Architect & Inventor
Sheila Kennedy and her partner, Frano Violich, are founding principals of Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Ltd. (KVA), an interdisciplinary design practice that explores new relationships between architecture, digital technology, and emerging public needs. Projects at KVA include the new Graduate Center for Integrated Technology at RISD, the new headquarters for Harvard University’s Department of Film and Video, and the multi-model Public Ferry Terminal Building in Manhattan, which integrates smart transportation technology. The work of KVA has been recognized by National Design Excellence Awards from the American Institute of Architecture, Progressive Architecture Awards, Industrial Design Excellence Awards, and the Public Work Award of the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2000, Kennedy established MATx, a pioneering materials research unit that engages applied creative production across the fields of electronics, architecture, design, and material science. MATx works collaboratively with business leaders, industrial manufacturers, cultural institutions, and public agencies to invent design concepts, products, and building systems that advance the real-world implementation of sustainable digital technologies. MATx has developed new technology applications for Dupont, Siemens, Herman Miller, The North Face, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Kennedy’s work has been exhibited at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, Wired magazine’s NEXTFEST technology exhibitions, the International Rotterdam Biennale, the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) exhibit “Design and the Elastic Mind” on contemporary breakthrough technology. Kennedy’s research and work in architecture have been recognized by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Academy of Sciences. She has served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Academy of Sciences’ Government-Industry Partnerships, and the Vision 2020 National Technology Roadmap. Kennedy’s work has appeared in Material Ultra Material (Harvard University, 2002), Extreme Textiles, (Princeton, 2005), Open House: Designs for Intelligent Living (Vitra Design Museum, 2006), and Design for the Other 90% (2007). Kennedy lectures widely and her work has been featured in journals of architecture, design culture, anthropology and optoelectronics, as well as National Public Radio, United Nations Radio, the Discovery Channel, BBC World News, Wired, Science News, Der Spiegel Reporter, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, and The New York Times.