Silvia Acosta

on sabbatical academic year 2022/23

Silvia Acosta is an architect, artist and professor of architecture at RISD, where she teaches design studios and seminars/workshops that maintain linkages between architecture and the arts. These courses include drawing, painting and composing material artifacts while understanding the role of imagination as a generator of ideas to be enacted. Her teaching and work are dedicated to the craft of making, whether at the scale of objects of use or through full-scale building explorations with her students. Teaching has taken her to many different places—Harvard, Yale, University of Miami, Boston Architectural Center, China Academy of Art, Nagoya University, Monash University, Curtin University of Technology, Equinoctial Technological University—and she is grateful to have had these exciting and personally enriching engagements with other schools. However, she considers the best part of her education to have taken place while teaching at RISD.

Supporting the uniqueness of personal ingenuity forming architectural work, Acosta is also interested in participating in collaborative projects. As much as architecture comes from individual creativity, it is often a collective effort; in the best of situations, its beauty comes through the inclusion of humanistic values, both in its making and its offerings. Her approach to architectural practice is founded on two beliefs: joint endeavors outweigh work conceived from a single point of view, and architecture is made and then given away. No matter who sponsors it, architecture is in the world and for the world. These opportunities to make contributions are about observing, listening and doing. They are also about responding with a sense of obligation towards humanitarian concerns.

head shot of Silvia Acosta