Your Colleagues

Hwang, Steinfeld elevated to AIA’s College of Fellows


Published March 14, 2024

“Joyce and Ed have been tireless in their pursuit of excellence and innovation in architectural research, teaching and critical practice. The FAIA designation recognizes the broad impact of that work on our profession. ”
Julia Czerniak, dean
School of Architecture and Planning

Two faculty members from the School of Architecture and Planning have been elevated to the American Institute of Architects’ prestigious College of Fellows in recognition of their national contributions to the profession.

They are Joyce Hwang, associate professor in the Department of Architecture, and Edward Steinfeld, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Architecture and founder of the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDEA Center).

AIA developed the fellowship program — the organization’s highest membership honor — to elevate architects who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession and made a significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level. Fellows are selected by a seven-member jury, which this year elevated 96 AIA member architects and two non-members.

“Joyce and Ed have been tireless in their pursuit of excellence and innovation in architectural research, teaching and critical practice. The FAIA designation recognizes the broad impact of that work on our profession. They belong among our field’s elite and make our school and university proud,” says Julia Czerniak, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning.

The FAIA election puts Hwang and Steinfeld, as well as the school, in elite company. Only 3% of AIA members hold this designation. Also, along with former dean Robert Shibley, a SUNY Distinguished Professor of architecture inducted into the FAIA in 2015, UB now counts three tenured architecture faculty members in the FAIA — making UB one of only five public institutions in the Association of American Universities that can claim this level of FAIA stature.

Joyce Hwang.

Through her architectural practice and research office Ants of the Prairie, Joyce Hwang confronts contemporary ecological conditions through creative means.

For nearly two decades, Hwang has been developing a series of projects that incorporate wildlife habitats into constructed environments. Among the most recent is the Multispecies Lounge in Toronto, a project Hwang designed in collaboration with Nerea Feliz from the University of Texas at Austin, which features a set of public furniture that invites interspecies encounters with wildlife. There’s also “Life Support,” a vertical habitecture (habitat-architecture) structure at Barrer Hill Reserve in Australia. The project incorporates a dead, 400-year-old tree, lining it with bird shelters and bat boxes.

Others include “Bat Tower,” a 12-foot-tall structure in Griffis Sculpture Park in East Otto, New York, that was designed to draw attention to bats and white-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of bats in eastern North America; and “Bat Cloud,” an eco-sculpture that stood in Buffalo’s Tifft Nature Preserve for 10 years.

The Museum of Modern Art recently featured Hwang’s work as part of its Built Ecologies video series. Her work has been exhibited at Matadero Madrid, the Venice Architecture Biennale and the Rotterdam International Architecture Biennale, among other venues.

She is a recipient of the Exhibit Columbus University Research Design Fellowship (2020-21), the Architectural League Emerging Voices Award (2014), the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2013), the New York State Council on the Arts Independent Project Grant (2013, 2008) and the MacDowell Fellowship (2016, 2011).

Ed Steinfeld.

Edward Steinfeld has been a trailblazer in the field of inclusive design since the 1970s, when he led a research project that established the first evidence base for accessibility standards. He believes that architecture should, first and foremost, benefit the people who use buildings and make a positive contribution to the community.

Steinfeld founded the IDEA Center at UB in 1984 on the belief that inclusive design was a critical component of a socially sustainable community. The center is a recognized leader worldwide in universal design and developed Innovative Solutions for Universal Design (isUDTM), a certification system that recognizes projects around the world that elevate the user experience by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation.

He has directed more than 30 major sponsored projects including two center of excellence grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He has authored more than 100 publications, designed many buildings, secured three patents and is a frequent consultant to government agencies, building developers and attorneys.

Steinfeld received an Applied Research Award from Progressive Architecture, a Research Recognition Award from the National Endowment for the Arts and the James Haecker Award for distinguished leadership from the Architectural Research Centers Consortium. He has also been named a distinguished professor by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and received the President’s Award for Faculty Excellence from UB.

Steinfeld is currently completing research and public education on design of public restrooms to address the needs of a diverse population.