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Katie MacDonald

Tennessee Architecture Fellow 2019-2020

School of Architecture

Katie MacDonald is Co-founder of After Architecture and the 2019-2020 Tennessee Architecture Fellow at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. MacDonald’s design and research focuses on dismantling traditional notions of material applications, leveraging technology to enhance the potential of sustainable materials and challenge cultural perception. Her fellowship project is exploring architectural applications for invasive plant species in Tennessee and the greater region.

MacDonald holds a Master of Architecture from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University. MacDonald has been recognized as Next Progressive by Architect Magazine, Emerging Designer in the Virginia By Design Awards, and Curbed Young Gun. Her creative work has been honored with an AIA Los Angeles Next LA Honor Award, an AIA New England Design Honor Award in Special Projects, the Core 77 Design Award in Built Environment, and two Architizer A+ Awards in Architecture and Collaboration.


M.Arch. Harvard University 2016

B.Arch. Cornell University 2013


Conference Papers

“Digital Fabrication of Standardless Materials” in Ubiquity and Autonomy, Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA 2019), 2019.

“Digital Postmodernism: Making Architecture from Virtual Tropes” in Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) 2019 Conference: Future Praxis: Applied Research as a Bridge Between Theory and Practice, 2019.

“Barriers for Bamboo: Stigma and Perception in the Western Cultural Context” in Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) 2019 Conference: Future Praxis: Applied Research as a Bridge Between Theory and Practice, 2019.

“Structural Performance of Faced Calcutta Bamboo (Dendrocalamus Strictus) for use in Joined Structural Assemblies” in Proceedings from the 4th International Sustainable Buildings Symposium (ISBS), 2019.

“The Projection of the City: How Time-Based Media Redefines the Agency of Mapping” in Urban Inventories Conference and Exhibition: Urban Documentation as Design Project, 2019.

“Social Engagement and the Construction of Place” in Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) 106th Annual Meeting: The Ethical Imperative, 2018.


Honors & Awards


“Smart Cross-Laminated Bamboo.” AIA Arnold W. Brunner Grant, Center for Architecture, 2019-2020.

“Smart Cross-Laminated Bamboo.” Major SEAD Grant, Intelligent Infrastructure for Human-Centered Communities and Creativity + Innovation Initiatives, Virginia Tech, 2019 – 2020.

“Retooling Bamboo Tectonics: From Vernacular Aesthetics to Milled Material System.” AIA Upjohn Research Initiative, American Institute of Architects, 2018 – 2020.

“Tooling Bamboo Growth: Design & Grow with Computer Numerical Control.” Creativity and Innovation Grant, Virginia Tech, 2018-2019.

Robert James Eidlitz Travel Fellowship, Cornell University, 2017.

Paul M. Heffernan International Travel Fellowship, Harvard University, 2015.



Leonard and Virginia Currie Faculty Development Award, Virginia Tech, 2019.

Emerging Designer, Virginia By Design Awards, The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design, Richmond, Virginia, 2018.

Architecture and Collaboration: Jury Winner. Architizer A+ Awards, 2016.

Architecture and Collaboration: Popular Choice Winner. Architizer A+ Awards, 2016.

Built Environment Award. Core 77 Design Awards, 2016.

Honor Award: Special Projects. AIA New England Design Award, 2015.

Curbed Young Guns: Emerging Designer Under 35. Curbed National, 2014.

Honor Award. AIA Los Angeles Next LA Award, 2014.