to a clear yet conceptually charged plane,” Tom Buresh, the chair of the architecture department, wrote in a nomination letter. “Crysler’s work on equity and inclusion in the built environment is in my view, one of a kind, both within and outside the university.”
Beyond his research, Crysler, who is also the Arcus Chair for Gender, Sexuality and the Built Environment, has devoted countless hours to the Arcus Endowment, a program he founded to bring together research, teaching and service relating to LGBTQ issues, architecture, urban planning and social justice.
Through the endowment, Crysler has put on well-attended lectures by social theorists, filmmakers, artists and novelists that examine the relationship between queer culture and design.
These lectures “address some of the most difficult and timely social issues of our day and do so with sophistication, creativity and sensitivity,” said Andrew Shanken, a professor of architecture. “Crysler produces this array of programs over and above his teaching load and, it should be noted, they go beyond his other service obligations, which are significant. It is clearly a labor of love.”
Crysler plans to use his $10,000 to develop new initiatives at the College of Environmental Design concerned with equity and inclusion.