Vanessa Keith, RA – Principal
Vanessa is a registered architect and the Principal of Studioteka, an award-winning design firm she founded in 2003. Studioteka approaches design through a multidisciplinary lens that spans the boundaries between architecture, economic and social development, and urban and environmental concerns. She is especially interested in innovative sustainable design and the issues faced by cities as they adapt to climate change, and in envisioning design-oriented technical and engineering solutions to environmental problems. Her work has appeared in notable international design publications such as Frame, Hinge, Surface Asia, Design Bureau and Mark Magazine. Vanessa Keith is the author of 2100: A Dystopian Utopia – the City After Climate Change, a book on the future of cities in a hotter world published by Terreform as part of Michael Sorkin’s Urban Research Series, and is also an editor of “Kingston Harbor: Development Transects,” a book of urban design work published by Columbia University in 2010. She has taught graduate and undergraduate design studios in architecture, urban and interior design, and economic development at Columbia University’s GSAPP and SIPA, Pratt Institute, and the City University of New York.
The firm’s work ranges from urban design to residential and commercial buildings, site planning, design of custom interior elements, lighting and interior design, program research, feasibility studies and creation of investment packages, as well as design research and writing. Ongoing work includes an interior renovation of a high end plastic surgery suite in Midtown East, as well as residential work in Riverdale and Sunset Park. Other notable projects include Caribbean Highlands, an eco-community on 128 acres in Costa Rica which includes luxury condominiums and single family villas as well as hospitality, health and wellness programs. City of Dreams, a $2.8 billion USD mixed use hospitality project located in Macau on the Cotai Strip, and UPR, a 25-year Masterplan for the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus were both done in collaboration with L’Observatoire International and Herve Descottes. Flatiron Marketing Offices, another Studioteka project, was featured in August 2008 in Frame Magazine, and in the February 2010 edition of Hinge Magazine in Hong Kong. YMCArt Center on the Gowanus, a prize winning competition entry, was featured in the Honors section of the Architect’s Newspaper, and was published in the April 2010 issue of Amsterdam’s Mark Magazine.
“First Date,” Studioteka’s entry for Design Against the Elements which focused on disaster resistant housing, was featured in Surface Asia Magazine in March 2011, including an interview with Vanessa. Nurse Bettie was featured in the March/April 2012 edition of Design Bureau Magazine along with an interview, and Studioteka’s entry for the Busan Opera House competition was published in the December/January 2012 edition of Mark Magazine. ” In November, 2015, Vanessa was an invited lecturer and participant in Social Innovation Week at the Openhouse Gallery in SoHo, New York, where she gave a preview of her research on climate change and urban design. “2100: A Dystopian Utopia: The City After Climate Change,” a book on innovative design solutions for a hotter planet, was published by Terreform as part of Michael Sorkin’s Urban Research series in January 2017. Imagery from Caribbean Highlands and 2100 were featured, along with an interview with Vanessa, in Modelo Design Manifestos in February 2016. Vanessa was invited to give the Alan H. Rider Distinguished Lecture on her work at Carnegie Mellon in February 2017. Vanessa gave a talk at NYU at the Ecologies of the Future Present Conference, and at the AIA Women in Architecture Committee’s Leadership Breakfast at the Center for Architecture in New York, and participated in a panel discussion at PennDesign’s Women in Architecture ReForm symposium in Philadelphia in April, 2017.
Master of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Fine Arts (2000)
Master of International Affairs, Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs (1995). Concentration: Economic Development. Focus Area: Urban Planning
B.A., Columbia University (1992). Major: Religion and Non Western Philosophy. Minor: Fine Art (printmaking)