Graduate Architecture

Miranda E. Mote

PhD Candidate in the History and Theory of Architecture

Miranda is a historian of North American landscapes, particularly gardens and agricultural land deemed sacred. She writes histories of places as they are informed by religion and religious practice or as products of the human imagination and work of living. In particular, her subjects are reasoning questions of life, such as birth, mortality, and natural phenomena like plant growth, metamorphosis, and dormancy through the ordering of land, growing food and plant based products, and making of gardens. Her dissertation, entitled “The Sacred Nature of Francis D. Pastorius’ Garden in Germantown, PA (1683–1719)”, will reconstruct the layers of sacred meaning of Pastorius’ garden by transcribing, translating and analyzing his garden journal and volumes of poetry about gardening and bee-keeping. This account will document many aspects of early German-American garden culture in colonial Pennsylvania.

Miranda has a professional architecture degree from University of Cincinnati and a Master in Design Studies from the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. She has worked as an architect and graphic designer and has taught foundation design in architecture programs at University of Cincinnati, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Miami University, and Temple University. She is invested in design foundations teaching, particularly the fundamentals of drawing, graphics, modeling, and design iteration skills. At University of Pennsylvania, she was awarded the Will Morris Mehlhorn Fellowship in theory and writing and First Prize in History and Theory writing in 2017. Prior to this, she received the Urban Project Prize in 2015, awarded by the Department of Urban Design at the Graduate School of Design, for outstanding Master’s thesis research and writing, a Bliss Symposium Award from Dumbarton Oaks, and was a 2012 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar at the American Academy in Rome.