Expertise & Interests
Within Tennessee and Knoxville, Marleen Davis has used her expertise as an architect and educator to effectively articulate how design affects the quality of life. Transformative change has resulted from her work leading to the Campus Master Plan for the University of Tennessee, the Campus Master Plan for the Webb School of Knoxville, and the Civic Vision for Downtown Knoxville. In 2014-2015, she was influential in addressing issues related to Downtown Knoxville, such as “Ageless Living” and the development of Jackson Avenue as a “Creative Circuit.”
Marleen Davis has been an informal mentor to two generations of extraordinary students; further, she has been an informal mentor to beginning faculty, many of whom are now educational leaders throughout the country.
Marleen Davis has a deep passion for introducing beginning students to the range and complexity of “architecture.” In her signature course (Arc 101) and in design studios at all levels, she works within a pedagogical tradition that develops design thinking that is simultaneously analytical and creative.
As dean at the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design from 1994 – 2003, Marleen Kay Davis made many significant contributions impacting the educational experience of thousands of students. Recruiting and retaining outstanding students and faculty was a consistent top priority as a way to create an energized intellectual environment. The curriculum was under consistent scrutiny as faculty and alumni demanded innovations balanced with a respect for the fundamental understanding of the importance of design within the discipline.
Honors & Awards
In 2013, Marleen Kay Davis received national recognition as an ACSA Distinguished Professor due to her career efforts as a design educator in the academy and in service to the profession and the community. In 2006, she was recognized as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
Professional Associations & Certifications
In her volunteer work with professional organizations, Marleen Davis has worked tirelessly to strengthen the profile and the quality of architectural education. Nationally, she has served on the boards of many key organizations: American Institute of Architecture Students, American Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, and the National Architecture Accreditation Board. As President of the ACSA, (American Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture), Marleen Davis helped to commemorate the organization’s 100th anniversary with an innovative web site exhibit, ACSA Archive, and with a scholarly publication edited by Joan Ockman, and printed by MIT Press, entitled: Architecture School: Three Centuries of Educating Architects in North America.
- M. Arch., Harvard University, 1979
- B. Arch., Cornell University, 1976