Senior Associate Dean and Director of Architecture and Environmental Design
Architecture, Historic Preservation

Kate Wingert-Playdon

Kate Wingert-Playdon is focused on cultural identity as expressed in design and construction histories, buildings and sites. Her applied and scholarly research begins with the premise that a more comprehensive understanding of the cultural dimension of our built environment is realized when many voices and viewpoints are used to understand it. Her projects focus on architecture that is transformative, including a book on the Snøhetta designed Charles Library at Temple University (2020) as a reflection of the city and campus culture and research on La Fonda in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which focuses on how the surrounding landscape and cultural overlaps of the city and region are reflected in the hotel expansion in the 1920s. 

Her teaching includes design and seminar courses where current questions of culture guide dialogue and design decision-making. Her approach to teaching relies on the voices and work of students to become a major source of content and richness that is forward facing. She has served as an advocate for academic research for architecture faculty through the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), including as a member of the 2017 ACSA research and scholarship committee, and the 2020 annual conference review committee. In 2018, she was conference chair for the Architectural Research Centers Consortium-European Association of Architectural Education (ARCC-EAAE) international conference on architectural research, entitled Happiness: The Built Environment Shaping the Quality of Life and editor of the conference proceedings.

Recent scholarly work comes from projects in the field that were supported by grants from Save America’s Treasures; United States National Parks Service; National Trust for Historic Preservation; National Endowment for the Arts and the American Institute of Architects. Work includes field reports and peer reviewed publications, both of which have impact in shifting the dialog to include a range of cultural voices to fully understand the built environment. Both historic structures reports and published works, such as the 2012 book, John Gaw Meem at Acoma, present the case for preservation that is inclusive of cultural needs alongside preservation guidelines.

BArch and BS in Building Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1983
MSArch, Pennsylvania State University, 1987

Selected Awards
New Mexico Heritage Preservation Award (2003) 
New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, Historic Preservation Division  
Awarded in recognition of technical assistance efforts with the preservation of
the San Esteban del Rey Mission at the Pueblo of Acoma.

Selected Work
Wingert-Playdon, K., with Crosby, P. (2021). Library as Stoa: Public Space and Academic Mission 
     in Snøhetta’s Charles Library
. San Francisco, CA: ORO Editions.

Wingert-Playdon, K., & Rashed-Ali, H. (Eds.). (2018). Happiness: The Built Environment Shaping
     the Quality of Life: Proceedings from the ARCC/EAAE International Conference on Architectural
[Two Volumes]. Philadelphia, PA: Architectural Research Centers Consortium.
Wingert-Playdon, K. (2012). John Gaw Meem at Acoma: The Restoration of San Esteban del Rey
. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press.
Wingert-Playdon, K. (2014, October). Philadelphia’s Green City: a Narrative of Equality and Equity.
     Jamini: An International Arts Quarterly, 48-57, Making Cities.
Wingert-Playdon, K., & Playdon, D. G. (2007, Fall). Acoma in Transition: the Loss of Language 
     and Architecture and the Severance of Tradition in a Changing World. Digest of South African
, 92-96.


Image credit: Joseph V. Labolito