Kim Tanzer is the Dean and Edward E. Elson Professor of Architecture at the University of Virginia. Prior to beginning her tenure at the University of Virginia in July 2009 she served as a professor of architecture at the University of Florida for more than two decades. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Duke University and her Master of Architecture from North Carolina State University.
Much of her teaching and research focuses on the relationship between the human body and large shared spaces such as the city and the landscape, with an emphasis on creating sustainable environments. In her writing, teaching, and architectural and urban design she forges connections between the phenomenal experience of space and more abstract understandings of the environment developed by architectural professionals.
Tanzer has worked extensively in Gainesville, Florida’s Fifth Avenue/Pleasant Street historically African-American neighborhood. She has received several Florida Humanities Council grants for her work in this community and served as an advisor to the Florida Humanities Council on the PBS documentary on community and spatial practices titled “Imagining a New Florida which debuted in May 2010.
For her community-based teaching, practice, and service she has received local and national awards including the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Collaborative Practice Award and the Robert Taylor Award, and the North Florida American Institute of Architects Community Service Award. She is a recipient of the University of Florida’s Service Learning Award, the Morton Wolfson Faculty Award for service to the student body, the University of Florida Association for Academic Women’s Woman of Distinction Award, and the College of Design, Construction, and Planning’s Teacher of the Year Award.
In addition to numerous scholarly and popular articles Tanzer recently co-edited The Green Braid: Towards an Architecture of Ecology, Economy, and Social Equity, with Rafael Longoria, published by Routledge Press, and Volume 60, Issue 4 of the Journal of Architectural Education entitled “Environmental Architectures and Sustainability” with Vincent Canizaro. She served on the University of Florida’s Sustainability Committee from 2004 to 2009 and as an advisor to the President of the University of Florida during the 2009-2010 academic year, with the goal of considering a university-wide academic program in sustainability.
Tanzer served as the president the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture in 2007-08, following a three-year term as the Southeast Regional Director from 2000-2003. During her tenure as president she initiated the process of creating an interdisciplinary National Academy of Environmental Design and currently serves as the Academy’s inaugural president. During the 2005-06 academic year she served as chair of the University of Florida Faculty Senate, and in that capacity as a member of the University of Florida Board of Trustees. She served as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Architectural Education from 2005-2007. Tanzer was co-founder and founding Executive Director of the Florida Community Design Center, Inc. in 2001 and remained on the Board of Directors until 2008.
She maintains a private architectural practice.