Quilian Riano

Quilian Riano

Brooklyn, NY, US


CUDC Associate Director 
DSGN AGNC Founder and Principal

MArch - Harvard University | Graduate School of Design
BDes - University of Florida | School of Architecture

Quilian is an architectural and urban designer, researcher, writer, and educator committed to creating designs that support public/civic ideals. As Associate Director, Quilian provides strategy and design coordination for the CUDC’s urban design, engagement, research, publication and academic activities.

Prior to coming to the CUDC, Quilian founded DSGN AGNC, a design studio exploring political engagement through architecture, urbanism and art. Quilian's clients and partners have included the New York City Department of Transportation, The National Park Service, the Queens Museum, the Desert Botanical Garden, Youngstown State University and Richmond’s Institute of Contemporary Art. Quilian’s design work has been featured at the Venice Biennale, Queens Museum of Art, Harvard University, Parsons The New School of Design, The Storefront for Art and Architecture, The New Museum, The Austrian Cultural Forum, among others. Quilian has received fellowships from the Queens College, The Institute for Public Architecture, the J. Max Bond Jr. Center for the Just City, and the Design Trust for Public Space, among others. 

Quilian is committed to design education and research with extensive experience teaching in graduate and undergraduate design programs. For ten years Quilian was as a part-time Assistant Professor of Design Strategies at the New School of Design and has also taught architectural and urban design studios at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Columbia University, Pratt Institute, Syracuse University, Carleton University (Ottawa), Wentworth Institute of Technology, and the City College of New York. Besides these institutions, Quilian has also been a guest-reviewer at many programs including Yale University, MIT and the Rhode Island School of Design.



Quilian's Design Blog on Archinect:

Design and Agency

Thoughts on the built environment, design, agency, and activism.

Category Title

Quilian's School Blog on Archinect:

Harvard University - GSD (Quilian)

Category Title

Quilian's Featured Articles on Archinect

Gaming the System: role-playing spatial and political change, Thu, Sep 1 '16

"[The] sovereign art, of course, will be the one whose laws rule over the relations among men in their totality. That is, Politics.Nothing is alien to Politics, because nothing is alien to the superior art that rules the relations among men.Medicine, war, architecture, etc. – minor and ...

Gaming the System: role-playing spatial and political change

UpStarts: WORKac, Tue, Sep 18 '07

The one thing you will not find in school--or even on Architecture Registration Exams--is a course on how to get work, yet it is one of the most basic needs of any design practice. In fact, if you don't have an equal ability to experiment in getting work as you do in doing work you would be ...

UpStarts: WORKac


Kent State University Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, Cleveland, OH, US, Associate Director

Aug 2019 - current

Kent State University, Cleveland, OH, US, Faculty, Graduate Architecture and Urban Design Studios

Aug 2019 - current

DSGN AGNC, DSGN AGNC Founder and Principal

Jan 2009 - current

Columbia University, New York, NY, US, Adjunct Assistant Professor (Urban Design)

May 2019 - Aug 2019

The New School, New York, NY, US, Part-Time Assistant Professor

Jan 2009 - Aug 2019

NYC Department of Design and Construction, Senior Strategic Design Initiatives Specialist (Strategy/Urban Design and Project Management)

Aug 2017 - May 2019

City College of New York (CCNY), New York, NY, US, Lecturer - Urban Design Studio

Jan 2010 - May 2016

Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA, US, Adjunct Professor

Jan 2010 - Aug 2010

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, US, Design Studio Instructor || Researcher

May 2004 - Apr 2010


Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, US, MArch, Architecture

Aug 2006 - May 2009

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, US, Bachelors, Architectural Design

May 2001 - Apr 2004


Venice Biennale Exhibitor and Featured Project, Other

Featured Project:


Areas of Specialization