"My other teachers were my students whom I taught to teach me." Bernard Malamud, in Reflections of a Writer: Long Work, Short Life
Rene Davids (FAIA) was educated at the Escuela de Arquitectura y Urbanismo at the Universidad de Chile. After winning the prestigious National Arts award in Santiago stored in the collection of the Museo de Bellas Artes in Santiago de Chile, Davids was awarded a fellowship by the British Council to study art and architecture at the Royal College of Art in London UK. After graduating he was invited to teach at the Royal College, UK, the Architectural Association School of Architecture, U.K and the McIntosh School of Architecture at the Glasgow School of Art, UK. Davids has also taught at the schools of architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Universidad de Chile, Universidad Católica de Chile, the Universidad Católica del Perú, University of California at San Diego, the University of Arizona, the University of New Mexico and has been an invited critic in schools around the US and the world.
René Davids, was elevated to the college of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2008 and is a Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at U.C. Berkeley’s Environmental Design’s Department of Architecture and a principal of Davids Killory Architecture. Based in Oakland, California, the firm has gained national and international recognition for innovative design projects around the country and overseas. The work has been widely published and recognized with three AIA National Honor Awards for Architecture, two Presidential Design Awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, and three Progressive Architecture Awards, among many other local, regional, national, and international awards. Daybreak Grove one of the firm’s housing projects was chosen by Time magazine as one of the 10 best architectural designs of 1993 and the Los Angeles Times called Davids Killory housing projects ‘small, cheap and brilliant.” Committed to pursuing architecture as a form of design research, Davids Killory proceeds from the belief that each project can achieve a unique design synthesis.
Davids has also developed many theoretical projects. His “Plug-in Project” for the city of Valparaiso, which he entered with one of his students, Taylor Medlin, won the first prize at Shinkeshiku-sha International Design competition in Tokyo, Japan in 2008. The work of Davids Killory Architecture has been shown in over twenty exhibitions and included in one hundred sixty books, journals and newspapers; Davids has lectured on the work of the firm at over sixty professional, academic, and arts institutions worldwide.
With Christine Killory, Professor Davids co-edited the AsBuilt series published by Princeton Architectural Press which explores interrelationships among architectural forms, materials, and technologies; three volumes have been published: AsBuilt 1: Details in Contemporary Architecture (2007), AsBuilt 2: Detail in Process (2008), and AsBuilt 3: Details Technology and Form (2012); the series was supported in part by a grant from the Graham Foundation. The City Review has qualified the books in the series as a “non-nonsense books about a lot of sensational and wonderful projects that are filled with fabulous photographs and drawings and good technical commentary."
Davids has also edited and substantially contributed to Shaping Terrain: City Building in Latin America (University Press of Florida, Spring 2016). Research for the book was supported in part by a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the Fulbright Specialist Program. The Journal of Latin American Geography in reviewing the book points out that Latin American urban aesthetic in Shaping Terrain: City Building in Latin America adapted to the contours of both natural and social landscapes in the New World sets the stage for a series of well-crafted essays, each one easily standing alone as a case study of a particular architectural form in a specific urban setting. Collectively, they remind the reader of the very premise of geographical space, of site and situation, and elaborate on topographical and human imperatives influencing the landscape”. Davids has also written articles that have appeared in Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes, The International Journal of the Constructed Environment and Places Magazine among other publications.
Professor Davids’s graduate and undergraduate studio courses and seminars feature intensively researched programs based on themes engaging the urban landscape and its infrastructure, architectural form, materials, and technology, often in international settings such as Mexico City; São Paulo, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Lima, Peru; Santiago de Chile, Seoul, Korea and Dessau and Berlin, Germany all sites that he has visited with students. Design work produced in Professor Davids’ studios and seminars have been published in books and online, and students have received many design and research awards for his course-related projects.
ARCH 100A Fundamentals of Architectural Design
ARCH 100B Fundamentals of Architectural Design
ARCH 101 Case Studies in Architecture
ARCH 109X: Architecture and Landscape Design Built (Undergraduate Seminar)
Arch 200 A (Graduate Design Studio)
ARCH 203 Integrated Studio (Graduate Studio)
ARCH 205 (ex.202A) Studio Thesis Option
ARCH 262 Seminar in Architectural InDetail (Seminar)
ARCH 204 ( ex-209C) Final Project Preparation Seminar. (Thesis prep)
ARCH 209 Landscape/Architecture/ Infrastructure/Urbanism (Seminar)
ARCH 219X Architecture and Identity: Latin America (Seminar))
ENV DES 201 Urban Design Studio (MUD Program)
ARCH 209 Relating Architecture and Landscape Architecture (Graduate Seminar)
ARCH 209 Housing as a Design Generator (Seminar)
ARCH 100 D (Undergraduate Studio)
ARCH 200 B Case Studies in Architectural Design (Graduate Studio)
ARCH 201 Architecture in an Urban Context (Graduate Studio)
ARCH 100 C (Undergraduate Studio)
ARCH 200 A Case Studies in Architectural Design (Graduate Studio)
ARCH 202( ex-Arch 201) Case Studies in Architectural Design (Graduate Studio)
- Elevated to the College of Fellows, American Institute of Architects, 2008.
- President's Award, Metal Construction Association, Metal Construction Association Annual Design Awards Program, 2004.
- Progressive Architecture Citation for Architectural Research for "The Hillside Elevators of Valparaíso, Chile," Annual National Research Awards Program, 1999.
- AIA National Honor Award for Architecture for Sunrise Place. One of 11 projects selected from over 500 entries. Jury: "A refreshing solution to the problem of providing high quality low-cost housing to low-income families. With a limited. palette of materials and a restricted site, this housing achieves impressive results," 1995.
- ACSA Design Award for Daybreak Grove, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, 1995.
- ACSA Citation for Excellence for Daybreak Grove, Association of Collegiate in Urban Design Schools of Architecture Committee for Education, 1994.
- ACSA Citation for Excellence in Urban Design for Sunrise Place, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Committee for Education, 1994.
- AIA National Honor Award for Architecture for Daybreak Grove. One of 17 projects selected from over 500 entries. Jury: "A great solution to the problem of providing high quality low-cost housing to single parents'" 1994.
- Progressive Architecture Award for Architecture for Sunrise Place. Annual National Design Awards program. One of 22 awards out of 762 entries. Jury: "This design sets up quite a rich housing situation. There is dignity to this project you don't usually find with low cost housing," 1992.
- Progressive Architecture Affordable Housing Competition Commendation for Twice House. One of 10 projects awarded from over 600 entries, 1991.
- Progressive Architecture Award for Architecture for Daybreak Grove. Annual national design awards program 16 winners out of 824 entries. Jury: "Fabulous program, very successful units, added virtue of reconstituting the urban texture," 1991.
- AIA National Honor Award for Architecture for Observatory House. One of 19 honored from over 700 entries. Jury:"A laboratory of esthetic experimentation. Exudes extraordinary power," 1990.
- Gondwana Circle International Design Competition Honorable Mention, 98 entries from Europe, Asia and the Americas. The objective of this competition was to generate a design solution to educate visitors about the historical significance of Gondwana for the evolution and current horticultural communities of the Southern Hemisphere (with Eleanor Pries), 2009.
- First Prize, Central Glass Co. Ltd./Shinkenchiku-sha Corporation International Design Competition, First out of 733 entries. Competition. judged by Toyo Ito, Riken Yamamoto, Kengo Kuma, and other distinguished Japanese architects (with Taylor Medlin), 2008.
- Merit Award Octavia Boulevard International Competition, Octavia Boulevard San Francisco International Design Competition, 167 entries from North America, Europe and Asia, 2005.
- Mención de Honor, IX Bienal Panamericana de Arquitectura de Quito, Ecuador, Sunrise Place and Daybreak Grove honored out 180 entries from 15 countries in the Americas, 1994.
- Third Prize, Mitsui Residential Design Competition, 330 entries from 23 countries, 1990.
- Third Prize, Hawaii Loa College design competition, 1986.
- Second Prize, Opera la Bastille design competition, 756 entries from 44 countries, 1983.
- Honorable Mention, Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition, 1979.