Recent Stories

Aug. 03, 2017

The multi-awarded Beardsley Farm Education Center has earned statewide recognition from the Tennessee American Institute of Architects. The project, a product of the college’s successful design/build program, received the Design Award of Excellence, the organization’s highest honor, during its state…

Jul. 26, 2017

The Beardsley Farm Education Center, a collaborative design/build project designed and largely constructed by students and faculty in the college, has earned the 2017 Brick in Architecture Gold Award. This national award recognizes design excellence, resilience and innovation in architecture featuring…

Jul. 19, 2017

AMIE, the revolutionary energy-harvesting system designed and built by a team of students, faculty, design professionals and science researchers in the Governor’s Chair for Energy + Urbanism, was named a 2017 R+D Award Winner by Architect magazine. AMIE, Additive Manufacturing…

May. 01, 2017

Two students in the College of Architecture and Design recently earned national recognition for their sustainable design of an urban farming project. Rachel Elbon and Adam Smith, both 4th-year students in the School of Architecture, were named winners of the…

May. 01, 2017

  In April, more than 20 students in the College of Architecture and Design displayed original designs and research at the University of Tennessee’s Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement (EUReCA), and of these participants, six came away as…

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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