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Materials for Design Blog

Victoria Ballard Bell is a licensed architect and has two masters’ degrees from the University of Virginia in architecture and urban planning. Upon graduation, she was awarded the Alpha Rho Chi medal which recognizes “leadership, scholarship, and service in students.”  She was awarded the three-year Frederick P. Rose Architectural Fellowship and chose to work with Design Corps, a non-profit architecture firm. This Fellowship provided the framework for Victoria to design, fundraise and have built a job-training center in one of the poorest communities in our nation, in rural Alabama.

Prior to her Rose Fellowship she worked for Steven Holl, Kenneth Hobgood and William Sherman.  In 2007 she formed Ballard Bell Architecture.  She has also taught community-based design and planning studios at the North Carolina State University College of Design.  She has presented her work at the national conference of the American Institute of Architects, at the Structures for Inclusion conference and for the NC State College of Design’s Lectures Series.

Victoria is the author of Materials for Design, Volume 1, a book published by Princeton Architectural Press with J. Patrick Rand about the integral use of materials in the design process.  Aimed at young designers this publication presents a supplemental sourcebook to the standard methods of teaching Materials and Methods.  Contributors include over fifty international architects including, ARO, Felipe Assai, Thomas Leaser, Shushed Endo, and O’Connor + Hole Architects.  To support this publication, she has been awarded a fellowship through the AIA/AAF and a grant from the Graham Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts.

The second volume of Materials for Design, co-written and edited by Victoria Ballard Bell and Pat Rand, was again published by Princeton Architectural Press.  With the first volume selling over 60,000 copies, with helpful reviews: “There is no other book on the market that tackles material details so thoroughly while presenting lush, inspired color photographs…”, the hope is that “MFD-2” will continue to inspire.