Kent State Research Initiative Welcome UC Berkeley Architect as 2019-20 Visiting Lecturer

Kent State Research Initiative Welcome UC Berkeley architect as 2019-20 Visiting Lecturer

As it prepares for a major symposium on Biodesign, Kent State University will host a visiting lecturer with a global reputation for her research in that field.
Leaders of the university’s Environmental Science and Design Research Initiative (ESDRI) announced this week that Maria Paz Gutierrez, Associate Professor in the College of Environmental Design at the University of California at Berkeley, will be the 2019/2020 ESDRI visiting lecturer. 
Gutierrez will make the first of three planned visits to Kent State October 1 to 3, delivering separate lunchtime workshop lectures to faculty and students, as well as a special public lecture.
Gutierrez also will serve as a juror for Kent State’s Biodesign Challenge in December, and participate as an external presenter at the 2020 ESDRI Symposium in March. The theme for that symposium is “Biodesign: Designing with Life for Environmental Sustainability,” a topic well-suited to Gutierrez’s expertise.
Maria Paz Gutierrez, Associate Professor in the College of Environmental Design at the University of California at Berkeley

Her research focuses on nature and multifunctional material systems aimed at addressing pressing 21st-century environmental and socioeconomic challenges. Her research group, Bio Input Onto Material Systems (BIOMS), pioneers the physical and cultural implications of functional natural and living materials. These materials are designed from the nano to the macro scale, to transform the health and resilience of the built environment. Gutierrez’s past projects include:

•    DetoxWall - Bio-active matter for air detoxification;
•    SHE - Salt Habitat Enclaves for flood self-regulation in coastal urban developments for energy generation, hydro desalinization, and aquaculture regeneration;
•    MAN - Mangrove Adaptable Networks – adaptable infrastructures in support of tropical coastal habitats for hydrological flow and sedimentation control;
•    SOAP - Solar Optics-based Active Panels for greywater reuse and integrated thermal building control;
•    Endothermic Wall - Bio-active matter for thermal and light transmission control
Her work has been published in leading scientific journals, including Science and Scientific Reports (Nature), exhibited nationally and internationally (including the Oslo Architectural Triennale 2014 and the Field Museum in Chicago), and widely covered in the press, including in Science Nation. 
Her prestigious accolades include the 2010 Emerging Frontiers of Research Innovation Award from the U.S. National Science Foundation and qualification as a 2014 Buckminster Fuller Award semifinalist. She is a Fulbright NEXUS Scholar, and was appointed as Senior Fellow of the Energy Climate Partnership of the Americas by the U.S. Department of State from 2011-2016. Gutierrez has two provisional patents and a forthcoming book, Regeneration Wall (Taylor & Francis, 2020).

The Biodesign Challenge lecture, open to the public, will be held Tuesday, October 1, from 5:30 -6:30 p.m. in the integrated Sciences Building, room 190. The lecture and subsequent workshop will support Design Innovation/Biological Sciences/Architecture: Biodesign Challenge coursework.

Gutierrez will give the lunchtime lecture to students on October 2 in the CAED building, from noon to 1 p.m. Space is limited and students may register at 

The lunchtime lecture for faculty will be October 3 in the CAED building, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Faculty may register for this limited-space workshop at 

Faculty and Students also may schedule time to meet with Professor Gutierrez by contacting ESDRI Co-director Diane Davis-Sikora (

POSTED: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 12:52pm
UPDATED: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 12:52pm
Dan Pompili