NATSA Conference: Keynote Speaker
Sergio A. Palleroni
Professor and Fellow of the new Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices
Portland State University
Sergio A. Palleroni,(B.Arch. University of Oregon, MSArchS MIT) is currently Professor and Fellow of the new Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices Portland State University. He has also served as a tenured professor at the University of Washington and at the Luce Foundation Visiting Professor in Sustainable Development at the University of Texas, Austin. His research and fieldwork for the last two decades has concentrated on integrating sustainable practices to improve the lives of the most underserved communities worldwide. In 1988 he founded an academic outreach program with the complementary aims of addressing the needs of these communities while transforming the education of architecture students. These efforts later became the Basic Initiative (www.basicinitiative.org), a service learning fieldwork program which each year challenges university students in various disciplines both in US and abroad to apply their education in service of underserved communities throughout the globe. Today, the Basic Initiative is one of the most recognized outreach programs worldwide, with over 100 development projects in Asia, Latin American and Africa to date. Professor Palleroni has worked as a consultant on sustainable architecture and development in the developing world since the 1970's both for nonprofit agencies and international agencies such as UNESCO, the World Bank, and the governments of China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Taiwan.
Professor Palleroni's numerous awards include the 1997 American Institute of Architects/ Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture National Education Award, the 2003 and 2006 NCARB Prize for Creative Integration of Architectural Practice and Education, and the 2005 US National Design Award given annually by the Smithsonian and the White House. He has also been inducted into the international Design Hall of Fame (2007), and in 2007 he was one of the first three international Smithsonian Artists in Residence. His fieldwork with students has also received national design awards from the US, India, Taiwan, Colombia, and Mexico, among others. He has also served on the advisory boards to the UN Climate Change Commission (Built Environment), HGTV, National Endowment for the Arts, Lemelson Foundation, Re:Vision and the International Earth Awards.
The work of the BASIC Initiative has been most recently been documented in Studio At Large: Architecture in Service of Global Communities (University of Washington Press, 2004), Building One House (Princeton Architecture Press, 2005), Architecture Like You Give a Damn (Metropolis Books and Princeton Architecture Press, 2006, 2007, 2008), Expanding Architecture (Metropolis Books and Princeton Architecture Press, 2008), The Alley Flat Initiative: Infill Housing as a Strategy in Sustainability (University of Texas Center for Sustainable Practices, 2008) , as well as the PBS series Design e2 (2006). All of these explore the BASIC Initiatives efforts to improve, and make sustainable, the lives of the planet's poorest citizens.