Rashida Ng (MArch‘01) is a Presidential Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design. Her research lies at the intersection of social equity and environmental justice. Focused on housing insecurity, Ng’s work examines historical and present-day design practices that perpetuate racial inequities and health disparities in black, indigenous, and other communities of color. In 2019, she published the op-ed “What Will It Take? Reflections on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Architectural Education” in the Journal of Architectural Education (Taylor & Francis). She recently authored the book chapter, “Breaking the Chains: Beyond the Beaux-Arts Tradition of Architectural Education in the United States” in Rethinking the Crit: A new pedagogy in architectural education (Taylor & Francis), which will be published in 2022.
Previously, Ng researched responsive materials and building assemblies, including phase change material and advanced lighting technologies, and has authored numerous papers and completed multiple funded projects on these topics. In 2013, she co-edited the book, Performative Materials in Architecture and Design (Intellect). Ng was the principal investigator on Cloud Magnet, a multi-year project to design, simulate, and field-test prototypes of “cloud-forming kites” within the cloud forests of Costa Rica. She also was the Principal Investigator on a Product Innovation Grant from the Pennsylvania Green Building Alliance to develop prototypes of façade panels utilizing phase change material. In 2009, Ng constructed Firefly, a temporary shelter at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education that utilized a variable and reactive pattern of phosphorescent minerals.
Outside of the university, Ng has engaged in service and leadership activities both nationally and locally. She served as the 2019-2020 President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), the first African American woman to hold this position, and as the Secretary-Treasurer of the ACSA board. As a member of the editorial board of Context, the journal of the American Institute of Architects Philadelphia, she edited an issue focused on the future of architectural education and co-edited an issue on the architecture student.
Prior to joining the Weitzman faculty, Ng was an associate professor with tenure at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and Architecture where she also served as the department chair of architecture and environmental design. She has been an invited design critic at Arizona State University, Columbia, Cornell, Drexel, Georgia Tech, Harvard, Tulane, and the University of Texas at Austin, among others.
Ng received a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Certificate in City Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology. A registered architect with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, she is the Principal of RNG Design and has practiced with firms in Georgia, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.