Blaine Brownell

Blaine Brownell, AIA LEED AP
Founder and Principal, Transstudio
Associate Professor and Director, Master of Architecture Program
University of Minnesota School of Architecture

Blaine Brownell is an architect, author, educator, and former Fulbright scholar. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with a Certificate in East Asian Studies at Princeton University in 1992, and a Master in Architecture from Rice University in 1998.

Brownell is considered one of the preeminent scholars of advanced materials for architecture and design, having authored the Transmaterial series with Princeton Architectural Press (2006-2010), in addition to an online material catalog that has been likened to “a twenty-first century version of The Grammar of Ornament.” Brownell has been published in over forty design, business, and science journals, and has lectured widely in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Brownell was a visiting research fellow at the Tokyo University of Science as a Fulbright recipient (2006-07), and the visiting professor of sustainable design at the University of Michigan (2007-08). He is currently an associate professor and director of the Master of Architecture program at the University of Minnesota (2008-present).

His most recent books, Matter in the Floating World: Conversations with Leading Japanese Architects and Designers (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011) and Material Strategies: Innovative Applications in Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012), seek to elucidate the fundamental connections between material use and design innovation. His upcoming book Hypernatural, co-authored with Marc Swackhamer, addresses architecture’s new relationship with nature (Princeton Architectural Press, 2015).

Transmaterial, Transmaterial 2, Transmaterial 3, Matter in the Floating World, Material Strategies

Book Contributions:
1000 Ideas by 100 Architects, Design Ecologies, Everything Must Move, Major Choices, Materials Experience, Seattle Case Study Homes, The Things They’ve Done, Worldchanging

A+U, Ambidextrous, Architect, Architectural Lighting, Architectural Record, Architecture, Architecture MN, Art + Decor, Azure, Building Design + Construction, BusinessWeek, Casamica, Chemical Engineering Progress, Construction Today, Dimensions, Discover, Display + Design Ideas, Dwell, Engineering News Record, Event Design, Fabric Architecture, Fast Company, Forward, I.D., Innovative Home, Journal of Architectural Education, Mind & Matter, The Leaf Review, Materia, New Scientist, The New York Times, PingMag, Popular Science, Portico, Portland Daily Journal of Commerce, Res, Residential Architect, Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, SD, Sustainable Industries Journal, The Times (UK)

Lectures (academic):
Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Kent State University, The Ohio State University, Monash University, Rice University, Southern Illinois University, Seattle Art Institute, Syracuse University, The Technical University of Vienna, Tianjin University, Tokyo University of Science, Tongji University, The University of British Columbia, The University of Illinois, The University of Maryland, The University of Michigan, The University of Minnesota, The University of Southern California, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Tokyo, The University of Virginia, Washington University in St. Louis

Lectures (professional):
ACADIA, American Collegiate Schools of Architecture, American Institute of Architects, Architectural Record Innovation Conference, Architectural Institute of Japan, Architectural Research Centers Consortium, Architalx, Arquinfad, Color & Materials Specifiers, Council on Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat, Event Design Forum, Fulbright Association, Globalshop, Hatch, Henry Art Gallery, Leading European Architects’ Forum, Materials & Applications, Pop!Tech, Studio-X Beijing, World Science Festival

Advanced Materials Council, Association for Contract Textiles, 3M, Department of Homeland Security, Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, Industrial Fabrics Association International, National Academy of Environmental Design, National Institute of Building Sciences, National Paint and Coating Association, Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Steelcase, Touchstone Energy, Window and Door Manufacturers’ Association

Center on Contemporary Art, Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen, Consolidated Works, DiverseWorks, Seaside, Seattle Architectural Foundation, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota

Courses Taught:
Graduate Design Studio I, Graduate Design Studio III, Light as Material, Material Innovation in Contemporary Japanese Architecture and Design, Material Performance in Sustainable Building, Material Transformations, Material Strategies, Traveling Studio to Japan, Undergraduate Design Studio III, Undergraduate Design Studio IV