Dawn Finley
Director of Graduate Studies


Dawn Finley’s research brings together design and practice, most notably through work as a founding principal of Interloop—Architecture (IA), a Houston-based design office that focuses on innovative building technologies, inventive forms, and precise material finishes. Finley's architectural work ranges from the design of custom furniture and fixtures, to private residences, to research complexes and cultural institutions. Select clients and cultural organizations include the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Menil Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Washington, DC, and the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam. The buildings and design work of IA have been recognized through awards and exhibitions and featured widely in leading industry publications including Dwell, Architectural Record, Architecture, i-D Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal. Finley is the author of System of Novelties, a book that combines elements of both monograph and field guide, featuring two decades of design work by Interloop—Architecture. 

Her research also includes Pliable, an experimental workshop that investigates the architectural potentials of textile techniques and processes through small- and medium-scale object making and BODY-PLUS: Architecture, Design, and Disability, research that looks at design and design education through issues of human disability. This work engages historical and contemporary policies, legislation, and practices that aim to expose and redress inequity in the built world.

In 2016, Finley was named one of the DesignIntelligence’s Top 25 Most Admired US Educators and more recently she received the 2019 Educator Award from the American Institute of Architects, Houston Chapter. Finley is currently a faculty fellow at Rice University’s Center of Teaching Excellence.


Faculty Work


  • M.Arch. Rice University
  • B.S. Arch. University of Michigan

Currently Teaching

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