Aki Ishida is Assistant Professor of Architecture at Virginia Tech and the founder of Aki Ishida Architect PLLC, a design practice founded in New York. Her work is a synthesis of spatial uses of light and her interest in active public engagement of space, and aims to increase the public and student awareness about the artistic and technical potentials of light and sensory environments though transdisciplinary collaborations. Prior to forming her firm, Aki was an associate for over four years at James Carpenter Design Associates, a studio focused on artistic and technical use of glass. She also worked at Rafael Vinoly Architects and I.M. Pei Architect. She is a Registered Architect and a LEED AP.
Before joining Virginia Tech in 2012, Aki taught design studios at Rhode Island School of Design, The Pratt Institute, and Parsons The New School of Design. Through these schools, she has successfully run award-winning collaborative design projects in partnership with corporations and non-profit organizations. These partners include Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Japan Society, Starwood Hotels, and desigNYC. Her work has been supported by the Japan Foundation New York, The Smithsonian, Philips Color Kinetics, The MacDowell Colony, Baer Art Center in Iceland, Columbia University, and American Institute of Architects New York Chapter.
Aki led the installation at the Smithsonian, Lantern Field, which was one of a dozen international projects to win a 2013 A|L Architectural Lighting Award. Her project received Runner-Up in 2014 Core77 Design Awards. She holds Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University.