Feb. 01, 2019

We are excited to welcome Juan José Castellón, Frida Escobedo, Sarah Nichols, Ryan Roark, Heather Rowell, and Wataru Shinji.


Juan José Castellón, Assistant Professor

Before coming to Rice, Juan José Castellón was a lecturer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH, Zurich), researcher at the Chair of Structural Design (ETH, Zurich) and, from 2010 to 2011, he was Adjunct Professor at the Barcelona Institute of Architecture (BIArch). He has collaborated with architectural firms such as FOA (London), Abalos & Herreros (Madrid), SHoP Architects (New York) and Herzog & de Meuron (Basel). In 2016, he co-founded xmade GmbH, an architectural practice based in Basel (Switzerland) focused on research and applications of contemporary materials in architecture.

His research activities are focused on the implementation of hierarchical porosity in architecture and on the design and development of building prototypes.

He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from ETSAB Barcelona, a Master of Architecture in Emergent Technologies & Design from Architectural Association London, and a Doctor of Sciences from ETH Zurich.


Frida Escobedo, Visting Cullinan Professor

Frida Escobedo is principal and founder of an architecture and design studio based in Mexico City. The projects produced at the studio operate within a theoretical framework that addresses time not as a historical calibration, but rather as a social operation.

Frida Escobedo´s work ranges from art installations and furniture design to residential and public buildings. Her work has been presented at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (2015), the Venice Biennale (2012) and the Chicago Biennial (2015).  In 2009 the Architectural League of New York awarded her with the Young Architects Forum award. Last year the Architectural Review awarded her with the Emerging Voices Award.

Frida Escobedo has been a visiting professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation GSAPP in 2015, and at Harvard Graduate School of Design GSD and at the Architectural Association of London in 2016.


Sarah Nichols, Visting Studio Professor

Sarah Nichols is a doctoral fellow and lecturer at ETH Zurich, where she is working on a history of concrete in Switzerland. Sarah works independently as an architectural designer on buildings and urban-scale projects. Her current work includes a soon-to-be completed weekend house in Germany's Black Forest, together with Nils Havelka, and a house for boat builders in Kerikeri, New Zealand.

Sarah is the editor of Rematerializing Construction: 22 Propositions and Reform! Essays on the Political Economy of Urban Form, together with Marc Angélil. Essays on, respectively, whale taxidermy and the Swiss cement cartel have been published in San Rocco and Grey Room.

She holds an Advanced Master of Architecture from the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.


Ryan Roark, Visting Studio Professor

Ryan Roark is an architectural designer and writer. In fall 2017, she was a KPF Paul Katz Fellow, researching historic preservation and urban planning in London. She has an M.Arch. from Princeton University (2017), a Ph.D. in oncology from Cambridge (2011), and an A.B./Sc.B. in math, comparative literature, and biology from Brown University (2005). She has worked in design practices in Los Angeles and New York, including First Office and LTL Architects. Alongside design work, she writes about the history of urban growth, the relationship between individual and city from the 16th century through the present, and the use of models derived from cell biology in architecture.


Heather Rowell, Studio Assistant

Heather Rowell's design experience includes residential projects, retail, large scale hospitality projects, and interior uplifts. She was a Principal at the award winning firm of Content Architecture for 7.5 years before founding HR Design Dept. Prior to moving to Houston, Heather gained extensive experience in educational facility design as a project manager for several public schools in North Carolina. Since receiving a Master of Architecture degree from Rice University in 2009, Heather has dedicated most of her time to sustainable residential design. She holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture from North Carolina State University and has taken design studios in Prague and Paris.

Heather was elected as the first Chair of of the AIA Woman in Architecture committee in 2017. She has taught graduate design studios at the University of Houston College of Architecture and Design and is a board member of the Rice Design Alliance. Heather compliments her architectural degree with a passion for graphic design and printmaking. Her prints have been exhibited in North Carolina, Texas, and California.  


Wataru Shinji, Visting Studio Instructor

Wataru Shinji is a Japanese architectural designer. He received his B.A. in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley in 2009 and afterwards joined junya.ishigami+associates in Tokyo. During his practice, he refined his architectural philosophy as Senior Designer + Project Lead for nearly eight years while leading a number of international award-winning projects, notably the Park Vijversburg Visitors Center in Tytsjerk, Holland. Prior to teaching at  Rice, he co-taught four advanced masters design studio courses at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Princeton University School of Architecture, Mendrisio Academy of Architecture, and The Oslo School of Architecture and Design.


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