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Michelle Laboy

Associate Professor

College of Social Sciences and Humanities, College of Arts, Media and Design

Michelle Laboy is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Northeastern University, with an affiliate appointment in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. As a designer with degrees in architecture, engineering and urban planning, she is interested in interdisciplinary approaches for an architecture that has agency in resilient urban landscapes.  Her research and teaching are focused on how buildings are grounded in a place, examining how socio-ecological thinking influences architectural theory and practice to shape experience, performance, and adaptability to changing environments. She is co-PI for the research project titled Future-Use Architecture: Design for Persistent Change that received the 2017 Latrobe Prize of the AIA College of Fellows.

Michelle has Master degrees in Architecture and Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, where she received the AIA Henry Adams Medal and Thesis Award; and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, where she received the Etienne Totti Award. Michelle co-founded FieLDworkshop, a research-based design practice in Boston that explores how smaller scale design contributes to conditions of urban resilience and sustainability at larger scales. Prior to coming to Boston, Michelle worked as a licensed engineer and architectural designer in San Juan, Detroit, Chicago, and Barcelona.  Her professional experience ranges in scale from urban design to small interactive objects in public space, and includes many award-winning commercial, educational and residential buildings. For ten years, Michelle worked as a Senior Associate at Maryann Thompson Architects in Cambridge, a practice dedicated to architecture that is sustainable, site driven and deeply connected to the landscape.

Michelle teaches building systems courses, graduate seminars, Masters research and design studios. She co-coordinates the 5th year Comprehensive Design Studio, co-teaching interdisciplinary sections focused on integrating architecture, landscape and environmental engineering. Her design research received funding from Northeastern University, AutoDesk, the Boston Groundwater Trust, and the AIA Upjohn Initiative. Her scholarship has been published in the Journal of Architectural Education, Enquiry, and The Plan Journal, as well as a book chapter, and proceedings for national and international conferences.

  • 2017 Latrobe Prize, American Institute of Architects College of Fellows
  • 2015 AIA Upjohn Research Initiative

Related Schools & Departments

  • Education

    Master of Urban Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
    Master of Architecture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
    Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mayagüez

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