MICHAEL DENNIS, Principal-in-Charge

Michael Dennis has been both an academic and a practicing professional for over forty years. He is an authority on urban design and the development and form of the American campus. The firm's work has been directly influenced by his extensive experience in teaching and research. This interrelationship between theory and practice informs the firm's process, approach, and beliefs.

Michael has been in private practice in Boston since 1981, and prior to that in Ithaca, New York since 1970. Since 1992 he has been Professor of Architecture at MIT, where he teaches Urban Design and Theory and is the Director of the post-professional program in Architecture and Urbanism. He has previously taught at Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Kentucky, Princeton, and Rice University. He was the 1986 Thomas Jefferson Professor of Architecture at the University of Virginia, the 1988 Eero Saarinen Professor of Architecture at Yale University, and the 2006 Charles Moore Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan.

Michael has lectured widely, and is the author of Court and Garden: From the French Hôtel to the City of Modern Architecture (MIT Press, 1986), a study of the evolution of the modern conception of space, exemplified by the parallel transformations of the French urban residential building type and of French urban design strategies, as the pre-modern predominance of the public realm was supplanted by the modern predominance of the private realm. Michael is currently working on another publication, Temples and Towns: A Study of the Form, Elements, and Principles of Planned Towns, expected to be released in 2015. In 2011 Michael was awarded the prestigious CNU Athena Medal for his contributions to urbanism.

ERIK THORKILDSEN, Design Principal

Erik Thorkildsen is Design Principal at Michael Dennis & Associates, responsible for the design of the firm's buildings and master plans. His work focuses on the making of place and the definition of public space by bringing together architecture, landscape, and urban design. He has worked with Michael Dennis since 1984 and has extensive experience in all phases of the design and construction process.

In 1999, Erik received the prestigious Gabriel Prize, a traveling research grant awarded by the Western European Architectural Foundation. The prize provided the opportunity to study a series of French châteaux and hôtels. He documented and analyzed their composite spatial organization and their role in mediating between their urban contexts, their formal gardens, and the surrounding landscape.

Erik is active in local and national environmental and climate awareness organizations. Since 1998 he has been Chief Architect for the American Excavations at Morgantina, collaborating with the excavation's archaeologists on the documentation and study of Morgantina, an ancient Greek city in central Sicily.

CHRISTIE MONROE, Associate Principal

Christie Monroe is an Associate Principal with Michael Dennis & Associates, directing production and communications for the office. In her 15 years with the firm she has overseen design and construction for a number of higher education buildings, serving as Project Manager for the Newman Alumni Center at the University of Miami and the Kenan Music Building at the University of North Carolina.

Christie also contributes to the firm's campus planning initiatives, and worked extensively on recent master plans for Texas A&M University, Middlebury College, and four campuses for the University of Texas System. She frequently serves as Project Manager for the firm's planning projects, coordinating consultant input, illustrating design alternatives and preferred schemes, and orchestrating the design and development of final documentation.

Christie also directs marketing, graphics, and communications for Michael Dennis & Associates. She presented her work for the firm's award-winning campus plans in her 2012 lecture Drawing Data at the Wuhan University Urban Design Forum in Wuhan, China and at the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou.