Speaker Spotlight on Elizabeth Ranieri, FAIA, LEED AP





Elizabeth Ranieri, FAIA, LEED AP

Kuth/Ranieri Architects, LLP, San Francisco, CA


If Kuth/Ranieri Architects in San Francisco has an overriding “signature touch” or theme on its projects, it’s research.

Co-founder Elizabeth Ranieri, FAIA, said research plays a critical role in the work of Kuth/Ranieri Architects. They begin by rethinking how materials and assembly can shape a project, inform the design process early on, and integrate all scales of a building. Ranieri said she will discuss the role of research and design during her presentation at the AIA Tennessee Convention & Expo in Nashville, July 30-August 1.

Teamwork is crucial to the research process. “We look at projects through the lens of collaboration and our best clients are ones who join the design team, and the same goes for our consultants,” she said, adding that research is individualized to each project.

“It’s really about hearing the individual, to make something for them that speaks to a desire they might not be able to articulate but that resonates with them.”

Another major theme in her presentation – Kuth/Ranieri’s passion for craft and materials, which “imbue a project with a nuanced meaning,” said Ranieri.

The firm is known for its innovative use of common materials – translucent glass, wood, and even felt – in designs and exhibits that embrace and engage the surrounding landscape, and elevate the feel of a building or structure.

Deep Green Design Alliance

A commitment to sustainability is a hallmark for Kuth/Ranieri’s practice. In 2009 the firm launched the Deep Green Design Alliance to further the role of design in preserving and protecting the environment. Its stated mission is “to identify local, environmental and civic challenges and — through visionary design — provide solutions that integrate ecology, technology and culture for the well being of our global future.”

Design & Engineering

A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Ranieri straddles the worlds of architecture and engineering in academia. She has taught at the California College of the Arts, the Harvard Graduate School of Design and as a Friedman Professor at the University of California Berkeley as well as UC Berkeley’s Colleges of Environmental Design, Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Kuth/Ranieri has taken a keen interest in both arenas, conducting extensive research and designing multiple projects involving shoreline protection/mitigation strategies and water treatment.

“With the growing need to adapt to environmental challenges, designers will have to step up and better understand science and engineering, and fight for a design voice at the large scale infrastructural projects,” Ranieri said.

Her award-winning design for an adaptive levee called “Folding Water” led to her role as an Industry Partner for a Capstone Project on Energy-Efficient Adaptive Aqueous Barriers, sponsored by the UC Berkeley’s Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership.

Ranieri has won the Architectural League’s Young Architects and Emerging Voices awards, and in 2010 was elevated to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows for Design & Innovation. She is a Presidential Nominee (2012-2016) on the MIT Corporation Visiting Committee for the Department of Architecture.

Connect with Elizabeth Ranieri & Kuth/Ranieri Architects


Website – http://kuthranieri.com

Facebook – www.facebook.com/KuthRanieri

Vimeo – http://vimeo.com/kuthranieri

LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/kuth-ranieri-architects

Houzz – www.houzz.com/pro/kuthranieriarchitects/kuth-ranieri-architects


Deep Green Design Alliance



Capstone Project: Energy-Efficient Aqueous Barriers from Kuth/Ranieri Architects on Vimeo.

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