Patrick Lynn Rivers is a political scientist and professor who, along with Kai Wood Mah, co-directs the design research practice a.field.
Rivers's increasingly hybrid and collaborative work is characterised by situated and comparative thinking making use of tools from academic and practice-based disciplines. Largely geared towards understanding and undoing structural barriers faced by persons impacted by colonialism and imperialism, this way of working has generated both scholarship and design practice outcomes—frequently in the same output.
The trajectory of Rivers's work is reflected in writing. This includes the peer-reviewed books Governing Hate and Race in the United States and South Africa and Situated Practices in Architecture and Politics (with Kai Wood Mah) as well as numerous peer-reviewed articles appearing in diverse journals like Critical Studies in Media Communication, the Journal of Film and Video, the South African Law Journal, African Identities (with Mah), Space and Culture (with Mah), and Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies (with Mah). Published writings on contemporary political concerns by Rivers have run as opinion pieces in outlets like the Toronto Star and The Star (Johannesburg) as well as long-form journalism in Briarpatch.
Invited lectures by Rivers include presentations at the Royal College of Art (London), Parsons School of Design (New York), the University of Cape Town, the University of Amsterdam, the University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg), the University of Washington (Seattle), and the University of Toronto amongst others.
Work by Rivers has been supported by funders like the Connaught Fund, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and the Graham Foundation.
Rivers earned the PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed a postdoc at the University of Chicago's Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture.
Born and raised in Miami, Rivers now lives between Africa and North America.