Katie MacDonald
Collegiate Assistant Professor

B.Arch., Cornell Univ.

M.Arch., Harvard Graduate School of Design

B.Arch., Cornell Univ.

M.Arch., Harvard Graduate School of Design

Katie MacDonald is a designer, artist, and creative technologist. She was recently named Emerging Designer in the Virginia By Design Awards, and is Co-founder of After Architecture.  Her research focuses on emerging technology as it relates to sustainable construction and resilient design, most recently garnering funding from the AIA Upjohn Research Initiative for the project “Retooling Bamboo Tectonics: From Vernacular Aesthetics to Milled Material System” in which she is developing a digital fabrication system that optimizes the irregularity of bamboo poles and from the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology for a related project “Tooling Bamboo Growth” which seeks to grow bamboo along a digitally defined path. She is the recipient of the Robert James Eidlitz Fellowship and the Paul M. Heffernan Travel Grant.

MacDonald’s practice, After Architecture, is named as a nod to the influence of what has come before as well as a desire to erode disciplinary bounds. After Architecture combines technological experimentation with an interest in urban space, concentrating on interventions in which form-making critically engages urban issues to frame a public dialogue. Her most recent project is a memorial in Washington D.C. honoring a Civil War site where formerly enslaved persons took shelter. MacDonald’s creative work has been honored with the title of Curbed Young Gun, an AIA Los Angeles Next LA Honor Award, an AIA New England Design Honor Award in Special Projects, the Core 77 Design Award in Built Environment, two Architizer A+ Awards in Architecture and Collaboration, and a a nomination for the Mies Van der Rohe Award EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture.

MacDonald is developing curriculum for both the architecture program and the Creativity and Innovation Destination Area. She received an Instructional Innovation Grant to support the development of a new course for non-majors, “Design for Tomorrow: Transdisciplinary Collaboration in the Built Environment” and developed “Play to Make”, the gateway course for the Creative Technologies and Experiences minor. In 2018, MacDonald served as faculty advisor on a student design-build project installed at the Sculptural Objects Functional Art and Design Expo in Chicago, Illinois.

 

kbmacd@vt.edu