- Associate Professor of Architecture
Nilou Vakil is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Design. Since 2010 she has been the President and Principal of the award-winning firm, in situ Design. The firm specializes in community-based architecture and urban design. She teaches architectural design studios, Ethics and Leadership in Professional Practice, and research seminars that explore community-based partnerships and service learning. She has been recognized by Design Intelligence (DI) as one of the top 25 most admired architecture professors of 2017-2018. She was awarded the Matthew and Ashely All Faculty Fellow in the KU Honors Program in 2020, where she developed and teaches a seminar called Inclusive Cities. She also serves as a mentor for the University Scholars Program. She has been practicing architecture for almost two decades both nationally and internationally. She joined the KU School of Architecture and Design with a full time appointment in 2017 as the Director of Strategic Initiatives where she started a new Interior Architecture and Design Program and in 2018 became the inaugural program director. Originally from the Middle East, she has witnessed the destruction of thriving neighborhoods during the devastating eight-year war in her hometown of Tehran and believes that communities should have a voice in remaking and determining the future of their built environment. Her scholarship examines the importance of community engaged design in architecture. Her service-learning teaching pedagogy and community service reinforces the values of community engagement. She serves as an advocate for underrepresented members of the professional community and has been working with the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Women in Design committee since 2004. She has led several national and local professional development programs, including the AIA Young Architects Programs, the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), and Women In Design (WID).