Roger Katan is a French American architect, artist, and educator known as a proponent of the community-based design practices of participatory architecture and advocacy planning. He has been a university instructor, international consultant, lecturer, activist, and author on the subject.
After architecture studies at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in France, Katan won a scholarship to MIT in 1960. From 1962-64, he worked for Louis Kahn in Philadelphia. He created, with Pratt and City College graduate students, one of the first Community Design Centers, offering free technical assistance to community organizations from 1964 to 1975. He taught architecture at Pratt Institute, New York City College, and Pratt Graduate School of Tropical Architecture for ten years, with one year spent at Vassar College (in the Political Science Department) practicing and teaching advocacy planning in Poughkeepsie, NY. Katan has lectured extensively in the United States and at foreign universities, after obtaining U.S. citizenship in 1968. From 1976-80, he was consultant to the French government on participatory practice. He has published two books, one about advocacy planning and the other a methodology for participatory practice. From 1976 to 2006, Katan worked on missions with the UN, World Bank, and European Union serving uprooted communities in West Africa, South, and Central America, and he continues to be a consultant to the Municipality of Tumaco, on the Pacific coast of Colombia.
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