Vanessa Keith, MArch, MIA, is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia GSAPP. She is a registered architect and the Principal of Studioteka, an award-winning design firm she founded in 2003. Based in DUMBO, Brooklyn, Studioteka approaches design through a multidisciplinary lens spanning architecture, technology, economic and social development, and urban and environmental concerns. Vanessa is especially interested in visionary solutions to the issues faced by cities as they adapt to climate change, and in envisioning design-oriented technical and engineering responses to environmental challenges. Her research interests include Eco-, Afro, and Indigenous Futurism, as well as harnessing cutting-edge tools and technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, to create life-affirming, socially just, and sustainable tomorrows.
Vanessa’s architecture work has been featured in design publications such as Metropolis, Frame, Hinge, Surface Asia, Urban Omnibus, Landscape Architecture Magazine, Design Bureau, Modelo Design Manifestos, and Mark Magazine as well as in print and media interviews. Her book, 2100: A Dystopian Utopia—The City After Climate Change, published by Michael Sorkin’s Terreform as part of the Urban Research series, develops case studies of 14 cities around the world in the year 2100, employing emerging tech and innovative techniques designed to tackle the climate crisis. Vanessa is a frequent invited lecturer and keynote speaker on topics emerging from the book and related work—sustainability, green design, and innovative climate change adaptation, and has spoken to a wide range of audiences at the Panamerican Architecture Biennial of Quito, the Louisville Sustainability Summit in Kentucky, the Economic Development Corporation of New York, Drawdown Learn Conference at the Omega Center for Sustainable Living in Rhinebeck, AIANY and Urban Green Council in New York, Matadero Art Center/Universidad Complutense in Madrid, as well as many universities and schools of design including Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, NYU, Parsons School of Design, Georgia Tech, and Clark Atlanta University.
Vanessa has taught graduate and undergraduate design studios in architecture, interior design, urban design, and economic development at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University (GSAPP and SIPA), Pratt Institute, and City College of New York, and has taught traveling and design-build studios in Italy, Jamaica, and India. A member of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Studio Workshop, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religion (Eastern religion and philosophy) from Columbia University; a Master of International Affairs in economic development and urban planning from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University; and a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.