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Aki Ishida, AIA, LEED AP

Associate Professor

Bachelor of Architecture with Distinction, University of Minnesota
Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design, Columbia University

Aki Ishida is an Associate Professor of Architecture, teaching design labs and the Building Materials course for 2nd year Bachelor of Architecture students. She is also a Fellow of Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT), where she collaborates with engineers and artists. 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 is a synthesis of spatial uses of light and her interest in active public engagement of space. The context of her work ranges from interactive public art installations, writing on impact of electric light on our 24/7 temporality, to working with hospitals to re-think the impact of light on healthcare. Interactive audio-visual installation Lantern Field, a project she led at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery in Washington, DC, was one of a dozen international winners of 2013 Architectural Lighting Design Award. In 2012, she worked as an advisor for the Directed Internship program in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Strategic Planning and Innovation Lab to improve the quality of cancer care delivery and the relationships among doctors, nurses and patients through design.

Prior to Virginia Tech, Aki taught design studios at Rhode Island School of Design, The Pratt Institute, Parsons The New 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 New York Chapter, and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and the Baer Art Center. She has served twice as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grants. Most recently, she was recognized nationally as one of 25 Most Admired Educators for 2016 by DesignIntelligence.