Faculty + Fellows
Alise Kuwahara Day
J William Gott, UDBS Fellow
Ming Ming Lin, UDBS Fellow
Karen Branick, UDBS Assist.
AIA, LEED AP
T. David Fitz-Gibbon Associate Professor
John Folan is the T. David Fitz-Gibbon Professor of Architecture and Director of the Urban Design Build Studio (UDBS) at Carnegie Mellon University. John served as track Chair of the Masters of Urban Design (MUD) Program and member of the Urban Laboratory faculty from 2009 to 2012. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (Bachelor of Science in Architecture, High Honors) and the University of Pennsylvania (Masters of Architecture) where he was a Kahn Fellow and recipient of the Henry Adams Medal. Registered as an Architect since 1995, John has focused his research on the methodologies employed in the translation from drawing to building. He investigates this in two ways: as pure developmental analysis and in application through critical practice. The research embraces methodology in the context of site condition, constructive logic, and material technologies - both traditional and emergent. A fundamental component of the research is the development of representational techniques and analytical experiments that enable simultaneous study of physical and phenomenological conditions. Experimentation with representation and analytical testing is investigated as a means of collapsing the multifaceted layers that separate conception and construction, establishing an analogue between representation and fabrication.
John's applied research in practice has included large-scale cultural and institutional commissions in the United States, Japan, Africa, and Europe. Executed within variable urban and rural landscapes, the projects have consistently engaged construction as an inherently centered, collaborative accomplishment predicated on broad consideration, sensibility and ethics. Included in this body of work are the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the National Wildlife Federation Headquarters, and the United States Embassy Compound in Nairobi, Kenya. John's work in practice has been critically reviewed in more than fifty journal articles, has been included in several published compendia, has been documented in two building monographs, and has been recognized by more than thirty national and international professional merit award programs.
Prior to joining the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University in 2009, John was a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Arizona. While on the faculty at Arizona he was a founding member of the Emerging Materials Technology (EMT) group. He also co-founded and served as an executive board member of the Drachman Design Build Coalition (DDBC); a university affiliated, non-profit, 501(c)3 corporation dedicated to the design and construction of environmentally specific, energy efficient, affordable housing prototypes. Projects with the DDBC in Tucson's Urban Empowerment Zone have been recognized with three consecutive AIA Arizona Honor Awards for Residence of The Year. Urban strategies employed in the implementation of the DDBC work influenced the collaborative development of the Drachman Institute’s legislative proposal that was recognized with first place award in the 2008 National Urban Policy Initiative Competition (NUPIC). The work executed with the DDBC, and currently with the UDBS, has enabled John to collaborate with students in finding sympathetic relationships between physical and cultural conditions through construction - not as a physical operation, but as a comprehensive unity informed by site, material, material behavior, technology, methodology, and representation.
Recognizing society and popular culture's gravitation toward specialization, John's teaching pedagogy focuses on the fundamental core attributes of practice and education that rely on reasoning, logic and ethic. His pedagogy has developed out of a desire to establish intellect and maintain broad reaching consideration in the creative process by engendering clear reasoning skills; reasoning skills that will defy the restrictions of specialization and benefit the academy, profession and society with generosity. His teaching was recognized at the University of Arizona with six consecutive Robert C. Geibner Awards, the Daryl Dobras Award, and the university's highest teaching honor, The Five Star Faculty Award.
Allegheny County Economic Development Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund
Allegheny County Health Department
Allegheny County Sanitary Authority
All Facilities Energy Group
Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture Hong Kong 2013
Bruce Construction, LLC
CMU Alumnus Ben Chigier
CMU BxA Intercollege Degree Program
CMU SoA Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics
CMU Facilities Department
CMU School of Drama Lighting Design
CMU School of Architecture
CMU SoA Urban Laboratory Studio
C & C Lighting Design
Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
Comfort Supply, Inc.
Community Business Enterprise
Community Design Center Pittsburgh
Community Stewards Committed to Revitalizing the Inner City
Department of Environmental Protection
East End Regional Advisory Committee
Energizing Kowloon East Office
Ford Motor Company
G. A. Mattern and Associates
Garden Dreams Urban Farm & Nursery
Garfield Jubilee Association
Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania AFFECT Program
Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council
Green Building Alliance
Habitat for Humanity
The Heinz Endowments
Homewood Children's Village
Hong Kong Institute of Architects
Institute for Ecological Innovation
J & J Fire Protection Co., Inc.
Jim Watson, P.E.
Lawrence County Habitat for Humanity
Leslie Park Pool Collective
Make Roots Marketing
McKamish Metal Fabrication Group
Merit Electrical Group, Inc.
National Black Master of Business Administration Association
Operation Better Block
Pennsylvania Agricultural Department
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Pennsylvania Senator Jim Ferlo
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts
Pittsburgh City Councilman Patrick Dowd
Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess
Pittsburgh Economic and Industrial Development Corporation
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl (former)
Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority
P.J. Dick Construction
Reverend Eugene Blackwell
Richard King (R.K.) Mellon Foundation
Rocky Mountain Institute 10XE Program
Sauer Brothers Heating & Cooling
Steve Catranel Construction Co., Inc.
Standard & Custom, LLC
TETRA Architects and Planners
Three Rivers Center for Independent Living
Trade Institute of Pittsburgh
Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh
Urbanism/Architecture Bi-City Biennale
URBANUS Architecture and Design
Cheng Cheng Mao*
Yoon Ho Oh'
J William Gott
Shin-Yu (Victoria) Pai'
Jaemin (Max) Park
Tarang Rajendra Kumar*
J William Gott
Ming Ming Lin
Ubolsiri (Ja) Racharaks
Sadik Hurcan Yurtoglu*
' One semester involvement
* AECM student, one semester
** Masters of Civil & Environmental Engineering, one semester
" Summer construction assistance