Frano Violich

Design Critic in Architecture

As a Founding Principal at KVA Matx, Frano Violich has created an interdisciplinary design practice which engages material fabrication, digital technology and the conservation of natural resources to expand the public life of buildings and cities. Violich studied Architecture at the University of California at Berkeley and received his MArch from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. KVA has worked internationally, including the Soft House, a multi-unit “smart materials” housing project completed for the Internationale Bauausstellung (IBA) in Hamburg, the Portable Light Project in Brazil, and currently the development of a rural home energy network in Victoria, Australia. KVA’s work in the US includes projects in the public realm, such as the 34th Street ferry terminal on Manhattan’s East River and RiverFirst in Minneapolis, and higher education including a new Law School for the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard’s Tozzer Anthropology Building, and the Institute for Data Science on the University of Rochester campus now under construction. KVA’s material research division Matx has developed designs and technology applications for Philips, Herman Miller, 3M, North Face and the US Department of Energy. The firm’s design work for the German-based Meister Consulting Group, now headquartered in Boston, has extended to include the digital fabrication and procurement of the company’s interior furnishings. The work of KVA has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, MoMA in New York, SFMOMA, and the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. Violich has written for international journals, has lectured widely and taught at RISD, Berkeley, UVA, Michigan, and was Cornell’s Gensler Visiting Professor in Spring 2014.