David Isern

David Isern

Lubbock, TX, US



David J. Isern, ARdP, Assoc. AIA, APA, NOMA is a Peruvian architect, multidisciplinary designer, educator, and founder of David J. Isern Studio. 

Currently, David is at the University of Cambridge researching the ollas and comedores populares (collective pots and kitchens) in the barriadas of Lima. This research engages with informal urban territories and their transversality with food, heritage, and place to understand and address how harvesting, eating, and cooking shape our built environment and cultural realities. He has also looked at the ontology and epistemology of urbanism and its analogous relations to peoples’ cultural practices in Asia, Latin America, and Europe.

In his studio, David operates in the multi-scalar design spectrum, under the notions of looking at space as the driving force. He approaches design in a multidisciplinary process looking to engage with practices and theories that are not typical of design but can create new possibilities. David works on architecture competitions, design-build projects, speculative designs, exhibitions, publications, and a range of outreach projects. He has worked with clients and collaborators in the U.S. and abroad.

His research and practice are rooted in bringing a diversity of voices into the work, creating a welcoming and responsive space for the people he is working with. Diversity, equity, and inclusivity are at the core of who he is and his practice, pushing to generate more openness in the architecture community.

David was selected to be part of the Forbes Communications Council in 2018, receiving the Under 30 recognition. For his teaching and dedication to the academe, he was awarded the Kleinschmidt Award in 2019, and in 2018 he received the Dr. Jones Excellence in Teaching Award and Global Vision Award for his leadership and contributions to higher education.

David is finishing his Master of Philosophy in Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge. He holds a Professional Masters in Architecture with a concentration in Urban Community Design and a Master of Business Administration with a focus on information systems and social networking in urban development. David also studied Digital Business Strategy at MIT Sloan School of Management. David received the AIA Henry Adams Medal in 2015 and the Tau Sigma Delta Bronze Medal Award in 2014 for his exemplary work during his graduate studies.

David is also currently an instructor at the Architecture is Free Foundation, working with students worldwide. David served as the Director of Communications, Marketing, and Outreach and Architecture Design Faculty at Texas Tech University, College of Architecture (TTU CoA) for over six years. Professionally, David worked as a director at Architexas (Dallas, Austin, San Antonio), as a designer at SOM (NYC), and lead designer at Lorinza General Arquitectos (Peru). David is a member of the Colegio de Arquitectos del Perú, an Associate Member of the American Institute of Architects, and a Member of the American Planning Association.



Architecture is Free Foundation, Westport, CT, US, Instructor

Mar 2021 - current

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, Researcher

Sep 2020 - current

David J. Isern Studio, Lima, PE, Director

Jun 2017 - current

Architexas, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, TX, US, Director of Marketing & Business Development - Pro Tempore

Jan 2020 - Aug 2020

Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, US, Director of Communications and Outreach - Visiting Assistant Professor

Jun 2015 - Jan 2020

Lorinsa Contratistas Generales S.R.L., Iquitos, PE, Associate Designer

Dec 2012 - Sep 2014

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), New York, NY, US, Designer

Jun 2012 - Dec 2012

Grounding Design (formerly Haecceitass Studio), Cambridge, MA, US, Design Research Assistant

Jan 2012 - Dec 2012


Kleinschmidt Award, Award

Established in 2000, Kleinschmidt Award recognizes any individual, firm or organization whose contributions or service have enriched the Texas Tech University and the College of Architecture. The award is named after the first leader of the Texas Tech Architecture Program, Professor Florian A. Kleinschmidt.


AIA Henry Adams Medal, Award

Awarded to the highest students who demonstrate excellence in architecture.


Tau Sigma Delta Bronze Medal, Award

The Bronze Medal is awarded by the individual chapters of Tau Sigma Delta to students who have distinguished themselves in design in the field of architecture, landscape architecture, or the allied arts.


Areas of Specialization