Aki Ishida, AIA, LEED AP
Associate Professor

Bachelor of Architecture with Distinction, University of Minnesota

Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design, Columbia University

Bachelor of Architecture with Distinction, University of Minnesota

Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design, Columbia University

Aki Ishida is Associate Professor of Architecture teaching undergraduate design labs and Building Materials course. She is also a Senior Fellow of Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) where she collaborates with engineers and artists, and the Director of Intelligent Infrastructure for Human-Centered Communities (IIHCC), the university’s trans-college initiative. She founded Aki Ishida Architect PLLC in New York City, and prior to that, she worked at the offices of Rafael Vinoly Architects, James Carpenter Design Associates, and I.M. Pei Architect.

Aki’s work examines architectural materials in broader cultural and social contexts. She is the author of the book Blurred Transparencies in Contemporary Glass Architecture: Material, Culture, and Technology (Routledge, 2020). Her design work is a synthesis of spatial uses of light and her interest in public engagement through built environments. Aki’s interactive audio-visual installation Lantern Field, a project she led at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C., was one of a dozen international winners of 2013 Architectural Lighting Design Award. In 2012, she worked with the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Strategic Planning and Innovation Lab to improve the quality of cancer care delivery through design.

Prior to Virginia Tech, Aki taught design studios at Rhode Island School of Design, The Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design, and Konkuk University in Seoul, Korea. Her work has been supported by grants from Japan Foundation New York, the Graduate Kinne Traveling Fellowship from Columbia University, Stewardson Keefe LeBrun Travel Grant from the American Institute of Architects NY, and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and the Baer Art Center. She has served three times as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grants. She has been recognized with a 2018 University Certificate for Excellence in Teaching and nationally with a 2017 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) New Faculty Teaching Award and as one of 25 Most Admired Educators for 2016 by DesignIntelligence.

aishida@vt.edu