Carolyn Steel is a leading thinker on food and cities. A London-based architect and academic, she is the author of two best-selling books: Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives (2008) and Sitopia: How Food Can Save the World (2020). Her concept of sitopia, or food-place (from the Greek sitos, food + topos, place) has been influential across a wide range of fields in design, ecology, academia and the arts.
Carolyn studied architecture at Cambridge University and subsequently taught at Cambridge, London Metropolitan and Wageningen Universities and at the London School of Economics, where she was inaugural Studio Director of the Cities Programme. Her lectures on Food and the City, given at Cambridge from 2002-2012, were the first of their kind. A director of Kilburn Nightingale Architects in London, Carolyn has collaborated with cities and institutions including Stroom den Haag in The Hague, The City of Groningen and the MAS Museum in Antwerp, where her work inspired the new permanent exhibition, Antwerp à la Carte. She is a trustee of the Oxford Food Symposium.
Carolyn is in worldwide demand as a public speaker and her 2009 TED talk has received more than one million views. A Rome Scholar in 1995-6, Carolyn won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction for Hungry City and Sitopia was shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize, while both titles were chosen as BBC Food Programme books of the year. The Ecologist magazine called Carolyn a '21st Century Visionary' and in 2020 she was featured in a special edition of the BBC’s The Food Programme.