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Experts

Architectural Adventures selects leading building and design subject matter experts who offer unique insights for each trip. With the guidance of our experts, Architectural Adventures’ travelers go beyond simple sightseeing and discover the historical, cultural, and aesthetic significance of the world’s great sites and structures.
Expert

Sophia Gruzdys, AIA

Professor of Architecture

Sophia Gruzdys is an architect and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Univ. of Southern California study abroad program in Barcelona. Sophia is the former Director of Yale College’s architecture program. She has extensive professional experience at I.M. Pei and Partners in New York, and earned her M. Arch degree with distinction from Harvard University.

 

Expert
Specialties
  • Led Architectural Adventures tours to Barcelona in 2017 and 2019 as well as Rome in 2018
  • Board member of the American Institute of Architects Continental Europe Chapter
  • Former Director of Yale College’s Architecture program
  • Earned a Master’s of Architecture degree with distinction from Harvard University
Expert

Marilys Nepomechie, FAIA

Professor of Architecture

Marilys Nepomechie, FAIA, is the Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Professor of Architecture at Florida International University; Her professional and academic projects – focused on coastal urban resilience and on the design of sustainable, affordable housing and infrastructure in the U.S.

Expert
Specialties
  • Architect and Professor of Architecture at the Florida International University College of Communication - Architecture + The Arts
  • Co-curator of the exhibition co-curator of the exhibitions Miami | La Habana: Magic City
  • Author of the AIA Guide to MIAMI | Building Paradise: An Architectural Guide to the Magic City
Expert

Tanja D. Conley, PhD

Associate Professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Born and raised in Serbia, Tanja D. Conley is an Associate Professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, teaching History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism. Tanja has numerous publications and previously worked as a senior advisor on urban conservation in Belgrade, Serbia where she currently resides.

Expert
Specialties
  • Earned her Ph.D. from Cornell University, College of Art, Architecture and Planning, History of Architecture and Urbanism Program.
  • Early research published in Serbian and English focused on the influence of Central European architectural centers on the formation of Serbian architectural academia in the late 19th and early 20th century.
  • Previously worked as a senior advisor on urban conservation at the State Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in Belgrade, Serbia.
Expert

Aaron Betsky

President of the School of Architecture at Taliesin

Aaron Betsky is President of the School of Architecture at Taliesin. Trained as an architect and in the humanities at Yale University, Aaron was previously Director of the Cincinnati Art Museum (2006-2014) and the Netherlands Architecture Institute (2001-2006), as well as Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1995-2001).

Expert
Specialties
  • Former Director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI)
  • Author of False Flat: Why Dutch Design Is So Good
  • Raised in the Netherlands, frequent lecturer and critic in and on the Netherlands
  • Led international travel groups as Curator at SFMoMA, Director of NAI and Cincinnati Art Museum
Expert

Zeuler R. Lima, PhD

Educator, scholar, designer, artist

Zeuler R. Lima is an internationally accomplished educator, designer, author, artist, and curator interested in a comprehensive approach to the built environment. He was trained as an architect, landscape architect, and urbanist at the University of São Paulo in Brazil with postdoctoral education in comparative literature at Columbia University.

Expert
Specialties
  • Educator, designer, curator, author, and artist with international experience in Brazil, USA, Europe, and Japan.
  • Led several groups on tours about Brazilian architecture and art and modern European architecture.
  • Lina Bo Bardi’s world expert and author of several articles about Brazilian architecture.
  • Recipient of the first edition of the International Bruno Zevi Prize (Rome) for architectural history and criticism.
Expert

Shigeru Yamaki, AIA

Architect

Shigeru Yamaki, AIA is a co-founding member of the AIA Japan Chapter. He has had a 40-year career as an architect with a Japanese design/build firm, Taisei Corporation, working on projects in the US and other countries. Some of the projects that he was involved in are the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and numerous built and unbuilt projects in Dubai.

Expert
Specialties
  • Former Chief Architect at Taisei Corporation in Japan, with assignments in the US, Southeast Asia and the Middle East
  • A Co-founding member of AIA Japan Chapter in 2005
  • Bachelor and Masters of Engineering in Architecture from Tokyo University
  • Licensed Guide in Japan, conducting tours on contemporary/traditional architecture
Expert

Khaled Tarabieh, PhD, Assoc AIA

Assistant Professor Of Architecture

Khaled Tarabieh is an assistant professor at the American University in Cairo. He is a holder of a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Architectural Engineering from Alexandria University, Egypt and a Master's in City Planning (MCP) and a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

Expert
Specialties
  • Assistant Professor of Sustainable Design at The American University in Cairo
  • Director of the Building Sciences Lab where he conducts research on the thermal performance of building envelope materials for residential buildings in Egypt
  • LEED AP Consultant in Green Building Design and Assessment
  • Advocate for Building Green and Sustainable Living
Expert

Frederick Cooper

Senior Professor in Architectural History

Born in Lima, Peru, Frederick Cooper studied architecture at the National University of Engineering in Lima. He has been a Senior Professor in Architectural History since 1968, as well as Head Tutor in Architectural Studios, both at The School of Architecture of the National University of Engineering and that of the Pontifical Catholic University of Perú, and at Columbia University.

Expert
Specialties
  • Founder and senior partner of COOPER GRAÑA NICOLlNI ARCHITECTS (now CGGMS Architects).
  • Senior Professor in Architectural History as well as Head Tutor in Architectural Studios, in The School of Architecture of the National University of Engineering and the Pontifical Catholic University of Perú in Lima.
  • Has lectured frequently in schools of architecture in Perú, Latin America, the United States and Europe.
Expert

G. Martin Moeller, Jr., Assoc. AIA

Architectural Curator, Writer, and Editor

Martin Moeller is senior curator at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, as well as an independent curator, writer, and editor. His books include the last two editions of the AIA Guide to the Architecture of Washington, DC. He has been an adjunct faculty member or visiting critic at six schools of architecture. Moeller holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from Tulane University. He has lectured extensively about the Bauhaus and other movements in modernist architecture.

Expert
Specialties
  • The history of modern architecture, with emphasis on the architecture of the 1920s and ’30s.
  • American and European urbanism.
  • The design of commercial aircraft and ocean liners.
Expert

Stephen Vogel, FAIA

Distinguished Professor of Architecture

Stephen Vogel, FAIA is the Distinguished Professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture, where he served as dean for 18 years. Stephen is a founder of the Volterra-Detroit Foundation, which operates the Volterra International Residential College in the historic Etruscan city of Volterra. The college provides university students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the history, culture and architecture of Tuscany.

Expert
Specialties
  • Founder of the Volterra-Detroit Foundation
  • Co-founder of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center
  • Over forty years of experience in architecture, urban design, interiors, and historic preservation
  • Inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 1994
Expert

David Rifkind, PhD

Professor of Architectural History

David Rifkind is Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design at Florida International University. As a scholar, he examines architecture and urbanism as expressions of political and social values, particularly in Italy and the Horn of Africa. As a designer, he emphasizes sustainability in the built environment.

Expert
Specialties
  • Recipient of the 2011 James Ackerman Award in the history of architecture for his book The Battle for Modernism: Quadrante and the Politicization of Architectural Discourse in Fascist Italy
  • Recipient of the 2011-2012 Journal of Architectural Education (JAE) Best Article Award presented by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture for his essay Misprision of Precedent: Design as Creative Misreading
Expert

Kimberly Elman Zarecor, PhD

Associate Professor of Architecture

Kimberly Elman Zarecor teaches architectural history and design at Iowa State University. A two-time Fulbright grantee, she has been researching architecture in the Czech Republic for twenty years. She is the author of Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity: Housing in Czechoslovakia, 1945-1960 (Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 2011).

Expert
Specialties
  • Experienced tour leader in cities around the Czech Republic
  • Speaks Czech and has lived in Prague and Ostrava where she continues to visit for research and to lecture to academic and public audiences
  • M.Arch. and PhD from GSAPP at Columbia University
Expert

Panos Dragonas

Professor of Architecture and Urban Design

Panos Dragonas is an architect, curator, and professor of architecture and urban design at the University of Patras. He was co-curator of the Greek pavilion for the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale. He has published extensively on contemporary architecture, public space, and the Greek cities.

Expert
Specialties
  • Co-founder of Dragonas Christopoulou Architects, a practice that has been distinguished in 10 architectural competitions and whose projects have been published worldwide.
  • Consultant editor of the annual reviews Architecture in Greece and Design + Art in Greece (2001-13).
  • Joint commissioner and co-curator of the Greek pavilion for the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale. Curator of the exhibitions including, "Tomorrows: Urban fictions for possible futures" (2017), "Adhocracy [Athens]" (2015), and "Rethink Athens" (2013).
Expert

Andres Kurg

Professor of Architectural History

Andres Kurg is a professor at the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn and Senior Research Fellow at Vilnius University. His academic work focuses on architecture and visual culture in the Baltic countries and Russia during the Soviet era. He has curated exhibitions on Soviet architecture and design (most recently at the Museum of Architecture Drawing in Berlin) and held fellowships at the Getty Research Institute and Yale University.

Expert
Specialties
  • Professor of architectural history and visual culture at the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn.
  • Has curated exhibitions on Soviet architecture and design in Vilnius National Gallery, Estonian Museum of Applied Arts and Design, and Berlin Museum of Architectural Drawing.
  • Former Senior Researcher in Baltic Studies at Yale University
  • Experienced guide of architectural tours in the Baltic countries
Expert

Elizabeth Emerson, AIA

Principal at E/L Studio

Elizabeth Emerson, AIA, is the founding principal of EL Studio, an architecture firm based in Washington, D.C. and New York City. She has research and teaching experience at Carpe Diem Arte et Pesquisa in Lisbon Portugal, where she has explored issues pertaining to the contemporary city. She has also served as a visiting lecturer at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Expert
Specialties
  • Partner E/L Studio; Visiting Lecturer School of Architecture and Planning Catholic University of America
  • Led several travel study-abroad programs for both graduate and undergraduate students with CUA; including month-long residency in Lisbon with Carpe Diem Arte et Pesquisa
Expert

Vladimir Kulic

Architectural Historian and Associate Professor

Vladimir Kulic is an architectural historian, curator, critic, and Associate Professor at Florida Atlantic University. Vladimir has published widely on architecture in Eastern Europe. He is the co-curator of the acclaimed exhibition Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948-1980 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (July 2018-January 2019).

Expert
Specialties
  • Architecture after World War II; co-editor of Sanctioning Modernism: Architecture and the Making of Postwar Identities (2014)
  • Architecture of the socialist period worldwide; editor of Second World Postmodernisms: Architecture and Society Under Late Socialism (forthcoming 2018)
  • Editor and author of Bogdanović by Bogdanović: Yugoslav Memorials Through the Eyes of Their Architect (2018)
Expert

Jane Martin, Assoc. AIA

Architecture educator and historian

Jane Martin is an architecture educator and historian. She is an adjunct instructor at San Antonio College, where she teaches the History of Architecture. Jane specializes in architecture, art, and history tours of San Antonio, and serves as an architecture docent at the McNay Art Museum. Jane received her M. Arch degree from the University of Houston.

Expert
Specialties
  • Certified Professional Guide and Certified Tourism Ambassador leading architecture, art, and history tours.
  • San Antonio College History of Architecture Adjunct instructor; national and local Teaching Excellence Awards recipient.
  • McNay Art Museum Docent Emeritus Ambassador architecture specialist.
Expert

Elihu Rubin, PhD

Associate Professor of Architecture, Urbanism, and American Studies at Yale

Elihu Rubin is Associate Professor of Architecture, Urbanism, and American Studies at Yale. He received a doctorate in architecture and a master’s in city planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor of arts from Yale. His first book, Insuring the City: The Prudential Center and the Postwar Urban Landscape (Yale Univ. Press, 2012) was awarded the Kenneth T. Jackson Prize from the Urban History Association and the Lewis Mumford Award from the Society of American City & Regional Planning History. 

Expert
Specialties
  • Awarded the Kenneth T. Jackson Prize from the Urban History Association
  • Awarded the Lewis Mumford Award from the Society of American City & Regional Planning History
Expert

Wladek Fuchs, PhD

Professor of Architecture

Wladek Fuchs is a professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture, where he is also the director of the school’s international programs in Warsaw, Poland and in Volterra, Italy. Professor Fuchs was born and educated in Poland, where he earned M.Arch. and Ph.D. degrees from the Warsaw Technical University. He is an expert in Freehand Drawing, Watercolor, CAD and 3D animation, and his current research topic is Roman Theaters.

Expert
Specialties
  • Professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture
  • Director of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture's international programs in Warsaw, Poland and in Volterra, Italy
Expert

Nitin Jain

Design/Real Estate Professional

Nitin Jain is a design and real estate professional with over twenty years of experience as an architect, investor, and developer in the United States and India. He is originally from New Delhi, India where he practiced as an Architect after earning his Bachelors of Architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi, India. Nitin is passionate about how traditional Indian architecture and culture can be incorporated into the contemporary Indian design ethos.

Expert
Specialties
  • Real Estate and Design Professional focused on urban redevelopment projects
  • Former Design Professional at Jacobs Engineering
  • MBA from Columbia University, New York
  • Masters of Architecture, Kansas State University; Bachelors of Architecture, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, India
Expert

John P. Klingman

Professor of Architecture

John P. Klingman is a registered architect who holds a Favrot Professorship in Architecture at Tulane University. Since 1997, he has written an annual “Best of New New Orleans Architecture” article for New Orleans Magazine.  His 2012 book, New in New Orleans Architecture, highlights 80 outstanding contemporary projects. He has been a member of the Architectural Review Committee of the New Orleans Historic Districts Landmarks Commission since 1995.

Expert
Specialties
  • A member of the Architectural Review Committee of the New Orleans Historic Districts Landmarks Commission since 1995.
  • A founding member of DOCOMOMO/NOLA, and actively seeks to preserve outstanding buildings from the mid twentieth century.
  • Since 1997, he has written an annual “Best of New New Orleans Architecture” article for New Orleans Magazine.
Expert

Lynn Craig, FAIA, RIBA

Professor of Architecture

Lynn Craig, FAIA, RIBA, is an Emeritus Professor at Clemson University and has been a Session Speaker at AIA National Conventions, AIA South Atlantic Region Conferences, and AIA Grassroots in Washington, DC, the National Science Teachers Association, AIA South Carolina Conferences and AIA SC Section presentations. Professor Craig, with over 30 years of practice and teaching experience, has maintained a research and application focus of design communication applying the analogue, freehand drawing method.

Expert
Specialties
  • Received his B.S. from Clemson University and Masters of Architecture and Urban design from Washington University, St. Louis
  • Recently published Draw It - A Workbook Manual for Sketching and Drawing (2015) intended to function as a workbook manual teaching analytical and conceptual Freehand Drawing of the architect’s trade to professionals and students
  • A member of the AIA National Component Award Selection jury where he received the National Award for AIASC in 2014, Kids in Architecture
Expert

Yuji Kishimoto, AIA

Emeritus Professor of Architecture

Architect and Emeritus Professor at Clemson University. Yuji received his B.Arch degree from Waseda University in Tokyo and his M. Arch degree from Harvard University.  In 2017, he was awarded a Japanese national medal of distinction — the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays Medal — by the Emperor of Japan for his contribution to American and Japanese relations in culture, education and in economic development.

Expert
Specialties
  • Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University in 1965
  • Served as Special Assistant to the President at Clemson University for US Japan relations in culture, education and economic development
  • 38 years of teaching experience in architecture
  • Has extensively traveled through Europe and Japan
Expert

Neil Jackson, RIBA

Professor of Architecture

Neil Jackson is an architect and architectural historian and currently the President of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain. He is the Charles Reilly Professor of Architecture at the University of Liverpool in London as well as being a Professorial Research Associate and a member of the Japan Research Centre at SOAS, University of London.

Expert
Specialties
  • He has published widely on nineteenth and twentieth-century British, American and Japanese architecture.
  • Professorial Research Associate and a member of the Japan Research Centre at SOAS, University of London
Expert

Damiana Paternò, PhD

Palladio Scholar

Damiana Lucia Paternò graduated from the Venice University Institute of Architecture (2008) and then obtained a PhD in the Preservation of Architectural Heritage from the Politecnico di Milano with a thesis on the restoration of Palladian buildings in the 19th and 20th centuries. Since 2008 she has been a teaching assistant at IUAV and is currently a research fellow there.

Expert
Specialties
  • Published "Authenticity Palladian: the protection of the heritage of Andrea Palladio in the nineteenth and twentieth century in Vicenza"
  • Author of "Palladium in time. Transformations authenticity the myth of the century"
Expert

Cindy Nguyen

Design Professional, Associate Lecturer

Cindy Nguyen is a design professional and an associate lecturer at the University of the West of England.  Cindy is the former director and an instructor for the Paris architecture program at The Catholic University of America. She has worked with French architecture firms Architecture Studio and Reset-Studio and has recently been collaborating with D.C. based firm //3877.

Expert
Specialties
  • Director of the Paris program at the Catholic University of America for six years.
  • Taught architectural history of Paris and urban sketching since 2010.
  • Co-directed multiple thematic design studios in Paris, including a study on the intersection of architecture and fashion in 2012.
  • Led private architectural tours in Paris as a professional guide.
Expert

Francesco Marcorin, PhD

Professor of Architectural History

Francesco Marcorin, PhD is a visiting professor of Architectural History at Union College’s international program in Florence, Italy.  Francesco was a Sydney Weinberg Fellow in Architectural History and Preservation at the Italian Academy at Columbia University in New York, and served as an assistant curator at the Palladio Museum in Vicenza in 2016.  His research focuses on Renaissance architecture.

Expert
Specialties
  • Visiting professor of Architectural History at Union College’s International Program in Florence
  • Contributor to the project Thinking3D (Oxford 2019)
  • Holds a PhD in Architectural History from the IUAV University of Venice
  • Assistant curator at the Palladio Museum in Vicenza for the exhibition "Andrea Palladio. Il mistero del volto" (The mystery of Palladio’s face)
Expert

Eytan Fichman

Professor of Architecture

Eytan Fichman is an architectural educator, architect and artist. He has been a faculty member at Hanoi Architectural University since 2010 teaching design, visual studies and theory, while assisting school leadership as a curriculum development consultant for the Advanced Training Program in Architecture. Fichman was the 1981 Ames Traveling Scholar in Japan while attending Boston Architectural College. While at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design for his M.

Expert
Specialties
  • Faculty member at Hanoi Architectural University
  • Director of Architecture, Boston Architectural College, 1999-2004
  • Lectured in Hanoi and Da Nang on the relation of street life in Vietnamese cities to village life in Vietnam’s countryside
  • M.Arch, Harvard University; Ed.M., Harvard University
Expert

Stanley Hallet, FAIA

Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at The Catholic University of America

Stanley Hallet, FAIA is Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at The Catholic University of America, where he taught courses in Islamic Architecture, Architecture and the Moving Image, and Studio Design. Stanley’s interest in Maghrebian Architecture began as an early Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunis, Tunisia, and he recently returned from lecturing and leading workshops in architectural studio at the Université Tunis Carthage.

Expert
Specialties
  • Fulbright-Hayes Lecturer at the University of Kabul in Afghanistan
  • His work has been distinguished with 12 AIA design awards. He received a 25-year design award given by the Utah Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for the Quad Project.
  • Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia
Expert

Nancy Dunton

Architecture Educator and Author

Nancy Dunton is a consultant specializing in the creation of programs about architecture. The co-author of A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Montreal published in 2016, she currently teaches Reading the City: Montreal and its neighbourhoods at the McGill School of Architecture.

Expert
Specialties
  • Executive director of Heritage Montreal, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the protection of Montreal's built heritage, from 1992 to 1997
  • Worked for the Canadian Centre for Architecture as Head of University and Professional Programmes until early 2005
  • She currently teaches Reading the City: Montreal and its neighbourhoods at the McGill School of Architecture
Expert

Rolf Achilles

Historian

Rolf Achilles is an independent art historian, curator of the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, and adjunct faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A writer and lecturer on various topics related to preserving American artistic and architectural heritage, Mr. Achilles is the author of several books on Chicago architecture and commerce.  He was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 2013. 

Expert
Specialties
  • Extensive worldwide travel in connection with study and research into various aspects of art history and heritage
  • Fluent in several european languages
  • Developed and maintains Chicago History TimeLine on www.rolfachilles.com
Expert

Ethel Goodstein-Murphree, PhD, Assoc. AIA

Architectural Historian and Professor of Architecture

Architectural Historian, Professor of Architecture, and Associate Dean of the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. Ethel’s work engages mid-century modernism, its preservation, and the roles of women in its chronicle. A prolific scholar, her work has been recognized by Preserve Arkansas and the Southeast Society of Architectural Historians.

Expert
Specialties
  • Demonstrated leadership in historic preservation through service on historic district commissions in Arkansas and Louisiana as well as on the Board of Directors of Preserve Arkansas.
  • More than three decades as a design educator recognized with teaching awards from the University of Arkansas Teaching Academy; the American Institute of Architects Education Honors Awards; and the Louisiana Preservation Alliance, and a regional Emmy award
  • Interdisciplinary doctorate in architecture and American cultural studies, earned at the University of Michigan.