Aug. 07, 2021

Nathan Friedman and Maggie Tsang join Rice Architecture as 2021–2023 Wortham Fellows, while Astrid Sukur will teach the first-year studio with Associate Professor Jesús Vassallo this fall. The school also welcomes back Lecturer Rachel Julia Engler and Studio Assistant Leyuan Li.

Nathan Friedman comes to Houston from Mexico City, where he runs the Departmento del Distrito together with Francisco Quiñones. He holds an S.M.Arch.S. from the Department of History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.Arch. from Cornell University. Working at the intersection of politics, identity, and the built environment, his practice engages writing, speculative proposals, and architecture research in addition to commissioned projects. He has previously worked for Eisenman Architects, SMAQ Berlin, and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam, where he collaborated on numerous projects for both OMA and AMO, including the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow.

Maggie Tsang is a co-founder of Dept., a landscape architecture and urban design studio in Houston. She received her B.A. and M.Arch. from Yale University, as well as a M.Des. in urbanism, landscape, and ecology from Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her research and practice focus on the impacts of climate adaptation and flood hazard mitigation on urban infrastructure and planning. Prior to founding Dept., Tsang worked at WORK Architecture Company in New York and Utile Architecture and Planning in Boston, MA. She is a registered architect in Texas and Maryland, where she is originally from.

Rachel Julia Engler returns this fall to teach History and Theory (ARCH 346/646). She is a doctoral candidate in art history at Columbia University and received an M.Phil. and M.A. at Columbia and a B.A. from Yale University. Engler’s current research is on the facilities and media complexes associated with television evangelists, with a particular focus on Oral Roberts University.

Leyuan Li (M.Arch. '20) returns this fall to assist the first-year studio with Associate Professor Jesús Vassallo. Li is a Chinese designer, whose works investigate the intersection between the interior and the urban, while exploring the convoluted relationship between representation and built form. He studied at the University of Cambridge and Nanjing University, where he received a B.A. in Architecture, before pursuing an M.A. with distinction from Rice University. In 2018, Leyuan founded a small design practice, No-no Atelier.

Astrid Sukur will teach the first-year studio this fall with Associate Professor Jesús Vassallo. Sukur is an architectural designer who previously taught the foundation level studios at the University of Houston. Her professional practice's specialty is in designing complex and highly diverse typologies - government, aviation, research labs, mission-critical, administrative, and manufacturing facilities. During the past year, she has focused on building and life safety code analysis. Her personal and academic work has focused on the accessibility, affordability, and inclusion of design to the communities where she resides. She is a Texas native and received her M.A. from the University of Houston and a B.S. in Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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