Steve Mouzon

Selected Lecture Topics


The Original Green
Nourishable Places (Agrarian Urbanism)
Accessible Places (Walkability & Biking)
Serviceable Places (Mixed-Use Urbanism & Building Types)
Securable Places (Antidotes to Gated Subdivisions)
Lovable Buildings (Forgotten Prerequisite to Sustainability)
Durable Buildings (Longer, Not Just Stronger)
Adaptable Buildings (Why the Program is Overrated)
Frugal Buildings (Natural Measures First)
Deep Green
Living Traditions & Sustainability
Preservation & Sustainability


Walk Appeal
Private Frontage Secrets
The Sky Method (Organic Development Paradigm)
Sprawl Repair
Transect-Based Transportation
Context-Based Public Works Manual


Town Architect Services (Latest Methods)
Building Smaller & Smarter
Coding Architecture (Recent Pattern Book Developments)
Details of the New Urbanism
Storm Resistant Architecture
Do’s and Don’ts of Doors & Windows
Town Center Buildings (A New Toolkit)


Living Site Design (Outdoor Living Rooms)


Caribbean Rim Architecture (Tropical Vernacular)
New Orleans Architecture


Working With Builders (Living Tradition Methods)
Manufactured Architecture
Architecture Delivery Methods


New Media and the New Urbanism
Setting Up a Guild

Press Release Template

If you’re hosting one of Steve’s Original Green lectures, you might be able to use this template as a starting point for your press releases.


Steve Mouzon, Miami architect and author, will be in [insert city] on [insert date] to discuss the Original Green. This is a common-sense, plain-spoken framework for sustainability that’s much broader than most green building discussions today, and it involves all of us. Steve will be speaking at {insert venue and time] There will be a book signing afterwards. Everyone is invited.


Steve’s Shortest Possible Bio

Steve Mouzon is an architect, urbanist, author, and photographer from Miami.

Steve’s Really Short Bio

Steve Mouzon is an architect, urbanist, author, and photographer from Miami. He founded the New Urban Guild, which helped foster the Katrina Cottages initiative. The Guild hosts Project:SmartDwelling. The Guild's non-profit affiliate is the Guild Foundation; it hosts the Original Green initiative.

Steve’s Short Bio

Steve Mouzon is an architect, urbanist, author, blogger, and photographer from Miami. He founded the New Urban Guild, which helped foster the Katrina Cottages movement. The Guild hosts Project:SmartDwelling, which works to redefine the house to be much smaller and more sustainable. Steve founded and is a board member of the Guild Foundation; it hosts the Original Green initiative. Steve speaks regularly across the US and abroad on sustainability issues. He blogs on the Original Green BlogUseful Stuff, and We Do This Because... He also posts to the Original Green Twitter stream.

Steve’s Bio

Steve has led or contributed to many advances in sustainable place-making and building design. He runs a veritable “skunk works” of sustainability, place-making, and building-making ideas and tools from his office in Miami Beach. He founded the New Urban Guild, which is a group of architects, designers, and other New Urbanists dedicated to sustainable buildings and places native to and inspired by the regions in which they are built. The Guild was instrumental in the creation of the Katrina Cottages concept. Steve’s Katrina Cottage VIII, which opened the second generation of Katrina Cottages, was awarded a Charter Award by the Congress for the New Urbanism. The Guild’s Project:SmartDwelling initiative sets out to redefine the American home much smaller, smarter, and more sustainable. Steve’s SmartDwelling I was featured in the Wall Street Journal’s Green House of the Future story alongside designs by three other notable green architects, including William McDonough.

The Guild Foundation is the non-profit educational arm of the Guild; it sponsors the Original Green initiative, plus a number of workshops, tours, and seminars that fill several of the gaps that previously existed between theory and practice.

Steve is also a principal of Mouzon Design, which produces a number of town-building tools and services. His house plans have been featured repeatedly as Home of the Month in Southern Living and Coastal Living. Steve is Town Architect at several new hamlets, villages and neighborhoods around the country, using a unique face-to-face method of design review he developed that many agree is the most effective in use today. Several of his projects are award-winners.

Steve’s book the Original Green frames sustainability in common-sense, plain-spoken terms. Bobby Kennedy, Jr. wrote the Foreword. Steve has also collaborated repeatedly with other notables, including Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk of DPZ and the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, which is Prince Charles’ organization. 

Steve’s award-winning book A Living Tradition [Architecture of the Bahamas] sets the standard for a new type of pattern book that is principle-based instead of taste-based, and therefore contributes to the creation of new living traditions. Steve has authored or contributed to a number of publications and articles in recent years, and much has been written about him (see below). He is a noted photographer of great places and buildings. Steve lectures frequently across the country and abroad on a wide range of topics. He is a board member of the Guild Foundation and INTBAU-USA, and is the author of the Original Green Blog, the Useful Stuff blog, and We Do This Because... His Original Green Twitter stream is @stevemouzon. Steve has made significant contributions as a team leader or team member on a number of significant New Urbanist projects noted below, and is involved in a number of organizations devoted to the building of better and more sustainable places.


contributor to Sustainable Urbanism, Second Edition, due early 2017
contributor to Durability in Construction, 2015
contributor to Charter of the New Urbanism, Second Edition, 2013
New Media for Designers + Builders, 2013
the Original Green, 2010
contributor to Tradition & Sustainability, 2010
contributor to Green Living, 2010
contributor to New Palladians, 2010
A Living Tradition [Architecture of the Bahamas], 2007
T5 Building Toolkit, 2007
Mooresville Collection, 2007
Key West Collection, 2007
St. Augustine Collection, 2007
Bienville Collection, 2007
Katrina Cottages Collection, 2007
Outbuildings Collection, 2007
Gulf Coast Emergency House Plans, 2006
A Living Tradition [Architecture of the Central Gulf Coast], 2005
Traditional Construction Patterns, 2004
Biltmore Estate Homes, 2002
1001 Traditional Construction Details, 2001
Catalog of the Most-Loved Places, 2001 - present (images)
Architectural Elements: Traditional Construction Details, 2000
Southern Living Plan of the Month: repeatedly


Selected Articles by Steve

Is It Time for the Anti-LEED? ArchDaily, October 15, 2014
7 Reasons Architecture (As We Know It) Is Over, ArchDaily, April 24, 2013
The Ecological Dividend, Public Square, October 12, 2011
Moving From a Consuming Economy to a Conserving Economy, Treehugger, May 4, 2010
A Living Urbanism, Living Urbanism, July 2, 2009
Variety Within Structure, New Urban News, January 2007

Selected Articles About Steve

16 Ways to Design a Better Intersection—And Better Cities, Wired, October 28, 2016
12 of the most beautiful public spaces in the world, according to urban designers, Business Insider, August 9, 2016
Steve Mouzon talks Living Traditions, Loveable Architecture & the Original Green, The Beautiful Futurists, August 2, 2016
More on whatever happened to the Katrina Cottage, Treehugger, September 23, 2015
Steve Mouzon on the New Business of Business, Green Building Advisor, May 5, 2015
Beat the Heat, Treehugger, July 23, 2012
They Don't Build Them Like They Used To, Kaid Benfield, June 16, 2010
The Original Green: Unlocking the Mystery of True Sustainability, Get Healthy Harlem, June 7, 2010
A Must-Read If You Care About Sustainable Design, Treehugger, May 31, 2010
Steve Mouzon Gets Medieval on Sustainability, PlaceShakers and NewsMakers, May 14, 2010
Giving to the Street (for Walkability & Sustainability) Kaid Benfield, May 4, 2010
Steve Mouzon on the Top Ten for 2010, Treehugger, December 30, 2009
Learning from Old Buildings, Treehugger, November 16, 2009
Green House of the Future, Wall Street Journal, April 27, 2009
The Greenest Brick is the One That’s Already in the Wall, Treehugger, December 19, 2008

Recent Awards

Barranco Award for Architecture, 2012
Southlands: Agricultural Urbanism, 2010 Charter Award (Steve was charrette team member)
Planning Abaco, 2009 Charter Award (Steve was charrette team member)
A Living Tradition [Architecture of the Bahamas], 2008 Charter Award
City of Leander, Texas Code, 2007 Driehaus Form-Based Codes Award
Katrina Cottage VIII, 2007 Charter Award
Mississippi Renewal Forum, 2006 Arthur Ross Award (Steve was charrette team member)

Selected Projects

Project Template

Rose Town

Steve has worked on two charrettes sponsored by the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment in Rose Town, a desperately poor neighborhood in Kingston, Jamaica. He developed the “wet appliance,” a tiny house core which could be craned into place quickly, allowing residents to build out the rest of their houses over time.  He also developed a highly innovative “proverb code,” which was adopted by the people in a most surprising way.

Schooner Bay

Steve was commissioned to write A Living Tradition [Architecture of the Bahamas] by Orjan Lindroth, the Town Founder of Schooner Bay. He was at DPZ’s planning charrette for Schooner Bay, and led two New Urban Guild charrettes for architecture at Schooner Bay, in addition to designing numerous building schematics outside of the charrettes to test various aspects of the architecture there.


Steve has been involved with Sky since the original DPZ planning charrette, which was the site of several notable advances in New Urbanist thinking. The seeds of what was to become Agrarian Urbanism were planted here, thanks in large part to Steve’s work on self-sufficient homesteads and hamlets. More recently, Steve developed the Sky Method, which is re-structures the entire development process in a more organic manner so as to bypass America’s broken development financing system. Steve serves on the board of the Sky Institute. Sky’s Town Founder is New Urban Guild member Julia Sanford.

Lost Rabbit

Steve worked on DPZ’s original planning charrette for the Town of Lost Rabbit, and later led the New Urban Guild architecture charrette. It was at the end of this charrette that the Transmission Device of Living Traditions was finally discovered; Steve had been searching for it since 1980. This breakthrough became the foundation for many advances since, including the Living Tradition series of books. Steve is not the only beneficiary of this breakthrough, as others are now building on its worth.

Alys Beach

Steve was commissioned to photograph the architecture of Bermuda and Antigua Guatemala, which became the basis for the architecture of Alys Beach. He then participated in DPZ’s charrette to develop the land plan. Later, a dozen New Urban Guild members designed the first houses there at what was the first “modern-day” Guild charrette. Several of Steve’s designs are built there.


Steve was one of several New Urban Guild members who worked on DPZ’s Southlands charrette. Steve’s work focused heavily on agriculture, including the Agricultural Precinct. It was at Southlands that Steve was finally able to put together his long-sought “moral imperative for agriculture,” whereby a developer would see that it was both in the interest of the project and also in his own best interest to include the lands that feed the people as part of the project.

The Waters

Steve led the planning team that designed the Waters, near Montgomery, Alabama. He also served as Town Architect there for the first five years, until a change of ownership in the aftermath of the Great Recession. The Waters has served as the most extensive laboratory to date for testing Steve’s ideas about living traditions, and refining his Town Architect methods. The Waters was recently included on the Magical Mystery Tour leading up to Congress for the New Urbanism 18 with such illustrious places as Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, Hampstead, Mount Laurel, and Serenbe.

Mississippi Renewal Forum

The Mississippi Renewal Forum, likely the largest planning event in human history with a team of nearly 200 professionals working in the same massive room to redesign the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, began with a phone call from Michael Barranco to Steve. Realizing the enormity of the project, he enlisted the help of his friend Andrés Duany, who enlisted the help of the Congress for the New Urbanism. The Architecture Team at the Forum was composed almost entirely of New Urban Guild members. Numerous other Guild members worked as planners on other teams.

Recent Activities

Gorham’s Bluff Town Architect & Town Planner: 2001 - present
New Urban Guild Founder: 2001 - present
Providence Town Architect: 2002 - present
Moss Rock Preserve Town Architect: 2002 - present
The Waters Town Architect & Town Planner: 2003 - 2008
Form-Based Codes Institute Board of Directors: 2004 - 2005
University of Miami School of Architecture Lecturer: 2004 - present
Guild Foundation Board of Directors: 2005 - present
Katrina Cottage Initiative: 2005 - 2008
Original Green Initiative: 2005 - present
South Main Town Architect: 2006 - 2007
Sky Institute Board of Directors: 2007 - present
INTBAU - USA Board of Directors: 2008 - present
US Green Building Council Technical Advisory Group: 2008 - 2009
Project:SmartDwelling Initiative: 2009 - present

© The Guild Foundation 2018