“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 design, architectural history and theory, and three-dimensional representation at Utah Valley University. Besides serving as a frequent guest critic and juror at different architecture schools around the country, 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. Professor Ro’s promising research trajectory can be seen in a growing record of written scholarly work which has been presented at a number of peer-reviewed conferences and symposia. His scholarship and theoretical design work has been published in venues such as the Journal of Comparative Theology at Harvard Divinity School, Arquitecturas del Sur (Chile), Society of Architectural Historians, Carbon-Neutral Architectural Design, Architectural Research Centers Consortium, Márgenes Arquitectura (Spain), International Ambiances Network (France), Enquiry: A Journal of Architectural Research, Environmental Design Research Association, and Architecture Culture Spirituality Forum among others.
Service to the community, university, and profession has always remained a high priority for Professor Ro. Over the past two years he has rendered service to his current institution as a member of the University Editorial Board and as a Faculty Senator within academic affairs. As for departmental service, he have served in an administrator role as the Architecture Program Co-Coordinator developing the program’s mission and philosophy as well as served on committees related to NAAB accreditation, curriculum development, student recruitment, ICAA/AIA lecture series, and new faculty searches among others. At UVU he also serves as the architecture student organization advisor and the NCARB Architect Licensing Advisor. Professor Ro has been engaged in student academic advising and architecture student application and portfolio reviews. He currently renders service to the industry as the Vice President of the Institute of Classic Architecture and Art Utah chapter, as a peer reviewer for the Architecture, Culture, Spirituality Forum, and on the education committee of the Classic Planning Institute. As for community service, he volunteered for several years teaching several modules about architectural design to elementary school children in the Utah “Educating Elementary Children Through Architecture” program.
For a full list of accomplishments related to professional practice, teaching, and scholarship, see Professor Ro’s full Curriculum Vitae at the link below: