Elizabeth Whittaker

Associate Professor in Practice of Architecture

Elizabeth Whittaker is an Associate Professor in Practice of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she has been teaching Core Architecture Studios since 2009, and was the Lead Faculty in Architecture in the Design Discovery Summer Program from 2011-2015.

Elizabeth is also founder and principal of MERGE architects, based in Boston since 2003. Her work at MERGE aims at developing contemporary craft, transforming typologies, and addressing social ecologies throughout the US. Her practice operates at multiple scales through commercial, institutional, retail, private residential, multi-family housing, graphic and furniture design. The office works side-by-side with teams of fabricators, artists, craftsmen and engineers to produce an architecture that embraces the art of making within a larger agenda: to re-define the urban and social boundaries in and around the city. The work combines both digital fabrication and the hand made by working through a cross-disciplinary as well a cross-production process.

The work of MERGE has been widely published both nationally and internationally and has received multiple awards including twenty-eight AIA/BSA awards. Elizabeth is the recipient of the AIA Young Architects Award, Architectural Record’s Design Vanguard, the Architectural League of New York ‘Emerging Voices’ Award, and the recipient of Architectural Record’s 2017 Women in Architecture ‘Next Generation Leader’ Award – an honor bestowed upon one female architect in the U.S. each year. She is currently serving as an Industry Advisory Group (IAG) member for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Building Operations (OBO), advising on U.S. architectural projects throughout the world. Elizabeth was recently nominated for election to the AIA College of Fellows, the American Institute of Architects’ highest honor for contributions to the profession.

Elizabeth graduated from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design with Distinction where she received numerous awards during her graduate studies including the Araldo A. Cossutta Prize/Core Studio Prize, the Faculty Design Award, and the John E. Thayer Award for overall academic achievement. Elizabeth approaches architecture as a discipline embedded in both practice and academia. She has taught design studios in several Architecture programs including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Northeastern University, and the Boston Architectural College. She is also a regular guest critic at several institutions including Columbia University, Yale University, MIT, University of Michigan, Rhode Island School of Design, and Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture.