Richard Plunz has taught at Rensselaer and the Pennsylvania State University, and has held visiting positions at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the Politecnico di Torino. He served as Chairman of the Division of Architecture at Columbia (1977-1980) and has been Director of the Urban Design Program since 1992. He has conducted long-term research on architecture and urbanism in Italy and Turkey as well as the United States and he has received support from numerous sources including the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the J. M. Kaplan Fund. He received the Andrew J. Thomas Award from the American Institute of Architects for his work in housing (1991).
His projects and articles have been widely published. Among his books are Housing Form and Public Policy in the United States (1980); Design and the Public Good. Selected Writings, 1930-1980, by Serge Chermayeff (1982); A History of Housing in New York City. Dwelling Type and Social Change in the American Metropolis (1990); Two Adirondack Hamlets in History. Keene and Keene Valley (1999); The Urban Lifeworld (2001); After Shopping (2003). Professor Plunz received his BS in 1965, his Bachelors in Architecture in 1966, and his Master of Architecture in 1967 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.