Lisa Moffitt

Associate Professor, Associate Director, Graduate

Dr. Lisa Moffitt is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Associate Director of the Graduate program at Carleton University. From 2010-2020, she was Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, where she also completed her PhD Architecture by Design. She is founder of Studio Moffitt, a design practice with a portfolio of speculative and built projects. Lisa was Washington University’s Fitzgibbon Scholar; RISD’s AIA Henry Adams Gold Medal Recipient; and received the University of Edinburgh’s David Willis prize for doctoral research. 


Lisa’s research situates contemporary environmental concerns associated with the climate crisis within a wider historical and cultural context. Her work is prompted by a deep compulsion to  make  things that question how architecture materially alters, impacts, and constructs new environments in light of climate change. These makings, whether they are site installations or speculative design projects or instruments that register environmental conditions or models of material systems are often paired with teaching or written research, enabling productive exchanges between the two. Her work has exhibited widely and published in Dwell Magazine, Architectural Research Quarterly, Architecture and Culture, Landscape Research, Journal of Landscape Architecture, Site Matters (Kahn and Burns, 2021), and Technology | Architecture + Design.


Lisa’s book Architecture’s Model Environments was published as part of UCL Press’s Design Research in Architecture series—the only series of its kind—in 2023. Seen through the distilling lens of the architectural model, Architecture’s Model Environments is a novel and far-reaching exploration of the many dialogues buildings have with their environmental surroundings. Moving between historic moments and the present day, between case studies and original prototypes, the book reveals the potent ability for models, as both physical artefacts and mental ideals, to reflect prevailing cultural views about the world and to even reshape those views. Fundamentally, Architecture’s Model Environments illustrates how environmental models reveal design insights across scales from the seam (that leaks) to the body (that feels) to the building (that mediates) to the world (that immerses).


The book is available as an open access pdf here: 


PhD (Architecture by Design) – University of Edinburgh

MArch – Rhode Island School of Design, summa cum laude

BA (Architecture) – Washington University in St. Louis, summa cum laude


ARCS 5105 – MArch – Graduate Studio 1 (Gateway)

ARCH 5002 – MArch – Architecture Seminar 2 (Miniaturising the Gigantic)

Arcn5302/Arcs6002w-PhD and MArch- Daedelic Exercises II

Arcs4107- BAS Design – Studio 7


Environmental Mediation

Models and Materiality

Miniaturising the Gigantic

Visualising Environmental Complexity

Physical prototypes

Performance Testing Chambers

Constructing Atmospheres

History of Building Science / Technology


Architecture’s Model Environments, UCL Press Design Research in Architecture series, 2023. 

“Wind Grid”, Journal of Landscape Architecture, 2021, 16:2, 54-60.

“Victor and Aladar Olgyay’s Thermoheliodon: Controlling Climate to Reduce Climate Control,” Architectural Research Quarterly, 23:3, December 2019, 255-266

“Materialising Convection,” Architecture and Culture, 7:1, August 2019, 1-14.

“From Instrument to Architecture: Environmental Models as Architectural Design Tools,” Technology | Architecture + Design (TAD) Journal, 2:2, Nov. 2018, 229-239.

“Sand, Silt, Salt, Water: Entropy as a Lens for Design in Postindustrial Landscapes,” Landscape Research, vol 42, issue 7, 2017, pp. 769-781.


Lisa was an intern architect at Studio E Architects in San Diego, California, where she worked on a number of award-winning affordable housing design projects. She was formerly a Senior Designer at PLANT Architect, Inc., where she worked on a number of hybrid architecture / landscape architecture projects including the national and international award-winning projects Dublin Grounds of Remembrance and Toronto City Hall Revitalisation Project. In 2008, Lisa founded Studio Moffitt, a design practice with a portfolio of speculative and built work. From 2009-2010, she lived in Huron County, Ontario to oversee construction of an off-grid, design-build project, the House on Limekiln Line. The house was featured as an OAA sustainability exemplar and has been exhibited and published widely, including in several books and in Dwell Magazine.