A plat·form /ˈplatfôrm/ is an elevated surface on which to stand. It also a place to make your beliefs known publicly or to initiate action. Urban Platform fulfills each of these conditions, constructing an intellectual foundation to support researchers, designers, and students as they document, debate, and reimagine the contemporary city. To that end, Urban Platform supports a multidisciplinary collection of architects, planners, geographers, historians, economists, environmental engineers, and computer scientists dedicated to exploring the forms, processes, and impacts of metropolitan and megaregional growth. We are located in downtown San Antonio, Texas—one of the oldest and fastest growing cities in the United States.
Ian Caine founded Urban Platform in 2018 to facilitate this work. He is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the Director of the UTSA Center for Urban and Regional Planning Research (September 2018). A registered architect, he holds a SMArchS degree in Architecture and Urbanism from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also earned a B.A. in Political Science and M.Arch from Washington University, where he received the AIA School Medal & Certificate of Merit.
Caine is a dedicated educator, having received the 2017 ACSA/AIAS New Faculty Teaching Award, 2017 UT Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award, 2016 UTSA President’s Distinguished Teaching Award, 2016 and 2017 CACP Outstanding Teaching Awards, as well as selection for the Architecture 2030 Pilot Curriculum Project, which highlighted a curriculum developed with Dr. Rahman Azari as one of seven nationwide that “transform the culture of sustainable design education.” In 2018 Caine was visiting faculty in urban design at Washington University in Saint Louis.
Caine’s work appears in Log, MONU, Scenario, Housing Studies, Sustainability, The Architect’s Newspaper, Arqa, and Competitions and has received coverage in popular press outlets such as The Discovery Channel, The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Metropolis, and Texas Public Radio. Caine is also a Researcher at the Spatial History Project at Stanford University, where he is leading an effort to create an interactive timeline of suburban expansion for San Antonio.
Caine’s urban designs with colleague Derek Hoeferlin received an honorable mention in the Dry Futures competition, were selected as a finalist in the Build-a-Better-Burb competition, and were awarded one of six winning entries in the Rising Tides competition. At the architectural scale, Caine has received multiple AIA awards for built and unbuilt projects. His drawings and designs have been exhibited in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzen, Toronto, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.