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Traci Rider, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Architecture


Dr. Traci Rose Rider is Assistant Professor of Architecture, Doctor of Design faculty, and PhD Faculty at North Carolina State University’s College of Design. Dr. Rider’s research has focused on the relationship between the design culture and the notion of sustainability, exploring factors impacting environmental attitudes of designers including environmental education, learned associations, and informal influences. Dr. Rider teaches courses focusing on sustainability and health for the School of Architecture, addressing topics such as existing building operations and maintenance, and holistic considerations for both health and sustainability. Her funded research projects include methods for introducing building science and health topics to middle school students in North Carolina through STEM exercises, as well as supporting the development of interdisciplinary focus areas for the NC State in the areas of Sustainable Cities. She is currently Principal Investigator on a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant under their Creating a Culture of Health umbrella, looking at how private multifamily developers conceptualize, understand and implement health and wellness strategies in their developments. She is also Co-PI on a grant from NIST with colleagues from the College of Natural Resources to create educational modules about standards and tools that allow for a comprehensive evaluation of the life-cycle of green buildings and sustainable materials.

Dr. Rider’s professional experience over the past twenty years has included work in international design firms, green building non-profits, university extension, and sustainability consulting. She is an active member of the USGBC, the Society of Building Science Educators (SBSE) and ARCC. She was given the New Researcher Award for the Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) for 2015-2016, which is intended to acknowledge and reward emerging figures in architectural and environmental design research that demonstrate innovation in thinking, dedication in scholarship, contributions to the academy, and leadership within architectural and environmental design research. Dr. Rider has presented and been published in the proceedings of conferences such as Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) and the National Outreach Scholarship Conference (NOSC). She has also been featured in Dwell magazine, was granted the prestigious individual U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership Award in Education for 2005, and was included in a group labeled as “The Re-Inventors” in Vanity Fair’s Green Issue in May 2006, in the company of established visionaries such as William McDonough, Paul Hawken and Sim van der Ryn. She has authored two books with W.W. Norton, and has a chapter in a book on interdisciplinary work, Collaboration and Student Engagement in Design Education (IGI Global, 2016). She frequently presents at both academic and professional conferences on various aspects of green, sustainability, integrated design and community engagement.

Rider received her professional Bachelors of Architecture degree from the University of Cincinnati and her Master’s Degree in Human-Environment Relations with a focus on Environmental Sociology from Cornell University. Her doctorate degree was granted from the College of Design at North Carolina State University focusing on the integration of sustainability within formal design education.


Dr. Rider’s research interest involves design culture and the influence of sustainability; human-environment relations, including allowances and affordances; impacts of the built environment on health and wellbeing; designed spaces for environmental education; and design for special populations including children and the elderly.



Real Estate Action in Community Health (REACH) project website

NIST project website


PhD in Design (Sustainability in Architectural Education) NC State University

M.S. in Human-Environment Relations Cornell University

Bachelor of Architecture University of Cincinnati

Area(s) of Expertise

Design culture and the influence of sustainability, human-environment relations, and universal design