ILA BERMAN

Dean + Edward E. Elson Professor

Education: DDes, Harvard University Graduate School of Design; MDes, Harvard University Graduate School of Design; BAS, Carleton University


Ila Berman, DDes, Dean of the School of Architecture, and Edward E. Elson Professor at the University of Virginia is an architect, theorist, and curator of architecture and urbanism whose research investigates the relationship between culture and the evolution of contemporary material, technological and spatial practices. She is a featured alumna of Harvard University’s Grounded Visionaries series and the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Design, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Fellowships, a Special Achievement Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching from Tulane University, where she was a Favrot Professor, founding director of the URBANbuild program, and the Associate Dean of the School of Architecture until 2007. She has also held academic administrative appointments as the O’Donovan Director of the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, and the Director of the School of Architecture at CCA in San Francisco. 

Dr. Berman’s work and publications include Expanded Field: Architectural Installation Beyond Art; FLUX: Architecture in a Parametric Landscape; URBANbuild local_global winner of an AIGA award for the top 50 books of 2009 and a Communications Design Award of Excellence; and New Constellations New Ecologies, among many others. Her design work and installations have been exhibited in many public and private galleries and museums including the International Architectural Biennale in Venice, Italy and most recently her installation Urban Syncopation for Nuit Blanche at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. She regularly serves on national and international design juries including those for the AIA, the Pan American Architecture Biennial (BAQ) and the Mies Crown Hall America’s Prize (MCHAP), and has served on many architectural boards including the California Architectural Foundation (CAF), the AIA, the Canadian Council of University Schools of Architecture (CCUSA), and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), in addition to her appointment on the Urban Design Committee of the Mayor’s BNOB Commission in New Orleans, where she worked to support the development of design directives and strategies for the rebuilding of the city post-Katrina.