Luísa Valle’s research and teaching focus on Latin American architecture, landscapes, urbanism, and race. In her courses on global architecture, Latin American modernism, and urban space, she interrogates the legacies of colonialism and enslavement, and considers race, colonization, capitalism, and decolonization as central questions for understanding the history and practice of architecture and urban planning.
She is currently working on her first book, The Beehive, the Favela, the Castle, and the Ministry: Race and Modern Architecture in Rio de Janeiro, 1811-1945, which investigates the architecture of so-called informal landscapes absent from the official history of modernism and modernity in Rio, yet constitutive of it. She has also published on modern architecture, landscape design, and public art in the Americas. Her article on Thomas Hirschhorn’s Gramsci Monument (2012), in Buildings and Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, analyzes Hirschhorn’s work, concomitantly a building, a sculpture, a playground, a workshop, a radio station, a stage, a classroom, and a community center, vis-à-vis the public history of its context, the courtyard of Forest Houses, a public housing superblock in a largely Latinx and Black neighborhood in the Bronx. She has published two articles on landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx that move beyond the center/periphery and nature/architecture binaries that typically frame Eurocentric and postcolonial nation-centric interpretations of Brazilian modernism. She also contributed a chapter on the public work of sculptor Mary Vieira to the book Form and Feeling: The Making of Concretism in Brazil (2021), edited by Antonio Sérgio Bessa.
Luísa Valle’s research has been supported by fellowships from the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at Harvard University, the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, and the Bronx Museum of the Arts. She has been a Curatorial Fellow at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and an advisor for the exhibition Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx at the New York Botanical Garden.