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Architecture Faculty and Staff

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Administrative Staff

Academic Support Staff

  • Erin Hunt-Communication & Construction Lab Associate

Academic Advisor

Graduate Coordinator



Assistant Professor

Rob Whitehead

Assistant Professor, Architecture

Mailing Address

Architecture Department
158 College of Design
Ames, IA, 50011

Contact Information

Phone: (515) 294-8276
Office: 499 Design


BArch, Iowa State University, 1993
MArch, University of Texas at Austin, 1995

On the Web

Supporting Files

Research Interests

Critically integrating structural design considerations of process, production, and performance into technically engaging and experientially rich architecture.

Development & integration of alternative pedagogical methods for teaching building technology integration and analysis including haptic learning techniques and design-centric lab work.

Exploring the role of productive failures in design, particularly in the design ideation, integration and performance of innovative structural systems.

Current Projects

Textbook, "Structural Technology in Practice: Think, Make, Break."  Design-based structural exercises applied to a broad range of system classifications (Form, Section, Vector, Surface, and Frame). Text integrates a diversity of generative and analytical techniques (sketching, models, and digital design) as part of the process of learning to design and test  responsive structures. Manuscript anticipated completed Fall 2017, Routledge Books. 

Design-build prototypes for "Structures in Service: Design for Disaster Relief" (with students). Applications include: deployable origami inspired folded plate shelter, long-span tension and strut tensegrity systems, retrofitting seismic protections for dry-stacked masonry veracular structures, and modular tent flooring system, etc.

Examining the design relationships between Eero Saarinen and his structural engineers to understand the genesis of particular structural forms and their associated innovations in construction methodologies.

Current Scholarship