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Felecia Davis Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Photo of Felecia Davis
Department of Architecture
418 Stuckeman

Felecia Davis is an assistant professor at the Stuckeman Center for Design and Computation within the Stuckeman School and is the director of SOFTLAB. She has lectured, taught workshops, published, and exhibited her work in textiles, computation, and architecture internationally, including the Swedish School of Textiles, Microsoft Research, and the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.).

Davis has taught architectural design for more than 10 years at Cornell University, and design studios most recently at Princeton University, and the Cooper Union in New York.

She is principal in her own design firm, FELECIADAVISTUDIO. She has received several finalist awards for her architectural designs in open and invited design competitions such as the California Valley Central History Museum, the Queens Museum of Art Addition and the Pittsburgh Charm Bracelet Neighborhood Revitalization Competition, and the Little Haiti Housing Association in Miami.

Davis earned a Ph.D. from the Design and Computation Group in the School of Architecture and Planning at M.I.T. She received her M.Arch from Princeton University, and her B.S. in Engineering from Tufts University. While at M.I.T., she worked on a dissertation that develops computational textiles or textiles that respond to commands through computer programming, electronics, and sensors for use in architecture. These responsive textiles used in lightweight shelters will transform how we communicate, socialize, and use space.


  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ph.D.  Design and  Computation, 2017
  • Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, Master of Architecture 1993
  • Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, Bachelor of Science in Engineering December 1982

Courses Taught

ARCH 231 Architectural Design I

ARCH 232 Architectural Design II

ARCH 497/LARCH 497 Special Topics; Inquiry into Design and Computation

ARCH 497 Special Topics: Responsive Architectural Fiber Composites

ARCH 498 Special Topics: Softbuilt: Crafting Technology with Textiles

ARCH 531  Architectural Design I

ARCH 536 Design Computing Guided Research

ARCH 600 Thesis [M.S./PhD]



Davis is a designer and scholar who completed her Ph.D. in the Design and Computation Group at M.I.T. in the School of Architecture and Planning. She is interested in developing lightweight textile structures including structures and objects made with computational textiles which are textiles that can sense and respond to events in the environment. As a liminal space between the body and environment textiles have always been places of exchange and communication of information between people their communities and other societies. Every culture on the planet has its ways of producing, using, and communicating through its fabrics. Today the inclusion and intertwining of electronic and other kinds of fibers into textiles transform what is possible with these fabrics and now allow us to compute through our clothing, furnishings, and our buildings.  

Honors + Awards

  • Agnes Scollins Carey Memorial Early Career Professorship in the Arts 2018-2021 for "Knitted Light: Construction of a 1:1Demonstration Prototype for a Solar Fiber Tension Shade Structure Using Fiber Optic Strands and Potentials for Fiber Optic Strands in Knitted Textiles". 
  • Stuckeman Faculty Career Incentive Grant 2018 for  the book Softbuilt: Computational Textile Architectures.
  • Best Paper Award for "Touch:Communication of Emotion Through Computational Textile Expression". 6th International Conference on Distributed, Ambient, and Pervasive Interactions. Human and Computing Interactions International Conference, July 2018.
  • Stuckeman Family Faculty Career Advancement Incentive Award for Softbuilt: Computational Textile Architectures, book forthcoming from Actar-Press 2019.
  • H. Campbell and Eleanor Stuckeman Fund for Collaborative Research for "Woven Light: Manufacture of a Solar Fiber Tension Structure Shade Prototype Using Fiber Optic Strands". Interdisciplinary Research with Department of Architecture, Department of Landscape Architecture, the Department of Architectural Engineering, the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. The Pennsylvania State University, Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. 2017-2018.
  • The Raymond A. Bowers Program for Excellence in Design and Construction in the Built Environment, for "Woven Light: Design of a Solar Fiber Tension Structure Shade Prototype using Fiber Optic Strands". Interdisciplinary Research with Department of Architecture, Department of Landscape Architecture and the Department of Architectural Engineering. The Pennsylvania State University College of Engineering. 2018-2017.
  • Innovation Grant 2016, College of Arts and Architecture for "Couture Computing: Wearable Computing" to develop a new Stuckeman Center for Design Computing course for graduate students offered spring 2018.
  • College of Arts and Architecture Individual Faculty Grant for "Wearable Water Filters". The Pennsylvania State University College of Arts and Architecture. 2015-2016.
  • Schlossman Research Award and Fellow, M.I.T. School of Architecture Planning [2013] For FELT: The Textility of Communicating Emotion.
  • Harold Horowitz Research Award, M.I.T. School of Architecture and Planning and the Media Lab [2012] For Patterning with Heat: Responsive Tension Structures.
  • Rosalia Ennis Research Award for African American Women, M.I.T. School of Architecture and Planning [2011] For Patterning with Heat: Responsive Tension Structures.
  • Best Paper of Conference, for “Sensing Touch Curtain: Soft Architecture”, Iberoamerican Society of Digital Graphics (Sigradi) 2011, Augmented CultureSanta Fe Argentina, November 2011.
  • M.I.T. Graduate Student Council Travel Award, University Wide Award [2011]
  • M.I.T. Presidential Fellow, University Wide Award [2009]

Exhibitions + Presentations

  • Made Sense: Matters of Art and Design Education: TOUCH panel presenter, Chaired by Yasmine Abbas and Aaron Knochel, April 2019.
  • Wearing the Future: Imagining the Possibilities, Workshop on  sensors and wearables for health and wellness  at the Penn State Hershey College of Medicine Co_chair with Dr. Rebecca Bascom M.D., March, 2019.
  • "Softbuilt: Networked Architectural Textiles", Public Lecture, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Sept. 2018.  Podcast GSAPP Conversations #52 with Alexander Odom. 
  • "Touch: Communication of Emotion through Computational Textile Expression", Presentation at the Human Computer Interaction International 2018, Distributed, Ambient and Pervasive Interactions, Emotion and Ambient Computing, Las Vegas, ">https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-91131-1_23.
  • "Positioning Materials:  Leggings for Physical Activity Classification", Presentation at the WEAR NYC 2018 conference The Thread that Ties Us Together. Innovation Track, Material and Design Innovations. June, 2018. 
  • "Softbuilt: Networked Architectural Textiles", Presentation at the ArcInTex Body and Space:  Cross Disciplinary Dialogues at the Swedish School of Textiles, April 2017.
  • Quantified Walk: Knitted Prototype for Gait Monitoring",  Presentation for the Center for Research on Advance Fiber Technologies at the Programmable and Wearable Molecular Composites Symposium, The Pennsylvania State University, March 2017.
  • "FELT: Emotion, Space and Communication", Presentation at the Between Data and Senses: Architecture, Neuroscience and the Digital Worlds, University of East London and Arup Global Research, London, March, 2017.
  • "Quantified Walk: Knitted Prototype for Gait Monitoring",  Presentation at the Material Research Institute Millenium Cafe, February, 2017.
  • "FELT: Emotion, Space and Communication" Exhibition in the Faculty Arts Research Space, Pennsylvania State University, College of Arts and Architecture December, 2016
  • "Quantified Walk: Knitted Prototype for Gait Monitoring", Center for Health Organization Transformation Symposium, at The Pennsylvania State University, September 2016.
  • "Responsive Textile Panels"", Exhibition in the first Stuckeman Center for Design Computing Open House and Symposium Design + Computing, The Pennsylvania State University, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, April 2016.
  • "Please Touch Gently", Exhibition in the first Stuckeman Center for Design Computing Open House and Symposium, The Pennsylvania State University, Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, April 2015.
  • "Patterning by Heat: Responsive Textile Tension Structures", November 2012 Keller Gallery, M.I.T. School of Architecture and Planning
  • "The Textile Mirror: The Geometry of Emotion", video shown by the Design and Computation Group at theAdvances in Architectural Geometry, Centre Pompidou, Paris, September 2012.
  • "Liquid Wall"", Installation at Haefele Showroom for the International Furniture Fair New York, sponsored by The Architect’s Newspaper, Haefele and Raydoor, Spring 2008.
  • "Urban Feedback Loop, the Rectangle, Urban Plan" Curated Installations for the North-side of Pittsburgh, Exhibited at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Spring 2007.
  • "shotguns", video drawing exhibited in the Drawn In Exhibition, at August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Spring 2007.
  • "Walking Tours: Urban Riffs" Exhibition in the harlemworld: Metropolis as Metaphor show at the Studio Museum in Harlem, January–April 2004.
  • ", Installation at Project Rowhouses Shotguns Exhibition, Curated by David Brown and William D. Williams, Houston, Texas, 2001-02.

Selected Workshops and Lectures

  • “Soft Architectures: Computational Textiles and Augmented Space” Invited to present to Gediminas Urbonas’ course in M.I.T. Art Culture and Technology Program, April 2013.
  • “3D printed Textiles” Workshop for Leah Buechley’s New Textiles Course, MIT Media Lab, April 2012, Workshop Lead, Felecia Davis.
  • “Form Active Structures and Digital Translations” Workshop at the Swedish School of Textiles March 2012, Workshop Lead, Felecia Davis.
  • “Soft Architectures”, Lecture at the Swedish School of Textiles in Boras Designer Seminar Series March, 2012.


Books/Book Chapters

  • Book, Softbuilt: Computational Textile Architectures, Actar-D Press, forthcoming 2019.
  • Chapter, "FELT:  Emotion, Space and Communication."In Data, Architecture and the Experience of Place, Ed. Anastasia Karandinou, Routledge-Taylor Press, forthcoming 2019. 
  • Chapter, “FELT:  Communicating Emotion Through a Shape Changing Textile Wall Panel” in Textiles for Advanced Applications ed. Bipin Kumar, Intech Publishers, Croatia, fall 2017.
  • Chapter, "Knitted Heat-Active Textiles: Pixelated Reveal and the Radiant Daisy" in Acive Matter, ed. Skylar Tibbits, M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, MA, fall 2017.
  • Book Editor with Jose Duarte, Design + Computing,  Stuckeman Center for Design Computing, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Pennsylvania State  University, fall 2017.
  • Dissertation, Softbuilt:  Computational Textiles and Augmenting Space Through Emotion, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2017.
  • Chapter co-Author with Mabel Wilson and Yolande Daniels, “Inside and Out: Three Black Women's Perspectives on Architectural Education in the Ivory Tower” in Space Unveiled: Invisible Cultures in the Design Studio ed. Carla Bell, Routledge Press 2014.
  • Patterning by Heat:  Responsive Textile Structures, Catalogue SA+P Press, Cambridge, Mass. 2013.
  • “One Week, Eight Hours” in The Green Tripod:  Ecology, Economy and Social Equity in Service of Sustainable Design ed. Kim Tanzer and Rafael Longoria, Routledge Press Spring 2007
  • Chapter “One Week, Eight Hours” in Row:  Trajectories Through The Shotgun Rowhouse ed. David P. Brown and William D. Williams by Rice University School of Architecture Press, Houston Texas 2004.      
  • “Walking Tours: Urban Riff” in harlemworld:  Metropolis as Metaphor The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York 2004.
  • Chapter “Places of Memory:  Walking Tours of Manhattan” in Sites of Memory: Perspectives on Architecture and Race ed. Craig E. Barton by Princeton Architectural Press 2001.
  • Chapter “(un)Covering/ (re)Covering” in White Papers, Black Marks ed. Lesley Naa Norel Lokko by Athlone Press, London 2000.

Key Publications

CV + Files + Links