Eric J. Cesal is a designer, writer, and noted postdisaster expert, having led on-the-ground reconstruction programs after the Haiti earthquake, the Great East Japan Tsunami, and Superstorm Sandy. The Daily Beast has called him “Architecture’s First Responder” for his work leading Architecture for Humanity’s post-disaster programs from 2010 to 2014.
Cesal has been interviewed widely on the subjects of disaster and resilience by publications such as The New Yorker, Architectural Record, Architect Magazine, Foreign Policy Magazine, and Monocle. His book “Down Detour Road, An Architect in Search of Practice” (MIT Press, 2010) connects architecture’s chronic economic misfortunes with its failure to prioritize urgent social issues. Cesal holds advanced degrees in Architecture and Construction Management, as well as an M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. In addition his position as UC Berkeley’s Director of the Sustainable Environmental Design Major Program, he currently works as the Special Projects Director for the Curry Stone Foundation, which supports designers & activists using design to address pressing social justice issues. There, he was also the longtime host of Social Design Insights, a weekly podcast with leading voices of the Social Design movement.