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Susan C. Piedmont-Palladino

  • Professor
  • Director of the Washington-Alexandria Center (WAAC)

Susan Piedmont-Palladino is an architect, professor, and the Director of Virginia Tech’s Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC). As Director, Susan is committed to design education that is international, interdisciplinary, and individually focused. She is also a consulting curator at the National Building Museum and the author of several books, including companion books for exhibitions and initiatives she curated, such as Green Community, Intelligent Cities, and Timber City. Her last book, "How Drawings Work: A User-Friendly Theory," published by Routledge in 2019, takes a fresh and unconventional look at graphic communications.

languages & communications, sustainable urbanism, public space, adaptive reuse, curatorial practices

ARCH 5705 Architecture & Urbanism Seminar (WAAC)
Design Lab (WAAC)
Graduate Thesis

Books authored: 

How Drawings Work: a User-Friendly Theory, New York, NY: Routledge, 2019

Intelligent Cities, Washington, DC: National Building Museum, 2011

Green Community, Chicago, IL: American Planning Association, co-editor Timothy Mennel, 2009 

Tools of the Imagination:  Drawing Tools and Technologies from the 18th Century to the Present, New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006

Devil’s Workshop: 25 Years of Jersey Devil Architecture, New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, co-author Mark Alden Branch, 1997

Exhibitions curated at the National Building Museum:

Justice is Beauty: the work of MASS Design Group, consulting curator and writer

Timber City, consulting curator and editor, with guest curators and exhibition designers: Kim, Y., & Ikatura, T.

Luminous Landscapes: Photographs by Alan Ward, FASLA, curator and writer

Hot to Cold: an odyssey of architectural adaptation, comprehensive exhibition on the work of Bjarke Ingels Group, curator and editor

Intelligent Cities Initiative, a project of the Rockefeller Foundation, curator and writer

Solar Decathlon:  Finalists 2011, curator and writer

Green Community, an award-winning exhibition (SEGD Honor Award for exhibition and graphic design) on green practices at community scale

Tools of the Imagination:  Drawing Tools and Technologies from the 18th Century to the Present, curator and writer

Masonry Variations, curator and writer, with Guest Curator Stanley Tigerman

Big and Green: toward Sustainable Building in the 21st Century, writer, with curator David Gissen

2nd Prize, Office Building Division of the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge, for studio project Point Present High School + Data Center

Gold Winner, Global Future Design Award, Third Century Mall project with ISTUDIO Architects

Architectural Educator Award for the WAAC (Institutional Category), Washington Architecture Foundation

Ut Prosim Award for Exemplary Service, School of Architecture, + Design, College of Architecture & Urban Studies, Virginia Tech

Vision in Design Award, Branch Museum of Architecture & Design, Richmond, VA

John Wiebenson Award for Architecture in the Public Interest, Washington Architecture Foundation, Washington, DC


M.Arch., Virginia Tech

B.A., History of Art, William & Mary