Ann Lui

Ann Lui

Boston, MA, US



Ann is a designer, writer and wonder-er. She is currently at SMArchS candidate in History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture & Art at MIT. Previously, she has worked in architectural preservation, competition design, and experimental design in 3D fabrication. She has worked as a designer on institutional projects at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill Chicago, in investigative design at Morphosis Architects, and historic renovations and additions at Ann Beha Architects.

She received a bachelor of architecture from Cornell University. Her undergraduate thesis focused on the relationship between memory and imagination in architecture by way of a design(ed) hoax. As a writer, she has contributed op-eds and news features to Architect's Newspaper, Metropolis Magazine POV, ArchNewsNow. She is a also a former editor of the Cornell Daily Sun and worked in the marketing department of W.W. Norton.

Ann's research interests include para-architectural and speculative projects, early digital drafting technics, and the role of fiction in design. Her other interests include sci-fi, zombie movies, the Turing test, and that strange amazing feeling of downtown Chicago on the front-end of winter.

Ann also collaborates with Craig Reschke at Office X.


Ann's Featured Articles on Archinect

Op-Ed: Thoughts on Naivete as Design Method or, Why Our Entry Didn’t Have a 6” Curb, Wed, Jul 24 '13

When asked about courage in architecture, Elizabeth Diller has said: "[It] comes half from being naive and also not having the cynicism to stop yourself when you have a good idea that you don't know how to work it out.” More simply: You can’t know that it can’t be done if you’re going to ...

Op-Ed: Thoughts on Naivete as Design Method or, Why Our Entry Didn’t Have a 6” Curb

UNEXPECTED COSTS ~ Big ticket design software versus alternate methodologies, Mon, Apr 15 '13

Not twenty years ago, if you wanted to start your own firm, you could do so on a Mayline drafting board in your basement. Sharpen your lead holder, unroll a length of vellum and you were ready to go. There were no promises of your skill or success but the tools were within reach. Today, my ...

UNEXPECTED COSTS ~ Big ticket design software versus alternate methodologies

Sustainability of Workers' Rights, Mon, May 23 '11

The USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system promotes sustainable construction; however, despite the system’s focus on occupant health and comfort, LEED turns a blind eye to worker safety. The building practice, by the nature of its scale, will always ...

Sustainability of Workers' Rights

The Mathematics of the Ideal Education; Debunking the DesignIntelligence Best Architecture & Design Schools Rankings, Wed, Dec 1 '10

In the beginning of the month, DesignIntelligence released its 2011 America's Best Architecture & Design Schools rankings. Cornell was ranked first again, for the sixth time in seven years. The usual hubbub ensued: critics weighed in, students and alumni tweeted and blogged away, parents and ...

The Mathematics of the Ideal Education; Debunking the DesignIntelligence Best Architecture & Design Schools Rankings


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, US, Masters, History Theory and Criticism of Architecture + Art

Sep 2012 - current

Cornell University, BArch, Architecture

Sep 2006 - May 2011


Harvard Graduate School of Design - Penny White Fund Award, Grant

Award for research: "Grafted Fields: Wrestling Dirt and Data from the Combine CommandCenter"


Chicago Burnham Prize - Next Stop! Designing Chicago's BRT Stations, Honorable Mention

For "Hurry Up! And Slow Down"


Activate Union Station - Chicago Metropolitan Council Placemaking Competition, Honorable Mention

For "I Searched High and Low for You"


Council for the Arts at MIT - Director's Grant, Grant

Funding awarded for 40 Kirkland Gallery installation of "Wall Strike" (11/2013-12/2013).


Clifton Beckwith Brown Memorial Medal, Award

For maintaining the highest cumulative average in architectural design during the entire course of studies


Charles Goodwin Sands Memorial Medal, 2nd Place

Awarded for work of exceptional merit in architectural design, painting and composition, or sculpture


Areas of Specialization 

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