Associate Professor

Fernando Luiz Lara is a Brazilian architect with degrees from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (BArch, 1993) and the University of Michigan (PhD, 2001). Prof. Lara's interests revolve around Latin American 20th century architecture with emphasis on the dissemination of its values beyond the traditional disciplinary boundaries. His PhD dissertation on this topic was expanded into a book: The Rise of Popular Modernist Architecture in Brazil, published in 2008 by the University Press of Florida. In his several articles Prof. Lara has discussed the modern and the contemporary Brazilian architecture, its meaning, context and social-economic insertion. His latest publications look at the modernist vocabulary and spatiality being appropriated by the humblest favela dwellers.

A member of the Brazilian Institute of Architects and the Brazilian DOCOMOMO, Lara has also been active in his native country as a critic, researcher and educator. A licensed architect in Brazil, Lara has designed many structures, alone or in partnership with others. His current interest in the favelas has turned into opportunities to engage with public policy at the municipal level as well as collaborations with local firms designing public spaces in informal settlements. In 2005 he founded Studio Toró, a non-profit devoted to the challenges of water conservation and urban flooding in Latin America.

At the University of Texas at Austin Fernando Lara teaches seminars on 20th century Latin American architecture and urbanism, as well as studios related to the continent's current urban challenges.


  • BArch Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, 1993
  • MSc Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, 1996
  • PhD University of Michigan, 2001



Modern Architecture in Latin America: Art, Technology and Utopia, (with Luis Carranza) Austin: University of Texas Press, 2015.
Latitudes II (with Kevin Alter), Austin: Center for American Architecture and Design vol. 20, 2014.
Informal Texas Studio, Austin: Studio Toró, 2011. Compilation of the work students produced in the Architecture Studio class taught in 2010.

The Rise of Popular Modernist Architecture in Brazil, Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2008.

Global Apartments: studies in housing homogeneity, Ann Arbor: Global Apartments Research Group, 2009.

Favela Studio: investigations of informality, Ann Arbor, Studio Toró, 2010.
Projetar: desafios e conquistas da pesquisa e do ensino de projeto. (edited with Sonia Marques) Rio de Janeiro: EVC, 2003, 175pp.



“Cidades na Era Lula, o lento abandono dos processos participativos”, Revista do IEB - Instituto de Estudos Brasileiros, São Paulo, n. 58, p. 218-235, jun. 2014.
“Plano de aula: David Barragán e os workshops em bairros carentes”, Revista AU Arquitetura e Urbanismo, São Paulo: v.248, November 2014, pp.102-104.
“Uma Copa Mal Desenhada”, Revista AU Arquitetura e Urbanismo, São Paulo: v.243, June 2014, pp.98.
“Cátedra Rois”, Revista AU Arquitetura e Urbanismo, São Paulo: v.239, January 2014, pp.165-167.
“Empieza el Mundial: la escuela de la improvisación”, Revista Perspectiva, Colombia, June of 2014
Fernando Lara interviewed at Buzos, Mexico, June 2014
“Brazil and the USA, getting closer in all dimensions”, Portal 9, 2014, Austin: LLILAS.
“Who benefits from mega-events like the World Cup?” OpEd piece at the Austin American Statesman, June 17th, 2014
“Don’t wait for Mega Events to build public projects”, OpEd piece at Houston Chronicle, June 10th, 2014,


“Favela upgrade in Brazil: a reverse of participatory processes”, Journal of Urban Design, 18:4, September 2013, pp. 553-564.
“Circuito das Américas”, Revista AU Arquitetura e Urbanismo, São Paulo: v.237, November 2013, pp.16-21.
“Gritando por urbanismo”, Revista AU Arquitetura e Urbanismo, São Paulo: v.233, August 2013, pp.50-53.
“Cartografias Imprecisas”, Revista Bamboo, São Paulo, March 2013, pp. 56-57.


“Reinterpreting Traditions: Vernacular Architecture in Latin American Cities” (with Diana Maldonado), Traditional Dwellings and Settlement Review, vol. 24, n.1, Fall 2012, p. 54-55.
“Imprecise Cartographies. Mapping contemporary architecture in the Americas”. Arquitextos, São Paulo, 13.149, sep 2012

“Made in China”, Revista AU Arquitetura e Urbanismo, São Paulo: v.217, April 2012, pp.70-73.
“Casa MM- Felipe Mesa” e “Casa Santa Elena- Antonio Sofan” Revista AU Arquitetura e Urbanismo, São Paulo: v.216, March 2012, pp.21-32.
“O paradigma do Asfalto”, Revista Forum: um outro mundo em debate, no. 106, January 2012, pp. 42-44.


 “Incomplete Utopias: imbedded inequalities in Brazilian modern architecture”, Architectural Review Quarterly, vol 15 n. 2, August 2011, pp. 131-138.
 “New (sub)Urbanism, Old Inequalities: the growth of gated communities in Brazil”, Journal of Urban Design, 16/3, 2011, pp. 369-380.
“Casa Cien by Pezo Von Ellrichshausen” Revista AU Arquitetura e Urbanismo, São Paulo: v.207, June 2011, pp.28-35.


  • LARA, Fernando. “Beyond Curitiba: The Rise of a Participatory Model for Urban Intervention in Brazil”, Urban Design International, Vol 2/15, Summer 2010, pp. 119-128.
  • LARA, Fernando. “Eolo Maia’s hybrid architecture: the crossroads of information”, AXIS Journal of the Caribbean School of Architecture, no.10, 2010, pp. 12-21.
  • LARA, Fernando + KIM, Youngchul. “Built Global, Lived Local: a study of how two diametrically opposed cultures reacted to similar modern housing solutions”, Journal of Architecture and Planning Research, vol 27 n. 2, summer 2010, pp 91-106.
  • LARA, Fernando. “Quae Sera Tamen,” Spanish version, 30-60 Cuaderno Latinoamericano de Arquitectura, Córdoba (Argentina): I+P editorial: February 2011, pp. 14-29.
  • LARA, Fernando. “Quae Será Tamen,” Revista AU Arquitetura e Urbanismo, São Paulo, v.200, November 2010, pp. 66-69.


  • LARA, Fernando “The form of the informal, investigating Brazilian self-built housing solutions” in: Rethinking the Informal Cities: Critical Perspectives from Latin America, edited by Felipe Hernandez, Oxford & New York: Berghahn Books, 2009.
  • LARA, Fernando. “Modernism Made Vernacular: the Brazilian Case”, Journal of Architectural Education, v. 63/1, Fall 2009, pp. 41-50.
  • LARA, Fernando. “Brazilian Modern Architecture:1950s - 1960s”, KIA – Journal of the Korean Institute of Architects, 7/8 2009, pp. 46-49.
  • LARA, Fernando. “Brazilian Modern Architecture – 1930-1945”, KIA – Journal of the Korean Institute of Architects, 5/6 2009, pp. 48-51.
  • LARA, Fernando. “Minas Gerais and the Brazilian Newest Architecture”, KIA – Journal of the Korean Institute of Architects, 3/4 2009, pp. 38-43.
  • LARA, Fernando. “A urgência da sustentabilidade como janela de oportunidade para a arquitetura”. Revista AU Arquitetura e Urbanismo, São Paulo: v.178, February 2009.


  • LARA, Fernando.  “Explicit ruins: architecture is more visible when it fails”, in: What is a City? Rethinking the Urban After Hurricane Katrina, edited by Phil Steinberg and Rob Shields, University of Georgia Press, 2008, pp. 57-60.
  • LARA, Fernando. “Mexican Modernity by Ruben Gallo”, book review in Technology and Culture, vol 49, April 2008, pp. 39-40.


  • LARA, Fernando.  “Filming Under Niemeyer’s shadows”, review of Oscar Niemeyer, un architecte engage dans le siècle, DVD directed by Marc-Henri Wajnberg, 2003, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, vol 66 . 4, pp. 551-553, December 2007.
  • LARA, Fernando. “Towards a design doctorate in Brazil: resistances and opportunities”, in Unthinkable Doctorate, edited by. M. Belderbos & J. Verbeke, Bruxelles: Hogeschool voor Wetenschap & Kunst, 2007, pp.209-214.
  • LARA, Fernando. “Ars longa vita brevis”, book review of Luiz Amorim’s Obituário Arquitetônico: Pernambuco Modernista, in Resenhas Online, November 2007.
  • LARA, Fernando + NAIR, Stella, “The Brazilianization of Brasília”, Journal of the International Institute, Winter 2007, vol 14, n. 2, p.10.


  • LARA, Fernando. “Design dissemination: evidence from 1950s Brazil”, The Journal of Architecture, vol. 11, n. 2, pp. 241-255, 2006.
  • LARA, Fernando. “Brazilian Popular Modernism: analyzing the dissemination of architectural vocabulary”, Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 23:2, summer 2006, pp. 91-112.
  • LARA, Fernando. “In the dark all you have left is architecture”, Space and Culture, vol. 9, February 2006, pp.26-27.


  • LARA, Fernando. “Modernismo Popular: elogio ou imitação?”, Cadernos de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, v. 12, n. 13, p. 171-184, Dec 2005.
  • LARA, Fernando. “Eco-materialidad, casa Vila Del Rey”, 30-60 Cuaderno Latinoamericano de Arquitectura, Cordoba: I+P editorial, vol 6, 2005, pp. 62-69. 


  • LARA, Fernando. “Designed Memories, the roots of Brazilian modernism”, in Memory and Architecture, edited by Eleni Bastea, Albuquerque: U of New Mexico Press, 2004, pp.79-98.


  • LARA, Fernando. “One Step Back, Two Steps Forward: The Maneuvering of Brazilian Avant-Garde”. Journal of Architectural Education, v. 55/4, p. 211-219, 2002.
photo of Fernando Lara
  • Latin American Architecture and Urbanism
  • Dissemination of Architectural Knowledge
  • Informal Settlements
WMB 4.116B
(512) 471-0711