ANSELMO CANFORA

Associate Dean for Academics + Associate Professor, Architecture

Education: BSAS Univ. of Illinois; MArch Univ. of Michigan


Anselmo Canfora founded Initiative reCOVER at the University of Virginia in 2007.  Initiative reCOVER is a research project established to assist underserved populations through partnerships with humanitarian, community-based organizations, professional firms, and manufacturers.  In the classroom and in the field reCOVER promotes a collaborative entrepreneurial interdisciplinary spirit in service of hands-on, design-build learning experiences, and the advancement of building technologies, methods, and materials.  Based on a fundamental philosophy that design and building processes are dialectically interdependent, a building – or the act of building – is not simply considered a result, outcome, or even a product of design, but instead it is promoted as a collaborative effort well informed by thoughtful research, substantive interdisciplinary exchanges, and direct community involvement.  Canfora’s research and teaching center on two recurring themes in the architecture discipline: The tools and craft of building, and the people for whom buildings are made.

Through his teaching and research, Canfora explores emerging fabrication technologies and processes of construction to create domestic and international disaster recovery housing for a broader audience than the profession has traditionally engaged. Canfora’s teaching focuses on the preparation of students thorough foundational knowledge and skill sets in architecture while anticipating the potential new roles they will face as members of an evolving discipline, one with the most direct influence on the built environment.

My research and teaching center on two recurring themes in the architecture discipline: The tools and craft of building, and the people for whom buildings are made. In my work, I explore emerging fabrication technologies and processes of construction to create domestic and international disaster recovery housing for a broader audience than the profession has traditionally engaged. My teaching focuses on the preparation of students thorough foundational knowledge and skill sets in architecture while anticipating the potential new roles they will face as members of an evolving discipline, one with the most direct influence on the built environment. The critical synthesis of these themes forms the basis of my approach to addressing the complex challenges the discipline and society face in the 21st century.  The emphasis on the importance of fabrication as an effective component of embodied learning is consistently part of my research and teaching and found at the critical juncture between design and fabrication.  From my introductory architecture design studios to working with professional companies on advanced digitally fabricated design/build projects, I integrate abstract processes of conceptualization with tangible acts of making. 

Canfora, A. “reCOVER Disaster Recovery Housing,” AD Reader series, “Ground Rules for Humanitarian Design,” Editor: FAARM: Alice Min Soo Chun, Irene Brisson, May 2015

Canfora, A.; Malda, D.; Ponitz, J.; “Making as a Form of Exploration,” ACSA Conference Proceedings, Montreal, Canada, 2011

Canfora, A.; Smith, E; Srour, G.; “Building on Collaborations,” ACSA Conference Proceedings, New Orleans, March 2010

d3 Natural Systems Exhibition, Ridenbaugh Art Gallery, University of Idaho, “reCOVER: Water and Health in Limpopo Project,” September/October 2012

ARCHIVE Institute, Bartlett School of Architecture, London, “Kay e Sante nan Ayiti” Traveling International Exhibition Launch, July 12, 2011

ARCHIVE Institute Perry Street Exhibition, New York, NY: “Kay e Sante nan Ayiti,” Design Competition Winners, June, 2011

ARCHIVE Institute & AIA Center for Architecture Exhibition and Fundraiser: “Kay e Sante nan Ayiti” Design Competition Winners, May 26, 2011

Parsons New School of Design, School of the Constructed Environment “Flat Pack City” co-exhibition Initiative reCOVER and Studio Gans, October 29 through to November 20, 2009

Meridian International Center, Washington DC, “The Architecture of Disaster Relief,” Initiative reCOVER Research and Development Seminar Work, May 7, 2008

 

 

“Kay e Sante nan Ayiti” International Design Competition, ARCHIVE Institute, 1st Place: Initiative reCOVER, “Breathe House” (Competition included 400 registered teams, 200 eligible entries, 147 design teams, 20 finalists, top 5 designs selected for construction)

Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, Collaborative Practice Award, March 2011, “Initiative reCOVER: Primary School, Uganda;" Canfora, A.; Elzey, D; J. Kaliisa; Smith, E; Srour, G.

American Institute of Architects, Education Honor Award, March 2010

Initiative reCOVER: Primary School in Gita, Uganda, PI: Canfora, A Co-PI: Elzey, D. Graduate Research Assistant: Ponitz, J.                                                                                   

Design Ignites Change: Implementation Award, August 2010 ($6,000)

“Initiative reCOVER: Disaster recovery Housing Prototype,” PI: Canfora, A. Student Team: Bulla-Richards, A.; Harper, S.; Lee, S.; Parker, N.; Thompson, L.

Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture,

Faculty Design/Research Award, March 2004

“Mies In Michigan: Making Image Material,” Canfora, A.; Comazzi, J.; Wilkins, G.

Virginia Tobacco Commission, Research and Development Grant

“Partnership for Design and Manufacture of Affordable, Energy-efficient Housing Systems,” (Total Project Budget: $6,006,570; Tobacco Commission: $2,445,000; reCOVER: $1,006,378)

PI: Parrish, P.; Office of the Vice President for Research; Co-PIs: Canfora, A; Quale, J, SARC

National Science Foundation: EFRI: SEED Grant, August 2010

“Occupant-oriented Heating and Cooling” ($1,998,000; reCOVER: $133,398),

PI: Whitehouse; Co-PIs: Canfora, A.; Guerlain, S.; Haj-Hariri, H; Stankovic, J. (Award No. 1038271)

Environmental Protection Agency: P3 Student Design Competition for Sustainability Grant, July 2010, “Initiative reCOVER Disaster Recovery Shelter Prototype Project,” ($10,000) Canfora, Student Team: Bulla-Richards, A.; Harper, S.; Lee, S.; Parker, N.; Thompson, L. (Award No. SU 834731)