Danielle Rivera

Danielle Rivera

Ann Arbor, MI, US



_all work_ Currently a Doctoral Student in Planning at the University of Michigan, Danielle is an academic at heart. Trained as an architect with extensive experience in interior architecture, her research interests also include urban design and planning, seeking to bridge these myriad scales of design. Her recent work with the Design Response Team at PSU studies issues surrounding design interventions in humanitarian aid situations. Her personal research has received numerous accolades and focuses on dynamic landscapes and its subsequent effects on architecture. This work had taken her from The Netherlands to Venice to Bangladesh. 
_some play_ Currently, Danielle is organizing her thoughts in a little magazine called Petite Revue , which she hopes to launch this summer. Other interests include watercolor painting, hiking, endless shots of coffee, and taking care of her Red Rex rabbit Mr.B.


University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, US, Graduate Student Research Assistant and Instructor (GSRA and GSI)

Aug 2012 - current

The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), Instructor and Researcher

Taught PSUs first-year studios and aided two urban design research teams.

Aug 2011 - Jun 2012

The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), Research and Teaching Assistant

Engaged in two separate research projects and assisting in PSUs third-year studio. The first research project is studying disease dynamics along the Rio Grande in Texas. The second project is in its third phase, which consists of manuscript and grant writing

May 2010 - Jul 2011

University of Pennsylvania, Laser Cutter Operator

Aided in the maintenance and operation of the Fabrication Lab's three Universal laser cutters

Aug 2009 - May 2010

The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), Lead Research Assistant

Created GIS-based maps and diagrams while coordinating the work of all the research assistants for the PSU Hamer Center and Pottstown Health and Wellness Center

May 2008 - Aug 2009

Studio Morpheus, Architectural Intern

Introduced CAD to the studio’s workflow increasing the construction drawing output; continuously promoted, culminating in the coordination and design of whole projects

May 2004 - Jan 2009

2007 PSU Solar Decathlon, Core Team Leader - Architecture

Lead a team of 15 architecture students through the conceptual design phrase of a solar home while coordinating with groups of engineering and landscape architecture students

Jan 2006 - Jan 2007


University of Michigan, PhD, Urban Planning

Jun 2012 - current

University of Pennsylvania, MArch, Post-Professional Architecture

Aug 2009 - May 2010
Aug 2004 - May 2009


ACSA - I Am a Second Responder, 1st Place

For the project "Global Forces + Local Factors: Design Responses to Policy Failure" with the Design Response team at PSU


Paul Kossman Award, 1st Place

Awarded to the top design thesis at Penn State by an external jury


Departmental Five-Year Design Merit Excellence Award, Award

Awarded to the graduating senior with the highest overall architectural studio GPA


Discovery Summer Grant, Grant

The purpose of these grants is to promote faculty/undergraduate collaboration as students engage in original research, scholarship, and creative work during the summer under the direct supervision of a faculty member.


Charles Thorp Award, 1st Place

For urban design plan with Landscape Architecture student Reid Fellenbaum


PCMA (now the NCMA) Award, 1st Place

Chosen as the best project using concrete masonry out of over 60 projects


Areas of Specialization 


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