Brian McGrath was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, into an Irish-American family. He did his undergraduate degrees in architecture and liberal arts at Syracuse University, graduating in 1979. He completed his Master’s of Architecture at Princeton University in 1981. McGrath’s professional career has been a mix of architectural practice and teaching.
McGrath’s association with Parsons School of Design began in 1991. At Parsons Brian has held several positions. He served as research chair in Urban Design between 2010 and 2013; between 2013 and 2016, he held the post of professor of Urban Design. In 2016, McGrath completed a three-year term as dean of the School of Constructed Environments. He is also an author and editor of several publications, including Urban Design Ecologies Reader (2013), Resilience in Ecology and Urban Design: Linking Theory and Practice for Sustainable Cities (2013) (with S.T.A. Pickett and Mary Cadenasso), and Cinemetrics: Architectural Drawing Today (2007) (with Jean Gardner).
Parsons School of Design oral history program