December 17, 2020 Zingoni Named Director of the School of Interior Architecture
The College of Architecture and Design announces the appointment of Milagros Zingoni Phielipp as the new director of its School of Interior Architecture beginning Jan. 1, 2021.
Most recently associate professor of interior design at Arizona State University, Zingoni will bring to the college her 16 years of experience as an award-winning teacher and researcher as well as architect, community collaborator, leader and mentor.
Zingoni is the recipient of the 2019 Interior Design Educators Council Teaching Excellence Award and the 2019 AIA Educator of the Year Award (Arizona Chapter), the first time the award was given to a professor in interior design. She also was named as a 2019 Most Admired Educator by DesignIntelligence and Faculty Women Association Outstanding Faculty Mentor 2020 from Arizona State University.
“The college will greatly benefit from Milagros Zingoni joining our team to lead the School of Interior Architecture,” said Scott Poole, dean. “Through her impressive experience in teaching, scholarship, outreach and leadership, she brings an integral sense of partnership and community engagement that will broaden the college’s impact in our region while elevating our students’ educational experiences.”
Through a belief that design should encourage people to act responsibly for the good of society, Zingoni actively partners with community organizations to enhance students’ learning experiences through civic engagement. In her role as director of the School of Interior Architecture, she will strengthen the relationship between the school and the community in creative and meaningful ways.
“Innovation comes from diverse perspectives and transdisciplinary communication and collaboration between scholars, professionals and their local communities,” Zingoni said. “I am excited to incorporate those core values as I serve the school, college and university at this extraordinary juncture of growth and opportunity for the field of design.”
During her time at ASU, Zingoni partnered with the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, city government agencies including the city of Mesa, Mesa Arts Center, Scottsdale Arts, IDEA Museum, Phoenix, Mesa school districts, Boys and Girls Club, Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), as well as multiple cross-university disciplines and private sponsors.
Community engagement has included public art installations, public play spaces, the first ADA planters in the state of Arizona, a library redesign and others. Additionally, she developed a summer course for high school students to address diversity and inclusion in the field.
For this work, she was recognized as a nominee for both the 2019 Governor’s Arts Award for Arts in Education and the 2018 IIDA Foundation Diversity Award.
Zingoni’s scholarship focuses on applied research in divergent thinking to explore emerging systems related to public engagement. She investigates new ways to create resonance between design and the acts of construction, academia and community, theory and practice, and learning by making. Through these investigations, Zingoni connects many transdisciplinary fields associated with the making of interiors as the body in space based on the question, “How can we develop innovative solutions to benefit society and improve sustainability and the environment through teaching?”
Zingoni’s scholarship has been widely featured in peer-reviewed journals and conferences and has received grants from national, regional and local organizations.
A registered architect in her home country of Argentina, Zingoni practiced before moving to the U.S. and worked remotely with award-winning Claudio Vekstein. She earned a master of Urban and Environmental Planning from ASU; an architecture degree (a six-year degree equivalent to a BArch and MArch) from Universidad de Flores, Rio Negro, Argentina; and a bachelor of Habitat Design from Escuela de Diseño en el Habitat, Neuquén, Argentina. She is a member of the American Society of Interior Design, International Interior Design Association, Interior Design Educators Council and American Institute of Architects.
Zingoni has volunteered in many public projects and served until her departure on the City of Mesa Historic Preservation Board, on boards of directors for two non-for-profit organizations, Everlasting Marks and Mesa Montessori, and on numerous committees in Mesa including downtown revitalization, downtown façade improvements and others. Zingoni also is an ideologist for the IDEA Museum, a position she will continue remotely, and was the faculty advisor for the Interiors Student Alliance for the last six years.
Zingoni succeeds David Matthews as director of the School of Interior Architecture. Matthews led the school through significant change and growth for 10 years and is stepping down from the role to return to teaching.
The UT School of Interior Architecture facilitates learning that produces interior architecture professionals skilled as lifelong learners. It offers a CIDA-accredited undergraduate interior architecture program, and in addition to a bachelor of science in Interior Architecture, the school also offers a dual degree in Interior Architecture and Architecture. Enrollment in the school has grown by more than 50% since 2015. In all, 100% of the students who graduated from the School of Interior Architecture in 2018 were employed in the industry within a month after graduation. In the 2019 DesignIntelligence “Most Hired From” rankings by size of program, the school was listed as ninth in the country—moving up two spaces over 2018. Additionally, in 2019, DesignIntelligence named Interior Architecture Assistant Professor Rana Abudayyah, who is the Robin Klehr Avia Professor of Interior Architecture, as a DesignIntelligence Most Admired Educator.