As the profession adapts to meet the needs of our changing environment, planners and architects will not be able to use the tools we have today to solve the problems of tomorrow. It is crucial that emerging professionals are taught the ability to think critically about the broad implications of planning decisions in addition to the technical components. I have taught over 1,000 students in nine unique courses and anchor my teaching style on the principal of critical thinking.

My primary teaching goal is to continue teaching a diverse format of courses from studios to small advanced courses to large seminars. I would like to strengthen my focus on environmental and social sustainability, the human context of design, qualitative and architectural research methods, and the context of the profession – all areas that encourage students to survey, research, and challenge spatial traditions. I believe I am successful as an educator when I am able to empower students to lean into the unknown by equipping them with the skills to think critically and be independent learners. I do this by promoting curiosity and balancing the weight of current events with humor, fun, and hands-on exercises that get them out of the classroom and into their community.


Creative Inquiries: No Place to Play

This Creative Inquiry (CI) course offered students the opportunity to engage in a long-term, team-based project with an emphasis on undergraduate research but included other academic engagement opportunities (e.g., service-learning, outreach, global engagement, entrepreneurship). Students designed, built, and curated a public gallery exhibit that will be shown in Greenville, Columbia, Charleston, and Clemson and will produce a feature short film. The exhibit and film will reveal five years of critical research about the influence of gender on teenagers’ use of public space to a broad audience.

The research project is about how teenage girls and boys don’t see their neighborhoods the same way and how it affects where they go and what they do. Learning about gender issues and teen spaces is important to South Carolinians now more than ever as rapid development across the state has led to dangerous, uncomfortable, and inaccessible places for teens to hang out. By seeing and hearing the often hidden perspectives of teens that have lived through rapid development in India and the Philippines, the public may gain a renewed understanding of the stakes involved if teens’ views (especially girls) are not considered in the development process. This class unpacked the multi-site, cross-cultural research project and encouraged students to think critically about how and if the results transfer to the context of South Carolina. We engaged in debates about the impacts of the research on social and environmental sustainability and how cities measure sustainable development. Students worked in small teams under the leadership of a graduate student and the course instructor to co-produce the exhibit materials and complete the installation.

Architectural Programming and

This course is designed to offer the student an introduction to the theory and practice of architectural programming. Programming is presented as a means to create architectural settings that are sensitive to the needs of their inhabitants. Care will be taken to understand how to work with diverse groups of stakeholders and encourage equitable participation. Programming is introduced as a primarily analytical process to be considered in an integrated relationship with a relatively intuitive design approach. A premise that quality in architecture results from a balance between the intuitive (art) and analytical (science) of architecture is explored through the written works of Robert Pirsig and other readings. The use of “patterns” and the work of Christopher Alexander is introduced as a methodology for developing a common understanding, shared language, and mutually understood set of environmental values. The course also covers the mechanics of providing professional programming services. Research methods including interviews, focus groups, and surveys are introduced. Graphic, verbal, and written communication skills are also covered and practiced in class. Dialogue-based programming and “gaming” methodologies are introduced through the work of William Peña and Steven Parshall. Systems, factors, and processes are introduced through the work of Mark Karlen and Rob Fleming. These are demonstrated and practiced extensively in class and/or through programming assignments. 

The Human Context of Design

This course is about the buildings and landscapes of our built environment: why we build them, how they enhance our lives, how they don’t, and how we can make them better. The goal of this course is for students to develop an understanding of how human interactions with the built environment play a critical role in design, looking at design through the eyes of diverse users. The course content focuses on environment-behavior concepts and also on critical analysis and application of these concepts by designers. Examination of case studies of functional building types will be used as a means to understand psychological, social, cultural, and functional expectations that people have for the places that they inhabit. A portion of the course will introduce students to research tools to analyze how people use places and to implement what they learn in design proposals.

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Health Facility Planning and Design Seminar

This course is intended to introduce students to hospital master planning, planning and design concepts and issues, as well as space/departmental planning and design considerations for common departmental or functional areas found in acute inpatient and ambulatory healthcare facilities. The course covers the experiential, technical, functional, and regulatory criteria that influence the planning and design of these facilities. Issues of overall building infrastructure, wayfinding, patient-oriented care, and therapeutic environments are also covered. Each topic explored in this course will be structured around balancing four key forces that influence health facility design: optimizing efficiency, effectiveness, and safety; improving both human health and health outcomes as well as environmental health; promoting patient, family, and staff satisfaction; and accommodating change. Strategies are examined for balancing complex technical and functional requirements with the need for healthful, sustainable, and therapeutic patient care or treatment settings. The information collected and prepared in this course is intended to form the foundation of the student’s planning and design knowledge base for hospitals and related healthcare facilities.

The Cycle of Hope:
Moving Immigration and Deportation toward an Architecture of Health, Safety, and Well-being

Architecture + Health [A+H] studios are intended to provide an opportunity for the application, integration, and personal interpretation of principles explored in the Architecture + Health curriculum. Students are also expected to develop their own theoretical or personal architectural position from exposure to other courses available within the college, other sources, or personal exploration.

This studio examined the political, philosophical, and ethical sides of architecture by proposing alternative architectures for a new conceptualization of US immigration. Through a series of guest lectures with an immigration attorney, an environmental psychologist, architects, and a philosopher students learned about the history of immigration and prison design, the current laws and political challenges, and the environmental issues with detention architectures. Specifically, students responded to an immigration philosophy as a point of departure to guide their design decisions in developing an alternative architecture for immigration and deportation in the US. This studio is intended to broaden awareness and understanding of the role of the architect in contributing to institutions and trajectories of power. We upheld the Architect’s professional responsibility ( as described by the American Institute of Architects) to protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare.

Novants Scotts Hill Health Campus and Hospital

This semester we will be examining relationships between healthy and sustainable urban design with respect to healthcare campus and facility planning and design. The setting for the work this semester will be the Novant Scotts Hills campus in Wilmington, NC. We will be engaging architects from LS3P who are working on the actual project along with relevant planning, design, and technical experts as appropriate. The proposed campus will supplement existing Novant facilities to include a hospital planned for phased expansion as part of a mixed-use development including office/commercial space, workforce housing, and other appropriate health, supporting recreational, civic, and public places. The intent is to consider and integrate the campus with the larger ex-urban context of the site and serve the Wilmington metro region today and into the future. The site and the greater Wilmington area are set in an ecologically sensitive and vulnerable coastal context subject to frequent hurricanes, flooding, and ultimately climate change and resulting sea level rise. At the same time, the site is situated in an area projected for significant growth and development anchored by US Hwy 17, a major north/south corridor along the southeast coast.

The overall objective of the semester will be to envision the medical center campus as a mixed-use community center that is healthier, livable, accessible, vibrant, sustainable, resilient, and integrated into the district. The campus should do more than accommodate programs that focus on the diagnosis and reactive treatment of disease and injury. The Scotts Hill campus should be planned and designed to serve as a model in the community for resilient, equitable, sustainable, and healthy community planning and design focused on protecting, promoting, and restoring health at the scale of the individuals who receive care while considering family support. The live and work campus shall consider the immediate community in which it exists in its past, present, and future and reflect a contribution to a global system of processes, people, and flows by minimizing its environmental impact and carbon footprint.

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Intermediate Architecture Studio: Urban Acupuncture

This studio used the lens of “urban acupuncture” to incorporate social housing into the major renovation of the Greyhound Bus Station in downtown Eugene, OR. Urban acupuncture is a socio-spatial theory that leverages small projects to address important social issues. Housing insecurity is a core issue for the Pacific Northwest and Eugene, in particular, has piloted innovative approaches. How can architecture leverage this critical site toward the relief of housing insecurity while still engaging the public and commercial functions of a prominent urban street?

The Greyhound Bus Station is a historic building with unique Art Deco elements. The Urban Acupuncture studio worked through themes of historic preservation, mixed-use development, and social housing and proposed concepts that engage the public realm and stimulate spatial equity in the city. Students studied the morphology of Eugene over the twentieth century and assess the success of turn-of-the-century urban renewal efforts. They worked individually to propose a program and ultimately a building concept and site development plan that complied with the city’s master planning guidelines and growth goals as well as prescriptive sustainability standards. Studio work included site visits, stakeholder interactions, in-studio work and review, lectures, and readings.

Introductory Architecture Studio

Design studios in the second year build upon the first-year studios. This course is the fourth in a sequence of four core introductory undergraduate design studios. More complex studio projects are offered in subsequent terms to students who successfully pass these core studios. The design studio provides a forum to introduce and methodologically develop fundamental architectural design skills. Graphic presentation, critical thought, and writing abilities are understood as key elements of student development in basic design. Studio assignments are cumulative, build in complexity, and are intended to accelerate the student’s growth as a designer. Students are expected to work in an iterative fashion and make conceptually coherent decisions throughout the design process based upon precedent, the interaction between formal ordering systems and activity support, building construction systems, and life safety and accessibility needs. One of the primary goals of the second-year design studios is to enable students to develop strong working processes and methods that will allow them to be prepared for and successful in more advanced studios and beyond.

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Professional Context

This course provides students with an introduction to the professional practice of architecture and related careers. Together we will examine the professional, legal, and regulatory environment; firm organization and management; marketing and bidding process; contractual issues; ethics and equity issues; and, the construction process. It will also explore issues and questions that can generate more provocative discussion about the profession in contemporary culture and economy, the relevance and value of professional practice, and new ways of delivering projects. The classic topics covered in the class are the profession, the firm, and the project. The profession includes professional organizations, licensure, and development; legal responsibilities; ethics and professional judgment; as well as career options within the professions. The firm includes modes of practice; firm structure, business management, and financial management; and, firm identity and marketing. The project includes project management, administration, and leadership; multidisciplinary team organization; project phases, products, and fees; contracts; scheduling and budgeting; and the client role.

Master Planning Principals

This course is an introduction to master planning principles, processes, and products as prescribed in UFC 2-100-01, Master Planning. The purpose of the course is to make planners more effective by providing them an overview of the fundamentals of master planning as it is practiced by the Army and other DoD and federal agencies as well as by local cities and towns. For non-planners, this course provides an overview of the fundamentals of master planning. General planning principles covered in this course apply to the U.S. Army Reserves and other military services, the Civil Works Community, other Government agencies, and the civilian planning community. Participants should be aware that this course is focused on planning and not programming DD 1391 preparation and the design and construction of facilities. Since planning defines what is to be programmed, it is essential that programmers understand how the planning process is formulated, its integration with NEPA process, its consideration of sustainability and energy factors, and how the process guides all development.

Master Planning for Energy & Sustainability

This course focuses on how to apply principles of resiliency, sustainability, and energy efficiency in the planning and development of installations. These principles are consistent with DoD policy on the development of Installation Energy and Water Plans that require energy and water efficiency integrated into planning processes for all installations, DoD commitments to following industry standards like ASHRAE 189-2, and Public Laws on master planning. This course does not focus on detailed engineering and design but helps students recognize that master plans set the standard from which all projects (including energy projects) are developed.

Master Planning Sustainability & Resilience

This course connects the key elements of installation energy/water planning and master planning through use of modeling tools. The goal of the course is to make planners more effective by providing them with an understanding of the role of master planning in achieving sustainability and resiliency goals, by learning how to quantify impacts. Students will learn how to use the USACE developed SMPl/Net Zero Planner tool to identify resilient solutions in conjunction with master planning. For non-planners, this course provides linkages to achieve sustainable, resilient installations and allows professionals to use automated modeling tools to quantify impacts.

Sustainable Military Building Design & Construction

This course provides practical, hands-on training in this rapidly emerging and dynamic body of sustainability requirements that applies to all military construction. Trainees will gain understanding of the High Performance and Sustainable Buildings requirements (UFC 1-200-02)and become familiar with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Building Design + Construction(LEED-BD+C) project rating tool. This course will help develop a skill set of procedures trainees can employ to successfully implement sustainable design and third party certification in projects as well as defining the documentation requirements to demonstrate compliance with Federal Guiding Principles.

Sustainable Historic Structures

This course focuses on the planning and design of installation buildings as it pertains to the sustainable/resilient reuse of historic structures and landscapes. The appropriate management and consideration of historic resources is required per public law (National Defense Authorization Acts of 2013 and 2014) and DoD UFC 2-100-01, Installation Master Planning. Further, with DoD and Army focus on footprint reduction and reuse, smart repurposing of these historic structures and landscapes are essential. This course instructs planners, historic preservation experts, and designers on the appropriate implementation of the UFC 2-100-01 planning strategy that addresses natural, cultural, and historic resource management. The course also provides instruction in identifying unique characteristics, legal requirements, procedures, technical knowledge, and skills necessary to administer, maintain, repair, and repurpose historic properties in conjunction with the master planning policies of the Army and DoD.

Master Planning Advanced Techniques

This course teaches planning techniques described in the upcoming new UFC on Area Development Planning. The course provides detailed instruction on how to implement principles for area development planning set forth in DoD and NASA planning guidance. It also provides an overview of comprehensive planning techniques needed to integrate various planning considerations that must be comprehensively addressed in the development of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and even NASA installations and communities. Through intensive, hands on training, students will learn how to prepare a UFC-compliant ADP. Students will learn how to incorporate planning charrette techniques to develop the ADP using a real world-planning problem at a federal installation. Students will also learn how to write a clear planning vision, research existing documents, conduct a site analysis, prepare and evaluate alternatives, develop a business case, and detail a preferred alternative that includes an illustrative plan, regulating plan, and phasing plans. Through the exercise, students will be faced with various planning considerations and will be required to holistically integrate these considerations into a comprehensive solution that meets mission requirements and provides for a quality urban design solution that is sustainable and compatible with the installation’s vision for real property development.