University of Virginia: School of Architecture

Kim Tanzer

Dean and Edward E. Elson Professor of Architecture
Kim Tanzer
Discipline Architecture
Education BA, Duke University; M.Arch. North Carolina State University
Phone 924-7019
Office 206 Campbell Hall

Personal Statement

Kim Tanzer FAIA 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 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. 

At the University of Virginia Dean Tanzer has worked to enhance the School’s design research culture. With faculty she developed School-wide interdisciplinary research themes, which she describes as “six ways to sustainability.”  Two of these themes have been formalized as research centers, the Center for Design and Health and the Community Design and Research Center.  To further develop the School’s research culture she led the effort to create an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the Constructed Environment, approved in May 2013.  At the undergraduate level, during her tenure the School has developed and hosts the University’s first multi-School minor, in Global Sustainability.

Much of Dean Tanzer’s 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. She has worked extensively with Gainesville, Florida’s Fifth Avenue/Pleasant Street historically African-American neighborhood. In part to further this work she 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 is co-editor of The Green Braid:  Towards an Architecture of Ecology, Economy, and Equity, along with many scholarly and popular articles.  She served as president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and founding president of the National Academy of Environmental Design.