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Elizabeth Francis: Architecture and the Environment

How does where we live affect our understanding of our environment? Elizabeth Francis, an architect keenly interested in architectural research and sustainability, takes us on a journey to explore this question. She discusses examples of integrated design from her work with the firm Mario Cucinella Architects and her current projects under atelierFrancis, which incorporate research, architecture, and art. She brings the question of environment home as she reflects on the realities of being a working woman in Italy today. Complimentary tickets available for Chicago Women in Architecture members and Columbia College faculty, students, and staff (valid ID required).

Elizabeth Francis is an architect interested in architectural research and sustainability. In 2010 she founded atelierFrancis to advance this work and collaborate with the visual arts group An Cosan Glas on environmental sculpture trails in Ireland and Italy. In 1994 she joined Mario Cucinella Architects in Paris and became a partner in 1997, co-founding MCA Italy in 1999. Prior to joining MCA, she studied and worked in France, Ireland, and the UK. She has developed a number of European Commission funded research projects under the JOULE and Altener programmes exploring the application of natural cooling techniques in buildings. From 2007 to 2010, she brought this research work to an international audience as part of the PHDC dissemination project ( She has spoken on her work at international conferences in Europe, Asia, and the USA.

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