Christopher Hawthorne is the chief design officer for the City of Los Angeles, a position appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti. Prior to joining City Hall, Hawthorne was architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times from 2004 to early 2018. With Alanna Stang, he is the author of The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press). His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Slate, Architectural Record, Architecture, Harvard Design Magazine and many other publications.
Hawthorne is professor of the practice at Occidental College, where since 2015 he has directed the Third Los Angeles Project, a series of public conversations about architecture, urban planning, mobility and demographic change in Southern California. He has also taught at U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. A frequent collaborator with KCET-TV in Los Angeles, he wrote and directed the hour-long documentary That Far Corner: Frank Lloyd Wright in Los Angeles, which had its broadcast debut in 2018, and received an LA-area Emmy Award for the 2016 KCET program Third LA with Architecture Critic Christopher Hawthorne.
Hawthorne’s other professional honours include a mid-career fellowship from the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University, the Bradford Williams Medal from the American Society of Landscape Architects and a Residency in Criticism at the American Academy in Rome. Hawthorne grew up in Berkeley, California, and holds a bachelor's degree from Yale, where he studied political science and architectural history.