“Design with Beauty, Defend the Authentic, Build for Time, Inspire the Spirit”
Brandon Ro, AIA, NCARB is an award-winning architect, leader, and educator with over 12 years of AEC industry experience. In architectural practice, he has worked in both national and regional firms with roles ranging from the design lead, project architect, and project manager. His design experience includes work on both new construction and renovation projects for private sector developers, state universities, governmental agencies, religious institutions, and healthcare providers among others. Likewise, he has a working knowledge of modern and traditional building methods, detailing, as well as experience working with artists and artisans in the allied arts to meet today’s contemporary architectural needs.
He received a Master of Architectural Studies degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from California State Polytechnic University Pomona. Over the years his design philosophy has been influenced by observing the built environment through a phenomenological lens on multiple continents and studying under internationally recognized architects, such as Juhani Pallasmaa and Alberto Campo Baeza. Beyond continuing education courses through the American Institute of Architects, he has received additional training from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art which grounds his understanding of the classical theories of architecture.
Professor Ro is passionate about teaching and inspiring the next generation of design professionals. His experience in the profession informs the way he approaches architectural education by striking a balance between theory and practice. He currently teaches architectural history and theory, three-dimensional representation, and architectural design at Utah Valley University. Besides serving as a frequent guest critic and juror at different architecture schools, Professor Ro has been invited to deliver a number of presentations, lectures, workshops, and seminars at institutions of higher learning as well as to groups of practitioners, clients, and the general public. Topics in these activities cover a range of areas including classical design principles, comparative sacred space, architectural history and theory, aesthetic experience, cultural studies, post-occupancy evaluation survey research, evidence-based design processes, and how to apply research in practice.
Professor Ro’s design and research projects have been published, presented, and exhibited nationally and abroad. He has a proven record of projects that have been recognized with numerous awards and honors (70+) from organizations such as the U.S. Green Building Council, Walt Disney Imagineering, American Institute of Architects, Alliance to Save Energy, American Planning Association, California Higher Education Energy Efficiency Partnership Program, and Designer’s Lighting Forum among others.
As a believer of Winston Churchill’s saying, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us,” Professor Ro is a strong advocate of design and research that improves the interconnectivity between architecture, culture, spirituality, ecology, and human experience. At the Catholic University of America, for instance, he was awarded the Magi Endowment for the Liturgical Arts to advance his research on the phenomenological experience of sacred architecture through evidence-based design. His theoretical works and research have been published in Arquitecturas del Sur (Chile), Carbon-Neutral Architectural Design, Architectural Research Centers Consortium, Márgenes Arquitectura (Spain), Ambiances Network (France), Environmental Design Research Association, and in the Journal of Comparative Theology at Harvard Divinity School.
Professor Ro currently serves as the Vice President of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art Utah Chapter. He serves on a number of academic committees, such as the University Editorial Board, NAAB Task Force, and as the Architect Licensing Advisor. He has also served for several years as a peer reviewer for the Architecture, Culture, Spirituality Forum.