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I am an urbanist, filmmaker, writer, and editor.

I teach at the Spitzer School of Architecture at City College, City University of New York. 

I also consult for non-profit organizations — especially those concerned with urban policy, architecture & design, and arts & culture — on editorial and media strategy, public engagement, and urban planning projects.

Care to collaborate? Please get in touch.

Check out my CV here. Bio below:

Cassim Shepard produces non-fiction media about cities, buildings and places. Trained as an urban planner, geographer, and documentary filmmaker, he lectures widely about the craft of visual storytelling in urban analysis, planning, and design. His current research project — Self-Help Housing: Incremental Approaches to Shelter Since 1965 — is supported by fellowships from the Guggeheim Foundation and MacDowell. His nonfiction film and video work about cities around the world has been exhibited at venues including the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Museum of the City of New York, the United Nations, the Pavillon de l’Arsenale (Paris), the African Centre for Cities (Cape Town), and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. His writing on urbanism has appeared in Next City, Places, Domus, Public Culture, as well as in books and catalogues documenting work by Geoff Manaugh, David Adjaye, and others. His first book, Citymakers: The Culture and Craft of Practical Urbanism, was published by Monacelli Press in 2017.

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, with a particular emphasis on housing, infrastructure, and the changing nature of cultural institutions.

Shepard is Distinguished Lecturer at the Spitzer School of Architecture at City College, City University of New York. He taught for ten years 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 the School of Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Poiesis Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He studied filmmaking at Harvard University, urban geography at Kings College London, and urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

And here are some of the amazing creative people with whom I like to collaborate:

Paul Bercovitch, sound editor / sound mixer

Andreas Burgess, cinematographer

Purcell Carson, filmmaker / editor

Lars Jan, artist / madman

Raj Kottamasu, public interest designer / animator

Sadia Shepard, writer / filmmaker

Kristin Smith, graphic designer (and designer of this website)

Jordan Sommerlad, cinematographer


The exhibit Mass Support has some press coverage! Check out reviews in in The Architect’s Newspaper,, and The New York Review of Architecture (in print), and in the podcast, Unfrozen.

I was interviewed by Bernd Upmeyer for MONU, magazine on urbanism, in issue #29: "Narrative Urbanism." Browse the issue here and click here to purchase.

A review of Citymakers: the Culture and Craft of Practical Urbanism. Publishers Weekly, October, 2017.

While I was in Denver for the Citymakers book tour, I stopped by KGNU's Morning Mag for an on-air conversation with Maeve Conran.

I appeared on the podcast Municipal Equation in November, 2017.

While I was in Chicago for the Citymakers book tour, I had the pleasure of doing an in-studio interview with Matt Bubala on WGN radio.

An interview with me about Citymakers and what designers can do to demystify urban development. By Avinash Rajagopal. Metropolis, August, 2017

A press release announcing the exhibition By The People: Designing a Better America and my commissioned video installation "Cross Section of Equity." April 19th, 2016

An interview with me about Urban Omnibus, online storytelling, and "the non-fiction city." By Donald McNeill and Sarah Barns Journal of Urban Cultural Studies, Volume 2, Number 3, 1 September 2015, pp. 307-315(9)

An interview with me about Urban Omnibus and other stuff. by John Surico. BKLNR, February 20th, 2014

Three Questions in the much-missed blog Polis, by Andrew Wade.

S | Q Projects      ︎  ︎  ︎      Cassim Shepard