Lauren Mitchell, PhD is passionate about the unruly beginning stages of the design process. Two of her most prominent strengths are idea synthesis (combining disparate fields to create something new/needed), and contextual thinking (seeing broader implications of a problem).
After a traditional professional architecture degree, Lauren went on to receive her doctoral degree from Clemson University in a progressive trans-disciplinary doctoral program, where she studied the intersections of rhetorical invention and architecture.
Lauren is now consulting design professionals and working toward licensure. She loves bringing more value to the field of architecture by championing the ideas of visionary designers, putting her doctoral research directly into practical use amidst a variety of projects and scales, and helping great design ideas find their way into meaningful public discourse.
Designers so often struggle to strike appropriate chords with their audiences. Lauren is able to leverage her knowledge in order to translate between many modes of thought, offering creative research and writing/consulting services. She thrives on helping designers better assert their important gifts, and wants to show eager designers and architects how to become agents of positive change their communities. She is driven to help others cultivate a more artful and effective command of their sometimes challengingly hybrid (visual+textual) language.
Beyond these research interests and pursuits, Lauren’s research perpetually returns to the “ugly” architecture from where she came–big-box urbanism (suburban sprawl). She is fascinated by the misalignments between architecture (the discipline) and the predominant everyday practices of Americans today. This fascination can be explored in her published design research (links below).
Lauren began teaching architectural design at University of Hawai’i, Manoa within the School of Architecture in fall 2013. At UH, she steered the first year environmental design curriculum in addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate seminars surrounding design thinking, rhetoric and communication, and entertainment culture. After almost ten years teaching design (also at University of Florida and Clemson University), she made the difficult choice to walk away from full time teaching in 2016 in order to address a deep and growing sense of being too disconnected from designing and making. She is now actively in the process of achieving licensure.
- Book Chapter titled “Orlando, Florida’s Ubiquitous Libidinal Boxes,” in Florida, ed. Jeff Rice (Anderson: Parlor Press, 2015), pp 248-270. Print. Notable contributing authors: Gregory Ulmer, Craig Saper, Sid Dobrin, and Charlie Hailey. Available at Amazon for Purchase. Free Download.
- “Seeing Practices,” in Journal of Architectural Education, Vol. 62, Issue 1, pp 20-26 + cover image. (Blackwell Publishing, 2008). Free Download.