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Pierre Lescot, Louvre 1546-51. Illustration by May Spangler.


May spangler is an architect from the Beaux-Arts School in Paris, and a Ph.D. in French from Emory University in Atlanta, who combines her interest in architecture and literature in her writing and illustrations. Her books in French and English include a monograph, Monstrer Diderot, a memoir, Papa a dit, Maman aussi, a student textbook and teacher manual, Paris in Architecture, Literature, and Art. May is now working on another memoir, The Architect’s Eye.

New Book in Progress


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THE ARCHITECT’S EYE, a memoir, tells the unlikely love story between Parisian May and small Georgia town Dickie, as she came to study architecture at Georgia Tech in 1978. May had envisioned her trip to the United States as an opportunity to redefine herself away from the Beaux-Arts School’s chauvinism, a tepid love relationship, and a smothering father. She wanted to become emotionally independent but met Dickie and couldn’t help falling in love with his lively and humorous ways. Dickie had a girlfriend and May tried to content herself with his friendship. Then Dickie broke up. Not wanting to risk their relationship on what may only be a fling for him but also conflicted with her desire for independence and her need to go back home where she belonged, May kept the friendship pretense going, rebuffing his advances.  After seven months in the United States, she left thinking she would never return to faraway Georgia and see him again. They had not even kissed.

Illustration Samples

“Less is more.” ― Mies van der Rohe, 1947            “Less is a bore.” ― Robert Venturi, 1966

The Architect’s Eye features the 1970s postmodern debate as the bland functionalism of modern architecture was under the siege of a postmodernism that promoted complexity, plurality, and language games. Black and white illustrations by the author give architecture background information, such as in the samples below.

“LESS IS MORE”: Minimalism and Functionalism of Modern Architecture

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Fig. 9. Mies van der Rohe, Crown Hall, Illinois Institute of Technology, 1956.

“LESS IS A BORE”: Complexity and Historicism of Postmodern Architecture

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Fig. 12. Charles Moore, Piazza d’Italia, New Orleans, 1978.