The faculty in the Department of Architecture has a broad range of expertise and includes some of the best-known architects, designers and academics working in the field today. With degrees from University of Pennsylvania, UC Berkeley, Columbia, Harvard, University of Florida, Cornell, MIT, University of Cambridge, SUNY Buffalo and numerous other important schools, the faculty members in Architecture bring to their studios, courses, and research projects a depth and intensity of inquiry that propels our students and the work they produce forward into the professional and academic realms.
Jason Chandler | Chair and Associate Professor
Jason R. Chandler, A.I.A., is an architect and an Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts at Florida International University. Chandler has taught at FIU since 1998. He is the coordinator of Graduate Design 5 and 6 and served as the department’s Associate Chair in 2012-2013. Before teaching at FIU, he taught at the University of Miami and at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design for its Career Discovery Program. He was appointed chair of the Department of Architecture at FIU in the fall of 2013 and served as the Interim Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design from 2015 to 2017.
Chandler’s academic activities focus on building construction systems and their integration into architecture and urban design. Professor Chandler’s research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the National Institute for Architectural Education, the International Hurricane Center, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Knight Foundation, the Cejas Family Foundation, the Metropolitan Center at FIU and the United States Department of Education. Chandler’s writing has been published in both national and regional ACSA proceedings and he has co-authored with Shahin Vassigh on Building Systems Integration for Enhanced Environmental Performance (2011).
Chandler is the founder and principal of Chandler and Associates in South Miami, Florida. He is the architect of Plaza 57, a mixed-used building in downtown South Miami, and a series of infill warehouses in Miami. Chandler has received several distinctions in design competitions: Second Prize in the 81st Paris Prize Architectural Design Competition, Honorable Mention in the 2001 Scattered Housing Competition, First Prize in the 2004 Miami Beach Design Life Competition and Honorable Mention in the 2008 Dawntown Waterworks Competition. His built and unbuilt design work has received awards from the Miami and Florida chapters of the American Institute of Architects. Jason Chandler’s design work has been published by the Princeton Architectural Press, Trama,Florida/Caribbean Architect, and The Miami Herald and has been noted in the New York Times and the MIT Press.
Chandler holds the Bachelor of Architecture from the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University and the Master of Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.
Alfredo Andia | Associate Professor
Alfredo has taught in different capacities at U. of Cincinnati, U.C. Berkeley, and has been an invited lecturer to more than 20 universities and research institutes in Argentina, Chile, Denmark, Italy, Japan, South Africa, USA, and Venezuela. Dr. Andía combines his interest and expertise in architectural design, digital technologies and design theories. He has more than 45 papers published on these subjects in venues such as Leonardo, Journal of Architecture Education, and conferences such as Siggraph, Sigradi, ACSA, IMCL and Networked Realities Japan. He is the founder and coordinator of the Internet Studio initiative. The “iStudio” has became one of the largest experiences in collaborative design studio education in the world in which eleven schools of architecture in Latin America, South Africa, and the U.S. have participated. The teaching experiences have been featured in significant media pieces in the BBC, Discovery Channel, Government Video Magazine, Archigeo Magazine in Italy, AP and UPI wire, and in other media outlets in Argentina, Chile, and France. His recent architectural work was selected among the finalists for the September 11th memorial competition for the city of Huntington, N.Y. and finalist for the bicentennial tower competition for the Municipality of Santiago de Chile. The student work produced in Professor Andia’s studios at FIU have received several recognitions in international competitions such as finalist in the Coney Island Competition organized by the Van Alen Institute, NY, and finalist in the EcoHouse Competition in England. Dr. Andía holds a Master degree from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and a Ph.D. from the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley.
Malik Benjamin | Senior Instructor and FIU Changemaker Faculty Fellow
Malik S. Benjamin is a member of the inaugural Young American Leaders Program at Harvard Business School Class I 2015, former Knight Foundation Scholar, Miami Foundation Fellow, FIU graduate thesis professor and Managing Director of the IoCI, where he conducts applied research focused on the “evolution of cities controlled by tangible, intangible and defunct networks”. He holds a BArch from Cornell University and a double MArch – Computing & Design and Urban Design – from the University of Miami. He is the founder of CreativeMornings/Miami and co-founder of Awesome Foundation/Miami, and serves on the AP Executive Committee of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, board of the Opa Locka Community Development Corporation, Miami Dade County Art in Public Place Selection Committee and Miami Dade County Architecture & Engineering Services Selection Committee. Through IoCI he pursues two missions – to create platforms that bring together design thinkers, social entrepreneurs and social justice lawyers/organizers for the sake of spawning creative solutions for the disadvantaged; the other is to develop private-public partnerships between communities, infrastructure operators and commercial developers with the purpose of positively impacting the quality of life and consumer well-being of surrounding neighborhoods.
At Florida International University, he is the inaugural Changemaker Faculty Fellow. In this role he serves as the coordinator of the FIU Changemaker initiative including working with the Changemaker leaders in the areas of curricular and co-curricular activities, research, innovation and entrepreneurship and philanthropy and community engagement. He promotes social innovation and entrepreneurship strategy to faculty and student researchers; guides and maintains Changemaker activities to align with the FIUBeyondPossible2020 Strategic Plan; and leads the planning and management of internal/external communications campaigns which promote activities and student, faculty and staff achievements. Lastly he oversees budgets and pursues opportunities for revenue enhancement from a variety of sources.
His expertise is in curating teams, brokering creative partnerships and breaking down barriers to institutional change through innovation.
Claudia Busch | Instructor
Claudia was born in Germany. She received a Diploma Certificate in Architecture from the F.H. Hamburg, Germany. She holds an MS in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Ms. Busch has designed for significant and major architects, such as Zaha Hadid in London, Carlos Zapata, Richard Meier and Bernard Tschumi in New York. She has won the first prize in the Florida Style Furniture competition and several awards in Germany. She has been exhibited in Italy, Spain, Austria and Germany. She was coeditor of “Ocular New York”, Columbia Books of Architecture/Aedes. Since 1995 Claudia Busch lives and works in Miami as an educator, architect and artist. For the past two years, Claudia Busch coordinates the Lower Division of the School of Architecture at FIU that involves the first four design studios for architecture, interior design and landscape architecture.
Jaime Canavés | Professor
Professor Canavés has taught at FIU since 1978. He received his Master of Architecture (Urban and Regional Planning Track) and Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Florida. He has an Associate of Arts from Miami Dade Community College. He is the founder and director of Bienal Miami + Beach and the School of Architecture Practice (SOAP). He is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and has served on national and international juries for the Americas.
For more information on Professor Canavés, Click Here
Nick Gelpi | Assistant Professor
Nick Gelpi is the Design Principal and Founder of GELPI Projects, a design firm in Miami Florida, dedicated to examining the relationships between material representation and building concepts as they relate to the built environment. Gelpi’s design practice has won numerous design awards including first place for his proposal “Table Distortions,” a twenty foot long digitally fabricated table on view at the Wolfsonian Museum in Miami Beach, an ARCHITECT Magazine R&D Award, and a Pamphlet Architecture Honorable Mention for his proposal “System Failure.” He was recently named the first place winner in the international design competition for the new Wynwood Gateway Park in Miami Florida, and he has exhibited furniture, pavilions, and installation projects in museums and galleries internationally.
Born in New Orleans in 1979, Nick Gelpi received his Bachelor’s of Architecture degree from Tulane University, in 2002 and his Masters of Science in Advanced Architecture Design from Columbia University in the City of New York in 2003. After graduation, Gelpi joined the offices of Steven Holl Architects in New York, where he worked from 2004-2009 as a project architect leading numerous projects including the 11.2 million sq ft masterplan for the Hudson Yards in Manhattan. In 2007 Nick Gelpi along with Steven Holl were the recipients of ARCHITECT Magazine’s first annual R&D award for their innovative application of Laminate Wood as a series of commercially available furniture. Nick Gelpi has previously taught architecture studios at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Ohio State University where he was the Howard E. LeFevre Emerging Practitioner Fellow in 2009, at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, and currently is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Florida International University in Miami Florida.
Eric Goldemberg | Associate Professor
Goldemberg holds a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. He started his practice in Argentina as part of Estudio STAFF, a firmed founded by Jorge Jose Goldemberg and Teresa Bielus de Goldemberg, specializing in social housing with over 20,000,000 s.f. of built work, all resulting from winning competitions. He also collaborated in Argentina with the practice of Clorindo Testa. Eric worked in New York for Peter Eisenman as senior designer for the City of Culture of Galicia, and he was also project architect for Asymptote Architecture – Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture.
Prior to joining FIU, Goldemberg taught studios, seminars and workshops at Pratt Institute, Columbia University,New York Institute of Technology, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University of Buenos Aires, and IAAC -Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Barcelona. He is currently the Digital Design Coordinator and teaches graduate studios and advanced digital design and fabrication courses at Florida International University.
Eric Goldemberg is the author of the book “Pulsation in Architecture” which highlights the range and complexity of sensations involved in constructing rhythmic ensembles. The book was presented with a symposium at Studio-X, Columbia University. He lectured about his design research at Cooper Union New York, Architectural Association London, Die Angewandte Kunst Wien in Cagliari, Politecnico di Milano, ETSAB Barcelona, Iaac Barcelona, MIT Boston, University of Puerto Rico, MOCA Miami, Wolfsonian Museum Miami, University of Miami, University o fBuenos Aires, Di Tella University Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Central Society of Architects among other institutions.
His firm MONAD Studio was co-founded in 2002 with Veronica Zalcberg. MONAD Studio is a design research practice with focus on spatial perception related to rhythmic affect, exploring the urban dimension, from landscape to installations and buildings.The work of MONAD Studio has been published in The New York Times, Architectural Record, World Architecture(China), Architecture in Formation book, Conditions Magazine (Norway), I4Design (Chicago), Future Arquitecturas (Spain), Miami Herald, Florida InsideOut, Design Book Magazine, Summa+ (Argentina), La Nacion (Argentina),PP@PD (Penn School of Design), Evolo Magazine (L.A.) among other architecture journals.MONAD Studio was one of the 5 finalists of the 2008 PS1-MoMA competition and the project was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. MONAD’s entry was also exhibited in New York at the PS-1Contemporary Art Center – YAP 10th Anniversary show. MONAD Studio was selected as finalist on the Miami Dawntown 2012 Design/Build competition. The firm received a bronze medal award at the 2007 Miami Biennial for the Performing Arts Center project in Oslo, Norway.
Neil Leach | Assistant Professor
Neil Leach is an architect and interdisciplinary scholar. He is currently Visiting Professor at FIU. He is also Visiting Professor at Harvard GSD and Tongji University, Professor at the European Graduate School, a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Fellow and an academician of the Academia Europaea. Previously he has taught at SCI-Arc, Architectural Association, Cornell University, Columbia GSAPP, USC, University of Nottingham and Dessau Institute of Architecture. He holds MA and Dip Arch degrees from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD degree from the University of Nottingham.
His first publication was a translation from the Latin of Leon Battista Alberti’s treatise on architecture, de re aedificatoria, undertaken under the supervision of Joseph Rykwert, and published as On The Art of Building in Ten Books (MIT, 1988). This experience taught him the importance of publishing and interdisciplinary thinking. With his first academic appointment at the University of Nottingham he shifted into a more contemporary theoretical arena, influenced heavily by ongoing research in Continental Philosophy in the School of Critical Theory. His second publication, Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory (Routledge, 1997), a best selling collection of essays on architecture and urbanism by key thinkers of the twentieth century, such as Georg Simmel, Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Michel Foucault, Jean Baudrillard, Helene Cixous, Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze, informed many of his subsequent publications.
Invitations to teach at leading design schools, such as the Architectural Association and Columbia GSAPP, further influenced his thinking. As an academic who had always taught both design and theory, he began to realize the limitations of cultural hermeneutics from a design perspective, and to engage increasingly with the materialist philosophies of Gilles Deleuze, Manuel de Landa, and emerging scientific thinkers. These philosophies suggested a more constructive engagement with the world of technology in general and computation in particular. Many of his more recent publications have dealt with computational design theory. He is currently working with Behrokh Khoshnevis and others on a NASA funded project to develop robotic fabrication technologies for printing structures on the Moon and Mars.
Neil Leach has published 27 books, which have been translated into several languages, including Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian. His publications on architectural theory/philosophy include Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory (Routledge, 1997), The Anaesthetics of Architecture (MIT Press, 1999), Millennium Culture (Ellipsis, 1999), Architecture and Revolution: Contemporary Perspectives on Central and Eastern Europe (Routledge, 1999), The Hieroglyphics of Space: Reading and Experiencing the Modern Metropolis (Routledge, 2002), Forget Heidegger (Paideia, 2006), Camouflage (MIT Press, 2006), and The Politics of Space (Routledge, forthcoming). His publications on digital design include Designing for a Digital World (Wiley, 2002),Digital Tectonics (Wiley, 2004), Emerging Talents, Emerging Technologies (2 volumes; CABP, 2006), (Im)material Processes: New Digital Techniques for Architecture (2 volumes; CABP, 2008), Digital Cities (Wiley, 2009), Machinic Processes (2 volumes; CABP, 2010), Fabricating the Future, (Tongji UP, 2012), Scripting the Future, (Tongji UP, 2012), Digital Workshop China (Tongji UP, 2013), Design Intelligence: Advanced Computational Research (CABP, 2013), Space Architecture: The New Frontier of Design Research (Wiley, 2014), Robotic Futures (Tongji UP, 2015), Digital Factory (CABP, 2015),Interactive Futures (Tongji UP, forthcoming) and Swarm Intelligence: Architectures of Multi-Agent Systems, (Tongji UP, forthcoming).
Neil Leach has particularly strong connections with China, where he holds a distinguished Chinese Government ‘High End Foreign Expert’ Visiting Professorship at Tongji University, and has published 13 books. He has served as Director of the American Academy in China, and has curated a series of exhibitions, including several for the Architecture Biennial Beijing.
He is also one of only two architects to have been elected a member of the Academia Europaea, Europe’s leading scholarly academy that counts among its members over 50 Nobel Laureates.
As a student he was President of the Cambridge University Athletics Club, and the holder of Cambridge Blues in Track & Field and Cross-Country. He represented England at Track & Field over 1500m.
Nikolay Nedev | Coordinator of Lower Division and Instructor
Nikolay was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. He received a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami. Nik is a LEED accredited professional and a founding principal of NC-office. The firm’s work ranges from master planning, to landscape design, to commercial and residential architecture.
NC-office has produced winning urban design proposals for Somerville, Massachusetts (Edge as Center-Boston Society of Architects), and Biscayne Bay in Miami (Build in the Bay). The work of NC-office has been exhibited in Miami, New York, Boston, and Stockholm. Several projects have also been published in various architectural journals and newspapers including Archivos de Arquitectura Antillana, Azure, Florida InsideOut, the Miami Herald and the Boston Globe.
NC-office received an award for ‘Excellence in Interior Design’ from the Miami Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for the Cafe Bustelo project in Miami Beach. Other awards include a citation for “Innovation and Technology” from the Boston Society of Architects for a short film featuring the ‘Third Avenue Commons” residential project in Miami, and most recently NC-office received an honorable mention for their entry for the Dawntown Seaplane competition.
Prior to founding NC-office, Nik practiced architecture in Miami with Albaisa Musumano Architects in collaboration with Office dA, with Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt, and in Boston with Machado Silvetti and Associates.
He has taught design studios at various levels as well as seminars on Building Systems Integration and Tectonic Elements in Modern Architecture. His academic interests range from the act of drawing as a tool for conceptual investigation, to performative surfaces, to urban structures and their typologies.
Marilys Nepomechie | Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives, AXP Licensing Advisor and Professor
Marilys Nepomechie is a registered architect and Professor of Architecture at Florida International University. Her writing, research, urban design and building projects focus on the cultural, social, and environmental contexts of design. They include a broad range of proposals for affordable, sustainable infrastructure and housing, many conducted through collaborative community-based design processes. Included in the archives of the U.S. National Building Museum, the work of her practice has been honored with numerous professional and academic awards, national and international exhibition, and wide publication.
Her design work, in collaboration with FIU Professor Marta Canavés, ASLA, has earned a National Honor Award in Urban and Regional Design –the highest distinction bestowed by the national chapter of the American Institute of Architects. It has twice earned the American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. It has been honored by national Faculty Design and Collaborative Practice Awards from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture; the NCARB Prize for the Integration of the Academy and the Profession; and multiple design awards from the Boston Society of Architects, AIA Florida/Caribbean, AIA Miami, and International Bienal Miami + Beach. Nepomechie has won the Progressive Architecture Young Architects’ Award, a National Education Honor Award citation from the American Institute of Architects, a Provost’s Award for Research from Florida International University, and the AIA Miami Samuel Kruse Silver Medal in Design, the chapter’s highest distinction for design excellence.
As Principal Investigator, Nepomechie has received research grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies the Fine Arts; the American Institute of Architects; the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation | Wolfsonian-FIU; the Cuban Research Institute; the Cejas Family Foundation; and International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, where she was an invited curator, exhibitor, and presenter on the subject of coastal urban development in Miami, Florida and La Habana, Cuba. With a multi-disciplinary faculty team, Nepomechie and Canavés are collaborators on Double Exposures, a National Science Foundation ULTRA-Ex grant studying the effects of seal level rise, globalization, immigration and growth on the Miami-Dade urban region [Dr. Gail Hollander, PI]. She is also a key collaborator on a grant made jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy and the China National Energy Administration in support of Solar Decathlon China 2013 [Dr. Yimin Zhu, PI].
Nepomechie was co-curator of the exhibition La Habana Moderna, 1902-1959 at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Art Museum. In the Netherlands, she co-curated and designed Magic City | Novia del Mar at The Flood | Mare Nostrum, 2ndInternational Architecture Biennale Rotterdam. Nepomechie is author of the AIA Guide to MIAMI | Building Paradise: An Architectural Guide to the Magic City (Washington DC, Miami: AIA, 2010), and editor of the bilingual Bienal Miami + Beach 2001-2005: A Retrospective (Quito, Ecuador: TRAMA Ediciones, 2007). Her work has appeared in journals including JAE; Thresholds/ MIT; Places/ UC Berkeley; Perspecta/ Yale; Modulus/ UVA; Aula/ Tulane; Punto/ UCV; Metropolis; Ottagono; Abitare; Architecture; Architecture Boston; Architecture Ireland; and Progressive Architecture. The Bienal Panamericana de Arquitectura de Quito; the Bienales de Arquitectura de Santo Domingo and Cartagena Colombia; the Arte Americas Biennial exposition, and the Institute of Contemporary Art at University of Pennsylvania are among the venues where Nepomechie has been invited to present her work.
Inaugural Direcrtor of the accredited professional program in Architecture at Florida International University, Nepomechie was lead faculty advisor for the award-winning Florida International University 2011 Solar Decathlon project, and currently serves as the faculty advisor in architecture to the joint THU-FIU Solar Decathlon China 2013 effort. Nepomechie has been Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing; Maxfield Lecturer and Visiting Scholar at the Miami University of Ohio; Sue Fan Gooding Visiting Professor and John R. Groves Fellow in Housing at the University of Kentucky; Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of New Mexico; visiting faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, Universidad Politécnica de Puerto Rico, and the Universidad Central de Venezuela; and Lecturer at the University of Miami. She has served on the Editorial Review Board of Architectural Record, and on the National Board of the AIA 2030 Commitment. Nepomechie holds the Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has been inducted to the AIA College of Fellows.
Eric J. Peterson | Senior Instructor, Genoa Fall 2016
Eric Peterson is a graduate of Middlebury College, 1991 and University of Florida School of Architecture, 2005. He served an apprenticeship in traditional English joinery and worked as a journeyman carpenter and construction supervisor for ten years. He completed his architectural internship at local design firms in Miami working as a designer and computer modeler. Equally at home with traditional carpenters’ tools and advanced software for controlling CNC machines he makes no distinction between various modalities of fabrication. Recent projects include the Solar Decathlon – interior team leader; Palletcraft – a retrospective exhibition of furniture made from recycled materials; and Miami 2100 – an exhibition on the impact of sea level rise on the city of Miami. Having served as Fabrication Lab Manager for seven years at FIU he continues to be actively involved in shaping a culture of making within the Department of Architecture. He teaches both introductory and graduate level architectural design studios as well as courses in computer modeling, graphics, furniture design and fabrication.
Sara Pezeshk | Visiting Assistant Professor – Spring 2018
Sara Pezeshk is an adjunct instructor in College of Architecture + The Arts at FIU since Fall 2015. She received a Bachelor of Architecture from SCI-Arc. She holds a Master of Science from Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) in London entitled as Emergence Technologies and Design. She worked as a designer in award-winning international firms in Los Angeles, Miami and Tehran like SOM, Glavovic Studio and Sinam Consulting Firm. She also became affiliated with Cal-Earth Institute from 2006 where she also managed to hold and teach at a few series of Eco-Dome construction workshops. She founded her publishing house since 2012 in contemporary architecture theories. Her current research interest mainly lies in digital computation using morphogenetic and biomimetic approached integrated in material systems. Her research with similar approach was presented and published in international journals and Scientific.net; “Reinforced Earth in Anticlastic Envelope Systems Martial System of Earth and Natural Plant Fiber”, (Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 707, 2016).
(Alice) Gray Read | MAA Director and Associate Professor
Gray Read teaches architectural history and theory courses as well as studio. She starts with the premise that the city is the theater of urban life and focuses on how buildings act with people in the events of daily life. This approach to both the analysis and the design of buildings is particularly meaningful as a strategy for creating dense and enjoyable cities that can be sustainable in the long-term. In research, she focuses on rediscovering historical strategies for designing sociable urban buildings that make up the cities that we love.
Her book Modern Architecture and Theatre: The Experiments of “Art & Action” (Palgrave, 2014) reveals a clear theoretical statement by Parisian architect-turned-theater director Edouard Autant, who designed buildings and staged performances in the1920s. Autant demonstrated in theatre how spatial design places people strategically with each other as part of creating the social events of the city.
She also edited and contributed to a collection of essays focused on the deep historical relationship between theater and architecture, Architecture as a Performing Art (Ashgate Press, 2013), edited with Marcia Feuerstein. In other research, she considered the design and use of public space in Miami in the 1950s and 60s, centering on how disparate groups negotiated their differences in public actions. This work appeared in Miami Modern Metropolis: Mid-Century Architecture and Urbanism, edited by Allan Shulman, in 2009. Previous research explored the historical traditions of urban scale in architectural design. The Miniature and the Gigantic in Philadelphia Architecture: Essays on Designing the City to Human Scale (Mellin Press, 2007) reveals a poetic vernacular of architectural dimension.
Her most recent projects are: a collaboration with FIU students to develop design ideas for Miami that will enhance the quality and sustainability of urban life, and a series of community conversations in Miami centered on strategies for resilience.
Read received her PhD in Architecture from University of Pennsylvania in 1998 and is also a registered architect.
David Rifkind | Associate Professor of Architecture & Chair of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design
David teaches courses in architectural history, theory and design. His first book, The Battle for Modernism: Quadrante and the Politicization of Architectural Discourse in Fascist Italy, won the 2011 Premio James Ackerman and was published in 2012 by the Centro lnternazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio and Marsilio Editori. In 2014, Ashgate published A Critical History of Contemporary Architecture, which David coedited with Elie G. Haddad. His essays have won best article prizes from two flagship journals, the Journal of Architectural Education (“Misprision of Precedent: Design as Creative Misreading”) and the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (“Gondar. Architecture and Urbanism for Italy’s Fascist Empire”). His current research deals with urbanism and modern architecture in Ethiopia, and is the first component in longterm studies of the built environment in modern Ethiopia and of modern architecture and urban planning throughout Africa. His work in Ethiopia has been supported by grants from the Graham Foundation and the Office of the Provost, and by a residency at the American Academy in Rome as the inaugural Wolfsonian Affiliated Fellow. He curated two exhibitions at the Wolfsonian-FIU, “Metropole/Colony: Africa and Italy,” in 2012, and an exhibition on the work of Tony Garnier in 2016-17. In 2016, he also co-curated an exhibition on contemporary architecture in Ethiopia at the Miami Center for Architecture and Design. He won a 2012 Faculty Senate Research Award, is a 2012 FIU Top Scholar, was selected by the FIU student body to deliver the 2012 What Would You Say? lecture, and was honored with Alpha Rho Chi’s Gold Medal in 2014.
Camilo Rosales | Associate Professor
Camilo received a Master of Architecture II in Building Design from Harvard University, and a Master and a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from the University of Texas at Austin where he was a Senior College Scholar. Mr. Rosales is a registered architect in the states of New York and Florida. As a practicing professional he received an award for built a project from the American Institute of Architects and his personal work has been published in architectural journals and periodicals. His collaborative work has been published in book monographs and exhibited in American and European Museums. In 2000 he was elected Fellow of the International Institute for Advanced Studies (IIAS Germany) and also received an Outstanding Scholarly Contribution Award from the same institution. He has published over 20 scholarly and professional papers in national and international conferences. Mr. Rosales worked in New York for I.M. Pei and Partners. He participated in the winning entry for the Redevelopment of Madison Square Garden with SOM and Frank O. Gehry and Associates. He also worked with HOK and Arquitectonica. Mr. Rosales was Director of the Architecture Program at FIU from 1996 to 1999 and coordinator of the Graduate Program in 2002-03. He has taught a variety of courses in design, theory, history and technology. He has been a design critic at other Florida Institutions and also in Venezuela and Costa Rica. Mr. Rosales has participated in six research grants and contracts related to developments in architecture and architectural education that total over $300,000.00.
Henry Rueda | Assistant Professor
Henry Rueda, is an architect and Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts at Florida International University. Rueda started teaching at FIU in 2014 and before that, he taught at Escuela de Arquitectura y Diseno at Universidad Jose Maria Vargas; Escuela de Arquitectura y Urbanismo at Universidad Central de Venezuela and also in the Departamento de Arquitectura, Diseno y Artes Plasticas at Universidad Simon Bolivar, Venezuela. His professional experience includes working for Jesus Tenreiro in Caracas, Venezuela and Wiel Arets in Maastricht, Holland.
His current work focuses on Single Family Residences in different cities in Venezuela and in Miami. In 2014 his VL House was nominated for the Emerging Architects Mies Crown Hall Prize of the Americas, organized by the Illinois Institute of Technology. The O House was recognized with the first prize in the 2013 IV Bienal de Arquitectura de Maracaibo, Venezuela and in 2007 his SM House was awarded with first prize in the I SAI, Salon de Arquitectura in Caracas, Venezuela. In Venezuela he is the founder and active member of Fundacion Espacio, a non-profit organization that curates and produce books, exhibitions, seminars and conferences with local and international architects. Focused on topics around the city and the importance of critical discourse.
Henry Rueda holds an Architecture Diploma from the Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo at Universidad Central de Venezuela and a Master of Sciences in Advanced Architectural Design from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University.
Thomas Spiegelhalter | Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Structural and Environmental Technologies Laboratory
Thomas has realized research demonstration work in Europe, Central and South America, and the U.S. in numerous contextual solar, carbon-neutral, zero-fossil-energy, passive and low-energy building realizations projects; large-scale sustainability master planning and consultancies, redevelopment projects for abandoned post-industrial architectures and landscapes, engineered suspension bridges, and revitalization projects. Many of his completed projects have been published in International anthologies of European and American Architecture such in “Contemporary European Architects, Volume V,” 1997, Building a New Millennium 1999-2000″, both Benedict Taschen Publisher, in “Solar Architecture for Europe, Publisher Birkhäuser, 1996, in “The Architectural Review, on Ecology and Architecture,” in 1998, in “Architectural Record- “DESIGN VANGUARD AWARD 2003 or in the monograph “Adaptable Technologies – Le tecnologie adattabili nelle architetture di Thomas Spiegelhalter” by Franco Angeli Publisher, Rome, in 2008, “Post-Parametric Automation in Design and Construction” with Alfredo Andia in 2014, and “Agent-Based Modelling in the Built Environment” in 2018 with H. Yi, Spiegelhalter also co-founded in 2017 the local Dynamo-Rhinamo-BIM-360 group of the Intl. Autodesk User Groups (AUGI) to organize monthly cloud workshops.
As a result of his 27 years of design and built work, professional consulting, awarded research, teaching, Spiegelhalter has received 54 prizes, awards, and honors in European and US sustainability competitions individual and in collaboration with landscape architects, and engineers.
Dynamo-Rhinamo-BIM-360 group of the Intl. Autodesk User Groups (AUGI)
John Stuart | Associate Dean for Cultural and Community Engagement, Director of Miami Beach Urban Studios, and Professor
John is a registered architect and principal of John Stuart Architecture with research interests focused on architectural design, its contexts, and its impact. He is currently a 2007-08 New York Prize Fellow at the Van Alen Institute. During his residency at the institute he will develop “TimeZone,” a built project intended to empower communication between diverse people in public spaces in an effort to address global poverty and the “digital divide.”
In addition to his design work, Stuart has written Paul Scheerbart, The Gray Cloth, Paul Scheerbart’s Novel on Glass Architecture (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 2001); Ely Jacques Kahn, Architect: Beaux-Arts to Modernism in New York (New York: W. W. Norton, 2006) with Jewel Stern, and edited The Journal of Architectural Education: Gender and Architecture (ACSA, 2002). His most recent book, The New Deal in South Florida: Design, Policy and Community Building, 1933–1940 (Gainesville: The University Press of Florida, 2008) was co-edited with political scientist and FIU professor John Stack.
Professor Stuart’s research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Study of the Fine Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Humanities, The National Science Foundation, and a Wolfsonian Research Fellowship. He won the 2004 Miami American Institute of Architects Award for Design Excellence for his project “Time Zone,” the chapter’s highest award.
His designs are part of the permanent collection of the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University. In 2003 he was a visiting associate professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and has served as a guest critic on design reviews at Cornell, Harvard, Yale, RISD, University of Michigan, University of Florida, University of Miami, and FAU, among others.
Stuart has undergraduate degrees in classics and applied mathematics from Brown University, a graduate degree in classical archaeology from Princeton University, and completed his professional architecture degree at Columbia University.
He currently serves as chair of the FIU Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Building and the Environment and is a member of the FIU President’s Climate Commitment Task Force.
Shahin Vassigh | Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Professor
Shahin has a Master of Architecture, Master of Urban Planning and Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. She is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture at Florida International University. She has considerable professional experience through her work at various consulting engineering firms ranging from bridge design/analysis to large-scale building construction and design.
Vassigh teaches structures and building technology courses in the architecture curriculum. She has built a nationally recognized body of research work focused on improving structures and technology education by developing alternative teaching pedagogies that utilizes digital media. Her work has been characterized as setting new standards for new media educational materials and is published and distributed internationally. She is a recipient of two major federal grants for “Visualizing Structural Behavior” and “Building Literacy: the Integration of Building Technology and Design in Architectural Education”. Both projects develop Interactive learning environments using state of the art computing technology.
Adjunct Faculty, Spring 2018
James Le Greca
Adjunct Faculty, Fall 2017
Adjunct Faculty, Summer 2017
Jorge San Martin
Elite Kedan | Adjunct Faculty
Elite Kedan is an artist and registered architect based in Miami, Florida. She received an undergraduate degree in Architecture from Cornell University and graduate degrees in Master of Architecture and Master of Urban Design from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She is a LEED accredited professional and has practiced architecture in firms in Boston, New York and in Jerusalem, Israel with Moshe Safdie Architects prior to opening her practice. Her combined work employs architecture, sculpture, installation, coding and publication to explore intersections of technology and process with material, place, historical context and meaning. She has participated in residencies at the School for Poetic Computation in New York, the Atlantic Center for the Arts Master Program under Jessica Craig-Martin, the Independent Curators International Curatorial Intensive, and in Everglades National Park under the AIRIE program. Her publications include Provisional – Emerging Modes of Architectural Practice (USA) (Princeton Architectural Press) and Everglades Atlas. At FIU’s School of Architecture she teaches architectural design studios at both introductory and graduate levels; as well as seminars on Publishing as Practice, and Digital Sculpture and Virtual Environments in the Department of Art.
Asha Kutty | Adjunct Faculty
Asha Kutty received her PhD in Environment Behavior studies from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Her main area of scholarly interest focuses on the outcomes of race, class and culture on urban form and architecture. She has taught for 5 years as an instructor and as an assistant teaching professor at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She has taught courses on design studio, place-making practices in community design, urban form and urban design practices in the U.S., and architectural history.
Cynthia Ottchen | Adjunct Faculty
Cynthia Ottchen received her Master of Architecture degree from Rice University in Houston, where she was awarded the Morris R. Pittman Traveling Fellowship for Best Graduate Student, then gained extensive practical experience in offices before continuing postgraduate studies at the University of Cambridge, England, She received a Master of Philosophy in the History and Philosophy of Architecture focusing her research on new modes of thought in the Enlightenment and their effect on design methodology and architectural representation. Following this she worked for renowned firms Zaha Hadid Architects in London and Rem Koolhaas/Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam, where she directed the Research and Innovation Cell, developing new design methodologies including parametric and sustainable approaches, and Internal Affairs, overseeing and coordinating all the projects in the office. Cynthia was the 2008 Gerald Sheff Visiting Professor at McGill University School of Architecture in Montreal before teaching at Harvard Graduate School of Design and has been invited to be on design juries at Yale, Columbia, Cooper Union, and TUDelft. She spent a period of time in Dubai working with the UAE Urban Planning Council on rapid urbanization before moving back to Miami Beach and establishing her own practice. Cynthia has published articles in academic journals on digital design. She is a licensed architect and an adjunct professor at Florida International University teaching design studio.
Glenda Puente | Adjunct Faculty
Glenda Puente is a Miami-based architect with experience in residential, adaptive reuse, commercial and sustainable architecture, interior design, wayfinding, product design, master planning and exhibit curation. She has a M.Arch degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville – with studies in France, Mexico and Italy. As a student, she received numerous academic and design awards, including the Alpha Rho Chi Medal and a grant from the Clinton Global Initiative University program. After graduation, Puente joined Glavovic Studio in Fort Lauderdale, where she worked on various award winning projects from 2011 to 2014. She has taught at Florida International University School of Architecture since 2015 and is Chapter President of DOCOMOMO US/Florida, Commitment Mentor for the Clinton Global Initiative University and Coordinator for the 2016 Bienal Panamericana de Arquitectura de Quito. As a free-lance writer, Puente has written for Curbed Miami, Plataforma Arquitectura and Br Magazine.
Ali Qureshi | Adjunct Faculty
Ali Qureshi is a designer, professor and entrepreneur with a passion for technology. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Masters in Architecture. Ali has worked at several architectural firms, including Perkins + Will, Innovative Group, MONAD Studios, and DiGiorgio Associates, gaining a diverse array of experience in all scales of design. Having taught design and digital fabrication at both FIU and FAU his core philosophy advocates for the intrinsic relationship between design and technology. Through Delta Design, he continues to explore an interdisciplinary approach to design and has immersed himself in the world of rapid prototyping and fabrication.
Claudio Salazar | Adjunct Faculty
Claudio Salazar is the founder and principal of ROOTSDNA, PA. Claudio Salazar obtained his Bachelor of Design in Architecture at the University of Florida and his Master of Architecture from Boston Architectural College where he focused on the impact of recursive geometry in urban design interventions. Since 2000, he has been the designer, project manager and master planner for numerous residential, commercial and mixed-use projects in the United States, Europe, Latin American, Asia and the Middle East. Set by a rigorous reexamination of architectural performance, function and form, Claudio has lead his ROOTSDNA team during the development of entries for architectural contests, some of which have been awarded first prize. Claudio is currently an adjunct instructor at the School of Architecture at Florida International University.
Jordan Trachtenberg | Adjunct Faculty
Jordan Trachtenberg received the degree Master of Architecture, with Honors in Design, from Columbia University, NY, and a Bachelor of Design in Architecture, with Honors, from Florida International University. He has worked in five continents from Asia to South America with international award winning architecture firms. During 2009-2012 in Amsterdam, NL, working at UNStudio, Jordan led the design and execution as Coordinating Architect and Project Manager on several successful projects such as the Singapore University of Technology and Design (completed 2015). In addition, he led the design on successful competitions, small built projects, interior, and industrial design solutions. Jordan is an Adjunct Faculty Professor at FIU teaching graduate architecture/design studios and serves as guest juror at Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Pratt Institute, and the Städelschule in Frankfurt, Germany. Jordan is dedicated to advancing the profession; bringing his streamlined functional design and critical thinking back to his hometown of Miami. His office Trachtenberg LLC is now in collaboration with UNStudio on several high profile projects in the South Florida Region.