December 11, 2023

Public Programs and Engagement Specialist Tara Oluwafemi began her role with Rice University School of Architecture in October 2023. She got to work immediately, helping with the Civic Forum, one of the school’s most recognized programs.

“We are delighted to welcome Tara to our team,” said Igor Marjanović, the William Ward Watkin Dean of Rice Architecture. “She brings a truly unique perspective to our international school, with a particular focus on the agency of architectural research to spark larger, public conversations about the value of design in a dynamic, changing world.”

Oluwafemi received a master of architecture degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where she was awarded the Alpha Rho Chi medal for leadership and professional merit. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in architectural studies and French from Amherst College. She creates dynamic multimedia designs through research, publications, and site-specific experiences. In her role with Rice Architecture, Oluwafemi will work closely with the dean and the faculty to facilitate public lectures, exhibitions, outreach, symposia, civic forums, awards and competitions, and other special projects.

Among these programs are several, including the Civic Forum, that originated under the auspices of the Rice Design Alliance (RDA), which has evolved within the school to focus on its original mission of design advocacy and the advancement of urban life for all Houstonians. The school recognizes and honors the rich history and influence of RDA programs as it focuses on new and fresh forms of architectural discourse that will continue to invigorate and transform the city of Houston and the world.

“I’m honored to join this tight-knit community of students, practitioners, staff, and faculty who are creating change through design in Houston and beyond,” Oluwafemi said. “This position is an amazing opportunity to make architecture and its discourse more accessible by bringing voices both near and far into these important conversations through interdisciplinary exhibitions, lectures, and symposia.”

The fall 2024 opening of the William T. Cannady Hall of Architecture—the newest addition to the Rice University campus—will present exciting opportunities for public engagement, which makes Oluwafemi’s hire particularly timely. Working collaboratively with faculty and staff, she will facilitate the creation of knowledge within the framework of this new building, including its light-filled collaborative ateliers, cutting-edge fabrication shops, and the welcoming, multistory gallery spaces for curation, exhibition, and debate. One of the most prestigious architecture programs in the country, Rice Architecture is also an important public amenity and a hub of design curiosity and creativity for the university campus and the city itself.

For more information on the school’s public programs and community engagement initiatives—and to explore new forms of collaboration and partnership—please contact Tara Oluwafemi at