AIA College of Fellows awards Northeastern University team with 2022 Latrobe Prize

$100,000 to fund design research to advance the role of design in urban equity.

WASHINGTON – May 20, 2022– The American Institute of Architects (AIA) College of Fellows selected four faculty members from Northeastern University to receive the 2022 Latrobe Prize for their research proposal, “CommonSENSES: Standards for ENacting Sensor networks for an Equitable Society”.

In collaboration with the city of Chelsea, Mass. and local non-profits, the team will use the $100,000 grant towards demonstrating how sensor networks can inform architects, and the communities they work with, of hyperlocal variations in environmental quality. The research will also explore the potential for green infrastructure to produce more equitable health outcomes. Before-and-after project data and models about factors affecting neighborhood climate, resilience, health, and equity will generate insights on how smarter green infrastructure can support a more accessible, equitable, and inclusive design process. The resulting CommonSENSES Architectural Playbook and film, and the collaborative modeling platform ( adapted for this project will empower current and future architects, planners, and educators to advance the role of design in urban equity.

Research will be conducted by an interdisciplinary team comprised of Michelle Laboy, M.Arch., MUP, PE, School of Architecture; Amy Mueller, PhD, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Marine and Environmental Sciences, and Northeastern’s Environmental Sensors Lab; Dan O’Brien, PhD, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Director of the Boston Area Research Initiative; and Moira Zellner, PhD, Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, and Director of Participatory Modeling & Data Science, College Social Sciences & Humanities.

The winning team impressed the jury by emphasizing how designers can understand outcomes for people. Their community-first research proposal promises to contribute insight into design strategies promoting planetary and human health across the building, landscape, and city scale.

This is the 11th Latrobe Prize to be awarded by the AIA College of Fellows for a two-year program of research leading to significant advances in the architecture profession.

Founded in 1952, the College of Fellows is comprised of AIA members who are elected to fellowship by a jury of their peers. Elevation to fellowship recognizes individual achievements of the architect but also elevates before the public and the profession those architects who have made significant contributions to architecture and to society.

About AIA

Founded in 1857, AIA consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through more than 200 international, state and local chapters, AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing.

AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation, and world. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards.


Matt Tinder
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