Kayla Friedman

Kayla Friedman

Cambridge, GB



Kayla is a licensed New York State Architect.  She has an MArch and MUD (both with honors) from Washington University in St. Louis and her BSc Architecture from the University of Virginia. She obtained her PhD at the University of Cambridge, Centre for Sustainable Development, funded by the EPSRC and Grosvenor through the Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment Research Programme.

Kayla worked in the USA for a few years between undergraduate and graduate school.  After completing her graduate studies, she moved to London in 2003 and took a job with Levitt Bernstein Associates as an Urban Designer working primarily on social housing regeneration projects in London and the wider United Kingdom. She experienced first hand how the changing environmental policy landscape was continuously influencing the development of the built environment and became very interested in developing integrated environmental design solutions at the community and neighborhood scales.

Kayla has a keen interest in teaching, and since coming to Cambridge has taught academic writing and research methods to IDBE, CEM, and CISL students as well as to undergraduate STEM students at her college.  She has also supervised undergraduate architecture students and land economy students. In the past, she has been a guest lecturer, critic, and tutor on the MSc Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies and the MA Architecture: Sustainability and Design both at the University of East London, and was a teaching assistant for a number of architecture courses during her studies at Washington University.

She was the Deputy Director of the Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment (IDBE) Master's Course at the University of Cambridge.  Currently she is a program manager with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), where she continues to bridge the gap between academia and industry through research, teaching and practice.


University of Cambridge, Cambridge, GB, Course Director - MSt Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Enviroment

CISL's mission is to empower individuals and organisations to take leadership to tackle critical global challenges. Across complex and connected issues, we challenge, inform and support leaders from business and policy to deliver change towards sustainability. We help influential individuals, major organisations and whole sectors develop strategies that reconcile profitability and sustainability and to work collaboratively with their peers not only to develop solutions to shared challenges but also to catalyze real systems change.

Our graduate study courses are widely regarded as some of the best internationally. Individuals enhance their ability to lead and influence change for sustainability, whilst also gaining an academic award. With access to cutting-edge interdisciplinary thinking on sustainability from leading Cambridge academics and other global thought-leaders, the aim is to build the capacity of professionals to bring about positive change for sustainability within their organizations.

Jan 2015 - current

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, GB, Deputy Director IDBE

The IDBE is an established and highly successful part-time master's degree for professionals working in the built environment, offered jointly by the Departments of Engineering and Architecture at the University of Cambridge. Each year we select students from widely differing disciplines, from across the world and from very varied backgrounds, bringing them together in Cambridge to explore the pressing challenges of our time and of the future. For more information, see

Mar 2014 - Dec 2014

Levitt Bernstein, London, GB, Urban Designer

May 2003 - Dec 2009


University of Cambridge, Cambridge, GB, PhD, Sustainable Development

'Examining English planning as a barrier to the thermal improvement of conservation properties'

Jan 2010 - Nov 2015

Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis, MO, US, MArch, Architecture

Aug 2000 - Dec 2002

Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis, MO, US, Urban Design

Aug 2000 - Dec 2002

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, US, Bachelors, Architecture

Aug 1992 - May 1996

Areas of Specialization