August 4, 2023

ACSA Announces Recipients of Faculty Fellowship to Advance Equity in Architecture


ACSA Announces Recipients of Faculty Fellowship to Advance Equity in Architecture

WAI Architecture Think Tank to Extend the Impact of ACSA Programs through Website, Lecture Series, and Publication

For Immediate Release:

Washington D.C., August 4, 2023The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) announced the awarding of its first Faculty Fellowship to Advance Equity in Architecture to Cruz Garcia and Nathalie Frankowski of WAI Architecture Think Tank. The educators, who are also associate professors in the Iowa State University College of Design, will use the $80,000 in funding to extend the impact of ACSA’s work on racial equity and climate action through public programming, outreach, and partnerships. 

Among their projects during the 12-month fellowship are creating a website with articles and links to organizations and programming on social and ecological justice. Garcia and Frankowski will also organize a lecture series to be held at ACSA member schools during the 2023-24 academic year. The presentations will be recorded and published through their fellowship website and ACSA’s YouTube channel. Finally, the fellows will create a newspaper-style publication that will supplement and document the many initiatives, scholarship, and events taking place during the fellowship.

“At a critical moment when important and necessary scholarship addressing the roots and lingering legacy of social and ecological injustice are being threatened, we hope to help display how forms of knowledge at the intersection of race, caste, class, displacement, access, (dis)ability, gender, ecology, and technology are central to architecture and its education,” Frankowski and Garcia said. “With the support of ACSA and working closely with collectives, academic institutions, activists, publishers, editorial boards, practitioners, and scholars, we strive to develop resources and programming that reinforce ongoing initiatives while creating new platforms and media centered on anti-racism, ecological justice, and a public literacy of the ramifications (effects and possibilities) of the built and destroyed environment,” 

The Fellowship to Advance Equity in Architecture emerged during ACSA’s strategic planning discussions in 2021-22. “Many of our existing programs curate content related to equity, social justice, and climate action within architectural education,” Mo Zell, AIA, president of the ACSA said. “But too often this work would sit quietly after the conference or after the design awards were given. We sought a partner to help share the great work that our members are doing to advance social justice and climate action.”  

ACSA held an open call for applications for the fellowship, the first in its history, receiving nearly two dozen applications. A committee of ACSA board of directors members reviewed the applications and interviewed prospective candidates. 

“We were impressed with the previous work that WAI Architecture Think Tank has done, including their publication A Manual of Anti-Racist Architecture Education,” President Zell said. “We look forward to an even wider audience for our members’ work on improving equity in architectural education and enabling more impactful work to mitigate the effects of climate change.”  


About the ACSA
The mission of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture is to lead architectural education and research. Founded in 1912 by 10 charter members, ACSA is an international association of architecture schools preparing future architects, designers, and change agents. Our full members include all of the accredited professional degree programs in the United States and Canada, as well as international schools and 2- and 4-year programs. Together ACSA schools represent some 7,000 faculty educating more than 40,000 students.

ACSA seeks to empower faculty and schools to educate increasingly diverse students, expand disciplinary impacts, and create knowledge for the advancement of architecture. For more information, visit


About WAI Architecture Think Tank
WAI Architecture Think Tank is a planetary studio practicing by questioning the political, historical, and material legacy and imperatives of architecture and urbanism. Founded by Puerto Rican architect, artist, curator, educator, author, and theorist Cruz Garcia and French architect, artist, curator, educator, author, and poet Nathalie Frankowski, WAI is one of their several forms of public engagement that include the antidisciplinary collective Post-Novis, and the free and alternative education platform and trade-school LOUDREADERS. Garcia and Frankowski are Associate Professors at Iowa State University where they are Design for Critical Futures Fellows in Activism and Emancipatory practice, respectively, and faculty at the Advanced Architectural Design program at Columbia University in New York City. They are authors of Universal Principles of Architecture: 100 Archetypes, Methods, Conditions, Relationships, and Imaginaries, Narrative Architecture: A Kynical Manifesto, Pure Hardcore Icons: A Manifesto on Pure Form in Architecture, A Manual of Anti-Racist Architecture Education, and co-editors (with V. Mitch McEwen) of the Journal of Architectural Education issue on Reparations!


Heather Albarazi
Digital Marketing & Communications Manager