Marvin Malecha

Marvin J. Malecha, FAIA, arrived at the College of Design in 1994 to accept the position of Dean of the College of Design. For 12 years prior, he was dean of the College of Environmental Design at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Malecha earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Architecture from Harvard University. He was recognized as the 1980 Rotch Traveling Scholar.

Malecha was elected as First President/President Elect (2008-2009) of The American Institute of Architects. During 2006, Malecha was inducted into Sigma Xi, the scientific research society. Malecha received the prestigious 2003 Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education from the American Institute of Architects and Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

Malecha was awarded the James Haecker Distinguished Leadership Award for Architectural Research (2007) and he was awarded the William R. and June Dale Prize for Excellence in Urban Planning (2008). In 2006 Dean Malecha received the Jackson Rigney Award for International Service from North Carolina State University. He was one of seven recognized Architectural Educators of the Year Award (2006) from Design Intelligence Magazine. He was ranked second nationally in 2005 for his influence on practice among architectural educators in the U.S. by Design Intelligence Magazine. He was recognized in 2002 as a Distinguished Professor by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). This national distinction recognizes creative achievement in the advancement of architectural education through teaching, design scholarship, research or service. He is a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects. Also in 2002, he was selected as part of a team among six teams to receive the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy. Malecha has been inducted as an honorary member into the Golden Key International Honor Society, Sigma Iota Rho International Studies Fraternity, Alpha Rho Chi Professional Fraternity and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

He is a recipient of the American Institute of Architects, California Council, Excellence in Education Award. He is the only American Educator to have been recognized as an honorary member of the European Association for Architectural Education. In 1999, he was presented the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Malecha has served as President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and the California Council of Architectural Education. Malecha served as the Vice Chair of the AIA/ACSA Council on Architectural Research.

He has had frequent exchanges with the European Association for Architectural Education as a visiting speaker and as an advisor. He has served as a member of the National Institute for Architectural Education Teaching Office Task Force. Malecha has also served as a Master Juror for the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, as a member of the National Architectural Accrediting Board, and on the Steering Committee of the AIA Architects in Education Professional Interest Area as the Chair, and as a member of the AIA Research Policy Board. Presently, he is serving memberships on the national AIA Board, the AIA North Carolina Board, the Board of the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh and the Building and Real Estate Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh. Dean Malecha has led the effort to promote the development of the case studies in architecture as a fundamental responsibility of the American Institute of Architects. As co-chair of the AIA Case Study Workgroup, he fostered increased collaboration between academic institutions and professional offices.

Malecha has actively promoted international study and exchange. During his career, he has promoted the development of a branch campus in Prague, Czech Republic and developed programs in Italy, Greece, and Japan. He has traveled extensively and maintains a network of colleagues world-wide.

Dean Malecha’s authorship includes The Learning Organization, Reconfiguration in the Study and Practice of Architecture, Foundations, The Fabric of Architecture, The Total Energy House, Learning About Architecture, Essays on Architecture, The Design Studio, The Study of Design, Form and Performance, Angels in the Architecture, Design in Life, The Nests of Pegasus, and an article, “Architectural Education,” published in EKISTICS. In 2006 he was invited to author a major article for the 30th Anniversary Publication of the European Association for Architectural Education on the subject of Professional Education. He co-authored with Robert Greenstreet The Junior Faculty Handbook on Tenure and Promotion. He is completing a publication regarding the patterns of design thinking in professional education and practice.

As an academic, Marvin Malecha regularly accepts teaching assignments. His areas of teaching responsibility include critical thinking/design thinking for first-year students, professional practice for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, design thesis advising and studio instruction. Malecha believes that teaching is the essence of a life in the academy as a complement to leadership and administrative responsibilities.

In the field of research, Malecha has been the principal investigator for two major projects. The first, The Total Energy House, was funded by the General Dynamics Corporation to investigate single-family home design in the major climate zones of the United States to facilitate independence from the energy grid ($250K in 1978-79); the second, funded primarily by the Kellogg Foundation ($3.1M in 1988-94), investigated the development and built a Center for Regenerative Studies on the Cal Poly campus. In both instances, the projects were realized by a capable team of participants.

Throughout his career, Malecha has maintained an active involvement with architectural practice in roles from peer reviews to project architect and designer. As an architect, he gained experience working with the firm of Hugh Stubbins and Associates in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and he has continued to work on his own and in association with offices in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and the Raleigh-Durham area. He has worked on building types as diverse as university classrooms and galleries, church and parish facilities, correctional facilities, an entertainment amphitheatre master plan, and residential projects, including the official residence of a university chancellor. His work has been recognized with design awards.

Marvin Malecha’s career has been characterized by leadership in academic management, attention to the scholarly and reflective aspects of a design education, a consulting practice that informs a life in the academy and a passionate belief in the absolute right of access to an education for every individual in our society. He believes that education and practice lie along the same continuum in life and he has encouraged others to find the connections between them.


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