Bryan Bell

Bryan Bell

Bryan Bell

Associate Professor of Architecture, Executive Director at Design Corps

Email: bbell@ncsu.edu Phone: 919-515-8327


Bryan Bell founded Design Corps in 1991 with the mission is “to provide the benefits of architecture to those traditionally un-served by the profession.”

Bell’s current work includes Public Interest Design, which he pursued as a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Business School. The resulting work includes a survey of the profession of AIA members with input from Dr. Howard Gardner. Additional research was funded through the 2011 Latrobe Prize awarded by the American Institute of Architects. The work is focused on a triple bottom line evaluation called the Social/Economic/Environmental Design (SEED) Evaluator. Bell co-founded and has helped organize the SEED Network which has over 1,200 members. Bell has authored an essay on the history of Public Interest Design for the 2013 AIA Handbook on Professional Practice. His research was presented at the 2012 AIA National Convention.

In 1985, Bell worked as Project Director with Samuel Mockbee on three houses for rural families in Mississippi. The project received a Progressive Architecture Award in 1986. He has also worked at Steven Holl and Richard Rogers offices. He holds degrees from Princeton and Yale and was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard in 2010.

At Design Corps, Bell started a fellowship program with the AmeriCorps national service program for young designers interested in the social application of architecture. Design Corps has organized forty-five fellowships for students and graduates of design from twenty universities including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, and the University of Virginia. The Design Corps’ summer design/build studio teaches critical community organizing skills to designers.

His effort to share ideas with the newest generation of architects led to series of conferences hosted at universities. Structures for Inclusion has been a forum for students and recent graduates to learn about grass roots efforts making architecture more accessible. Selected presentations from these have been presented in two publications: Expanding Design: Architecture as Activism, published by Metropolis Press in October 2008, and Good Deeds, Good Design, published by Princeton Architectural Press published in 2003.

Bell has been a visiting studio professor at the Auburn Rural Studio teaching twenty-two thesis students for twelve design/build projects including the Greensboro Children’s Center, the Mason’s Bend Community Center, and three affordable housing projects which were given a Progressive Architecture Award in 1987. He has also held a chaired position in ‘Activist Practice’ at University of Chicago, Illinois and has taught three design/build studios at NC State University. He was the Shure Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia in the spring of 2009.

Bell was chosen as one of two Finalists for the 2010 National Design Awards in Architecture in Collaborative Practice, given by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. The work of Design Corps was featured in Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum Exhibit “National Design Triennial: Design Culture Now” (2003), was included in the US Pavilion of the 2008 Venice Biennale, and was awarded the 2007 AIA National Honor Award for Collaborative Practice.

Feature: The Future of Impact Design Education (feat. Bryan Bell)