– The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning is proud to announce that Debbie Chen will serve as the school’s 2021-2022 Architectural Activism Fellow.

The School of Architecture and Urban Planning established one-year Architecture Fellowships in 2013 in the areas of design instruction and architectural research. Fellows focus and expand design research and energize the architecture curriculum with current discourse while teaching studios and seminars.

Chen’s fellowship proposal is titled Drawdown, which addresses issues of carbon reduction and architectural representation. During the 2021-2022 academic year, students will have the opportunity to work closely with Chen and dig deep into the issue of carbon neutrality as she teaches in the school’s core studios, an elective studio and an elective seminar focused on her research.

Born in Taiwan and raised in Los Angeles, Chen received a Master of Architecture from Princeton University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Southern California. She is now a licensed architect in New York, and recently finished the semester as a part-time instructor at Syracuse University School of Architecture.

Chen’s work often explores issues of scale, assembly, and infrastructure where design overlaps with extra-disciplinary fields such as socio-political and economic networks, civic utilities, and material ecologies. Chen has served as a Project Architect at Morphosis Architects for the design of a new academic building at the University of Toronto, as well as for the construction of a land port-of-entry facility at the US-Canadian border.

“With this opportunity at SARUP, I am thrilled to be able to explore the overlap of decarbonization and architectural representation alongside colleagues who are already invested in a holistic approach to addressing environmental justice through architectural agency,” says Chen.

Architecture department Chair Mo Zell says, “Debbie brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise from architectural practice, including experiences at the offices of Morphosis and Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis. Her research project Drawdown, which interrogates regenerative agriculture, biofuel production, carbon capture, and sequestration while imagining a carbon-neutral future, operates at the confluence of climate change and community engagement. I look forward to Debbie positively disrupting the status quo.”

Chen joins past Architecture Fellows Sarah Aziz (2020-2021), Lindsey Krug (2020-2021), José Ibarra (2019 – 2020), Michael Jefferson (2019 – 2020), Antonio Furgiuele (2015 – 2017), Tao Sule DuFour (2014 – 2015) and Filip Tejchman (2013 – 2014).