Art + Architecture — Asian Studies — Environmental Management — Urban Affairs — Urban Studies
Tanu  Sankalia

Tanu Sankalia

Associate Professor

Tanu Sankalia is Associate Professor and Program Director of the interdisciplinary program in Urban Studies at the University of San Francisco where he teaches courses in urban planning and design, architectural and urban history, and architectural design. 

Prof. Sankalia's research interests cover areas of architecture and urbanism from the local context of the San Francisco Bay Area to the global perspective of India. Current projects include a co-edited volume of essays,  Urban Reinventions: San Francisco's Treasure Island, forthcoming from the University of Hawaii Press, which examines future plans for Treasure Island in the context of global, large-scale land development, and against the backdrop of the island's seventy-year urban history; a book manuscript called The Urban Unseen, which explores the historical, theoretical and design themes related to interstitial spaces in San Francisco's historic urban fabric; and, Mumbai-Caracas: Urban Spaces and Subjects in the Global South, which is an attempt to bridge cultures across Latin America and South Asia around shared experiences of urban space and modernity. Other research projects are related to the planning and urban design of public spaces in India. 

Prof. Sankalia is co-founder of the University of San Francisco faculty reading group El Circulo, which meets every week to read and discuss critical theory.


Bachelor of Architecture, School of Architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India
Master of Urban Design, University of California, Berkeley

Administrative Appointments

Program Director, Urban Studies

Courses Offered
  • ARCD 195 First Year Seminar: San Francisco Urbanism
  • ARCD 101 History of Architecture 1
  • ARCD 120 Architecture Studio 2
  • ARCD 204 History of Architecture 4
  • ARCD 350 Architecture Studio 5
  • ENVM 680 Processes of Urban Planning and Design

Urban Reinventions: San Francisco's Treasure Island, Lynne Horiuchi and Tanu Sankalia (Eds.), University of Hawaii Press, Forthcoming 2015 

The Median Picnic: Street Design, Urban Informality and Public Space Enforcement, Journal of Urban Design, Vol. 19. No.4, 473-495, 2014

Perception and Exploration of Interstitial Space: Slots in San Francisco, book chapter in, Terrain Vague: Interstices at the Edge of the Pale, Manuela Mariani and Patrick Barron Eds. Routledge. p.77-85, 2014

Wish Images for Twentieth Century (American) Cities, Review Essay, Journal of Urban History, 39 (2), 348-356, 2013

The Optical Unconscious: Interstitial Space in San Francisco, Nordic Journal of Architecture, Vol. 1, p. 90-95, 2011

Excavating Minutia: Identity, Memory and Interstitial Space in San Francisco, 99th Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Conference Proceedings, Alberto Perez-Gomez, Anne Cormier and Annie Pedret, Eds. ACSA Press, Washington DC, p. 550 - 561, 2011

From Facade to Interstitial Space: Reframing San Francisco's Victorian Residential Architecture, Working Paper Series, Center for Environmental Design Research, International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE), Series Ed: Nezar AlSayyad, Vol. 213, p.25-80, 2009