Ginette Wessel

Ginette Wessel
Ginette WesselAssistant Professor of Architecture

Contact Information

(401) 254-3602gwessel@rwu.eduAR 215


Ph.D. Architecture, University of California, Berkeley M.Arch. University of North Carolina, Charlotte M.A. Geography, University of North Carolina, Charlotte B.S. Architecture, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

Ginette Wessel joined the SAAHP at Roger Williams University in 2016 where she teaches architecture and urban planning courses. Her primary research interests include contemporary issues of urban development with an emphasis on sustainability, social equity, and communication technology. Her recent work combines ethnographic fieldwork and spatial data analysis to evaluate the ways in which mobile food vendors emerge from the bottom-up, challenge past planning methods through mobility, communication technology, and contestation, and ultimately construct new forms of urban space and policy.

Before joining the SAAHP faculty, Dr. Wessel was a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) Policy Board where she participated in sustainable design initiatives for the City of San José. Recent public speaking engagements on her work include UCLA’s Digital Cities, Smarter Transportation Forum, Adobe’s Sustainability and Technology Forum, and UC Berkeley’s Digital Society in Context-New Media Research Workshop.

In the classroom, Dr. Wessel encourages students to actively apply their academic knowledge to real-world problems and settings in the community. Ultimately, her teaching philosophy fosters an understanding of today’s built environment, its institutional frameworks, and the pressing concerns of climate change through continual reflection and analysis. She has taught architecture and urban planning courses at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, San José State University, and University of California, Berkeley.

Select Publications

Wessel, Ginette. 2017. “Relaxing Regulatory Controls: Vending Advocacy and Rights in Mobile Food Vending.” In From Loncheras to Lobster Love: Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social Justice, edited by Julian Agyeman. Cambridge: MIT Press:

Wessel, Ginette, Ziemkiewicz, Caroline, and Eric Sauda. 2016. “Re-evaluating Urban Space through Tweets: An Analysis of Twitter-based Mobile Food Vendors and Online Communication.” New Media & Society 18 (8): 1636-1656.

Wessel, Ginette, and Sofia Airghi. 2015. “Negotiating Informality: Operational Strategies of Latino Vendors in San Francisco’s Mission District.” Participatory Urbanisms, Global Urban Humanities Initiative, UC Berkeley:

Wessel, Ginette. 2012. “From Place to NonPlace: A Case Study of Social Media and Contemporary Food Trucks.” Journal of Urban Design 17 (4): 511-531.