Alumni Spotlight: Gabriel Fuentes ’05



Gabriel Fuentes is founder and director of DA|S (Design Action Studio for Research, Architecture + Urbanism) in New York, as well as an adjunct professor of architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). He earned his Bachelor of Design in 2002, his Master’s Degree in Architecture from Florida International University, as well as a post-graduate degree in urban design from Columbia University.

He holds a graduate certificate in architectural history, theory and criticism from FIU, where he was nominated for the prestigious SOM Foundation Traveling Fellowship and awarded the American Institute of Architects Bronze Medal for Excellence in Architecture. In addition to teaching at NJIT, Gabriel has taught introductory and advanced architecture studios at Florida International University, Miami-Dade College, and the New York Institute of Technology (where he co-coordinated the first year studio curriculum for the 2011-2012 academic year).

His design work has been published and recognized with multiple awards including an Honor Award for Unbuilt Design from the Boston Society of Architects and four Design Awards from AIA Florida and AIA Miami combined. He has presented several papers and projects at various academic conferences both nationally and abroad. His essay “Between History and Modernity: Searching for Lo Cubano in Modern Cuban Architecture” has been published in the edited volume of Cuban Intersections of Literary and Urban Spaces (SUNY Press). Additionally, he presented another paper, “Thinking Forward: Preserving Havana Through Design” and design project, “ReFORMing Type” at the 2011 ACSA conference (Local Identities/Global Challenges). These are part of a sustained research agenda centered on the future of Cuban cities post-socialism.

Fuentes has been invited to deliver two papers “In the Making: Gen Z’s Architectural ‘Real’,” which explores the effects of generational shifts and digital/social media on beginning design students, and “Absorb, Analyze, Design…Repeat!,” which details and interrogates NJIT’s first year studio curriculum (co-written with coordinator Dan Kopec) at the 2013 National Conference on the Beginning Design Student at Temple University. He has also been invited to contribute the article “The Real New Urbanism: Engaging Developing World Cities” for an upcoming special issue of the Journal of Space Syntax (JOSS) set to be published this summer, arguing for an expanded form of critical practice capable of theorizing and designing in/for third world slums – a synergy of rapid urbanization (extreme density) and poverty.

To read more about Gabriel and his work, visit his website or Facebook page.

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