Lars Lerup, designer and writer, is a professor of architecture at Rice School of Architecture. He was dean at Rice and William Ward Watkin Professor from 1993 to 2009. Previously, he taught for many years at UC Berkeley, where he is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Architecture. Lerup's work focuses on the intersection of nature and culture in the contemporary American metropolis, and on Houston in particular. He is currently finishing up work on a new book, entitled Toxic Ecology: At the Limit of the Entrepreneurial City, which examines the consequences that relentless growth and expansion has had on various natural systems and how those consequences will affect the future of the city.