Edward Becker, SAFA, is a tenured Associate Professor at Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture, a registered architect in Finland, and founder of Helsinki-based Vor, a climate-focused design and consulting practice that develops “climate ready” spatial solutions for the public and private realms.
As an internationally-recognized expert in wood design and construction, he is the 2023-2024 Chair of the Softwood Lumber Board's Education Advisory Panel, a select group of university faculty who advise the US timber industry via the SLB on strategic investment in higher education. His award-winning, bio-focused design and research work is positioned at the intersection of architecture, landscape urbanism, and public art. Winner of national and international design awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects, Architizer, Architects Newspaper, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, and others, his collaborative work across academia and industry has been published internationally by Actar, ARK, Archinect, ARQ-XP, Phaidon, Routledge, Wood Design Magazine, and World Landscape Architecture, among others, including being featured in AN’s “Best of the Best” design awards publication and Phaidon’s “Architizer: World’s Best Architecture 2020.” As a former Program Coordinator for Research and Technology (2020-2022), Becker’s academic research, teaching, and engagement concentrate on two impactful catalysts of change in the built environment – digital technologies and climate change mitigation through sustainable design – and link them through the topic of bio-based design and construction, namely with mass timber. Prior to joining the School of Architecture at Virginia Tech, Mr. Becker taught housing and urbanism in Aalto University’s Masters Degree Programme in Espoo, Finland, and worked internationally for Tommila Architects (Helsinki), MAD Architects (Beijing), and WEarchitecture (Copenhagen).
Industrialized Wood-Based Construction, Low-Carbon Construction, Mass Timber, Sustainable Urbanism
ARCH 3015/3016: Architecture III
ARCH 3054: Building Analysis
ARCH 4164: Computer Applications in Design
ARCH 5624: Urban Design Seminar
Scholarly Publications (selected):
“Modular Construction with Low-Grade Hardwood Cross-Laminated Timber,” World Conference on Timber Engineering. Oslo, Norway. NYP
“Completing the Cycle: An alignment of open-source digital technologies and the distributed manufacturing of advanced biomaterials.” Architectural Research in Finland, Vol. 3, No. 1 NYP
“It’s Hard to Beat a 2×4: Digital infrastructure for rapid-build affordable housing with mass timber” Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. St. Louis, MO. NYP
“[Local] Materials Matter” 2020 American Institute of Architects and Association Collegiate Schools of Architecture Intersections Research Conference: CARBON. Philadelphia, PA
“Hybrid Practices: Risk and reward within the evolving landscape of cross-laminated timber utilization.” Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. Palo Alto, CA.
“Mass Timber Construction for Multi-family Urban Housing: Carbon12 and the Canyons.” EAAE-ARCC International Conference. Valencia, Spain [with Kevin Lee, co-author]
"Chasing lines of Engagement: Uncovering the City through Active Resource Transfer." Book chapter in Chasing the City: Models for Extra-Urban Investigations. Routledge, J. Nesbit and N. Nason, Editors.
“Completing the Cycle with Hardwood CLT: Innovation in material development and utilization.” Building Technology Educators’ Society (BTES). Amherst, MA
“Affordances and Limitations of Cognitive Bias Reduction in Introductory Digital Design Pedagogy.” Architectural Research in Finland, Vol. 2, No. 1.
“Design Cognition: Optimizing Knowledge Transfer in Digital Design Pedagogy.” Architectural Research in Finland, Vol. 1, No. 1
Design Awards (selected)
Offsite Construction Award for "Best Mass Timber Project" - Offsite Construction Expo [International]
Architects Newspaper “Best of Design” Award - Research - 1st Prize [International]
Architizer A+ Award: Architecture + New Materials - Jury Prize [International]
Case Study for Innovative Timber Construction - AHEC [International]
Artist-in-Residence at the Bundanon Trust - NSW Australia [International]
ACSA Design-Build Award [National]
National Honor Award in Residential Design, ASLA [National]
AIA Virginia - Architectural Design Merit Award for Design-Build [State]
Academic Awards (selected)
University Certificate for Excellence in Teaching, Virginia Tech [University-level Award]
Excellence in Creativity - Research and Scholarship, Virginia Tech [University-level Award]
Excellence in Creative Achievement Award, Virginia Tech [School-level Award]
Excellence in Scholarship Award, Virginia Tech [School-level Award]
Certificate for Excellence in Outreach, Virginia Tech [College-level Award]
New Faculty Teaching Award, Virginia Tech [School-level Award]
Research Fellowships (selected)
American Scandinavian Foundation Fellow, Finnish Fund [International Award]
Fulbright Fellow, Finland, Alternate [International recognition]
SOM Prize, Finalist (1 of 5 nationally) [National recognition]
Hart Howerton Fellowship, Finalist (1 of 4 nationally) [National recognition]
M.Arch, with Distinction, Harvard University
B.Arch, Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo