Cara Armstrong


Cara Armstrong, Norwich University's Director of School of Architecture + Art, is an educator, writer, and illustrator who was educated as an architect.

Tainted at birth by dint of her parents’ professions in architecture and education, Armstrong received bachelor’s degrees in environmental design and philosophy (both cum laude) from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a master’s degree in architecture from Columbia University. She was awarded two fellowships for study in England and Canada.

Armstrong was a project director at the Urban Design Center in Kent, Ohio, 1994-95, and an intern architect at Myers Associates, Architects, Medina, Ohio, before taking a post in 1995 as historic preservation planner with the city of Key West (Fla.) planning department. She was named President of Gecko Roamin’ Inc., a gallery in Key West that featured her art-to-wear designs and the work of other local artists in 1997. In 2002, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy named her curator of buildings and collections at Fallingwater. She was Fallingwater’s curator of education from 2006 through June 2010. She also has an MFA in poetry from Drew University.

Norwich University's Casa 802 and other Design/Build Projects
3:30 PM Design/Build Stage

Lighter, Faster, Smarter: Lessons learned and the ongoing work of the design build studios at Norwich

One of the oldest universities in the United States and a pioneer of experiential learning, Norwich University has a long history of design build within its architecture and engineering programs.  Following the aftermath of hurricane Irene the students and faculty have been working to develop innovative, affordable, and efficient home designs for Vermont.  Since 2015 we have been evolving design solutions for tiny homes, trying to maximize usable space, occupancy per square-foot, transportability, weight, and cost.  This presentation provides a short overview of our design build history followed by a more detailed discussion of our tiny house designs, our work with community partners, and our ongoing optimization efforts.

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Norwich University