Recent Stories

Oct. 19, 2017

Natalie McCarthy and Fernando Turpin, second-year Master of Landscape Architecture students, spent the summer in Nashville, Tennessee, interning with the Nashville Civic Design Center. Nashville Civic Design Center elevates the quality of Nashville’s built environment to promote public participation in…

Oct. 19, 2017

The 6th Annual Watershed Symposium brought together local and regional agency and industry experts, educators and students to discuss challenges to the Tennessee River Watershed and featured a charrette led by students and faculty from our Tennessee River Studio. Hosted…

Oct. 06, 2017

Liz Teston, an assistant professor and James Johnson Dudley Faculty Scholar in the School of Interior Architecture was named a 2017 Fulbright Scholar. The Core Fulbright Scholar Program is the most widely recognized and prestigious international exchange program in the…

Oct. 03, 2017

Rachel Hunt, a fourth-year Interior Architecture student, was recently named Highly Commended in the international 2017 Undergraduate Awards. The Undergraduate Awards, sometimes called the “junior Nobel Prize,” is the world’s largest international academic awards program that recognizes exceptional research, creative…

Sep. 22, 2017

Hansjoerg Goeritz, Professor of Architecture, and his professional colleague and a former College of Architecture and Design faculty member, Matt Hall, have together guest-edited the September issue of the renowned international architectural magazine, A+U. The issue features original essays, new…

Mark DeKay

M. Arch., University of Oregon, 1992
M. Arch., Tulane University, 1984

Access my publications on Currently rated as top 0.1% of scholars.
My Google Scholar citations page is good source for academic citations.
You can reach me via e-mail or my LinkedIn profile.
Sun, Wind & Light: architectural design strategies, 3rd edition is available here.
The SWL,3rd edition Wiley Student Companion Site is here.
Integral Sustainable Design: transformative perspectives is available here. | 865.773-7177 (mob) | Room 468 | Download CV


Prof. DeKay specializes in Sustainable Design theory, research, and design tools. He is a registered architect and has taught at the university level since 1992.

His book, Integral Sustainable Design: transformative perspectives, the first to apply Integral Theory to design, was published by Earthscan in 2011.

His recent book, Sun, Wind, and Light: architectural design strategies, 3rd ed., co-authored with G. Z. Brown, was released in 2014. Its has become a classic resource for designers to consider the form-generating potential of climatic forces. The new edition is over 850 pages in 2 volumes.

Other projects focus on multi-functional green infrastructure planning at the urban and landscape scales and academic writing on urban design for daylighting and climatic neighborhoods.

A nationally recognized educator, Prof. DeKay was the winner of the 1995 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Education Honor Award for the course “Environment and Buildings,” a 2000 Fulbright Fellowship to the Center of Environmental Planning and Technology, in Ahmedabad, India, and co-winner of the 2005 AIA/Tides Foundation Award for Ecoliteracy in Architecture Schools for his integrated graduate design studio and technology seminar courses. At Tennessee he has been awarded University Scholar of the Week in 2011 and 2014, and in 2014, the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

He co-edits and manages the highly successful UT/RedVector online continuing education Certificate in Sustainable Design and Green Building for registered design professionals. He studied architecture at Tulane and at the University of Oregon and is a Fellow of the Institute of Green Professionals and has been trained by Al Gore as a Climate Reality Leader.


My research goal is to change the direction of the design professions to recognize and practice ecological design and to engage high-performance ecological design in an integrally-informed way. Teaching, research, and scholarly writing are all strategies for achieving this goal.

My interest is in the broad area of energy and environmental issues in building design and urban design. I am also exploring the emerging field of integral theory and its applications to design. This is particularly relevant to sustainable design, which is often limited conceptually to technological sustainability. Sustainable design also includes the perspectives of ecological sustainability, a culture of sustainability, and a consciousness of sustainability. Each has rich methods and unanswered questions to investigate.

My scholarly inquiry is driven by a series for questions, such as:

  • What are the [spatial] patterns-that-connect natural processes, people, and form?
  • What practices can develop a student’s consciousness of complexity and recognition of living structure?
  • How can shared design knowledge be mapped and become a collective project?
  • Can the valid perspectives of experiences, behaviors, systems, and cultures be reconciled in an integral methodological pluralism?
  • How can we create a beautiful, significant, living world with self, culture, and nature One?

My intentional research future involves:

  • Developing transformative practices for architects that build a consciousness of complexity
  • Working with others to create a 4th wave integral design school paradigm that will last a century
  • Using the collective academic intelligence to solve the most complex and significant problems
  • Building the evolving shared, inclusive knowledge base of design


DeKay and Bennett headline Sustainability Week in Beirut

Professor Mark DeKay and Susanne Bennett, a UT volunteer, headlined Sustainable Design Week at the American University in Beirut, co-delivering a lecture entitled “Solving the Climate Crisis by Design” and leading a three-day workshop for students. The workshop, “Pulchritude, Pattern…

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Update to “SWL Tools” adds Energy Balance Index

SWL Tools is an Excel workbook for net-zero and plus-energy design, keyed to the book Sun, Wind & Light: architectural design strategies, 3rd edition. Developed by Prof. Mark DeKay, the latest version adds the ability to calculate a new measure of building…

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DeKay joins Advisory Committee for low-carbon design education

  Prof. Mark DeKay has joined the Advisory Board for a new organization committed to low-carbon design education.  Built Environment Education Now (BEEnow) is creating a low-carbon education certification and scorecard for architecture schools. The primary goal of BEEnow is to…

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Professors DeKay and Göritz collaborate on education paper for national conference

  Professors Mark DeKay and Hansjörg Göritz collaborated on a paper about the curricular design for beginning graduate students in architecture. The paper, entitled, “In the Beginning Were Buildings: the Radical Idea of Learning Architecture by Designing It,” was presented…

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