Aki Ishida (AIA, LEED AP) is Associate Professor of Architecture and the Interim Associate Director at Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design. She is also a Senior Fellow of the University’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT), where she collaborates with engineers and artists. She received her MS in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University and Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Minnesota.
Aki is a licensed architect in the states of New York and a LEED Accredited Professional. Prior to founding her own architecture firm Aki Ishida Architect PLLC in New York, she worked at James Carpenter Design Associates, I.M. Pei Architect, and Rafael Vinoly Architects. 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. Every summer since 2009, she has taught architecture courses in Columbia University's Summer Program for High School Students.
Aki's work, in both writing and design, center around aspects of architecture that are temporal, impermanent, and ever-changing, including aging of buildings over the course of their lifespan, and mutable readings of architecture. She is the author of the book Blurred Transparencies in Contemporary Glass Architecture: Material, Culture, and Technology (Routledge, 2020) which examines material glass in broader cultural and social contexts. Lantern Field, an interactive audio-visual installation she led at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery in Washington, DC, won a 2013 Architectural Lighting Design Award. 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 AIA New York Chapter, and fellowships from MacDowell and the Baer Art Center. She has served three times as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts grants. She was recognized nationally as one of 25 Most Admired Educators for 2016 by DesignIntelligence and received the ACSA/AIAS New Faculty Teaching Award in 2017.