Welcoming New Faculty Members

August 18, 2022
New faculty include Assistant Professor of Interior Design Ria Bravo; tenured Associate Professor and architectural historian Charles L. Davis; and our 2022-24 Emerging Scholar Tyler Swingle
Three headshots in a row. From left to right, Ria Bravo, Charles Davis, Tyler Swingle

The UT School of Architecture is pleased to announce the appointments of three new faculty members this academic year. Charles Davis and Ria Bravo will join the faculty in tenure/tenure-track positions, and Tyler Swingle will serve a two-year appointment as the school’s Emerging Scholar. Ria and Tyler will begin teaching this fall and Charles will begin teaching in the spring. Join us in welcoming them to the school, and stay tuned for in-depth interviews with each of them published later this semester.
Ria Bravo joins the school as a tenure-track assistant professor of interior design. She is an interior and architectural designer with experience in academia and at world-renowned architecture firms, Gensler and Morphosis Architects. A Nashville native, Ria completed her Bachelor of Science in Interior Design and Master of Architecture degrees at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She also served as an adjunct assistant professor there, teaching second and third-year interior architecture studio courses. Ria has developed a distinct educational agenda that challenges students to create design interventions that dissolve the boundaries between interiors and architecture. This fall, Bravo will be teaching Design 5 (ARI 530K).
Charles L. Davis II joins our faculty as a tenured associate professor of architectural history and criticism. Before coming to the school, he served as an associate professor at the University of Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Planning. Davis received his Ph.D. in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and M.Arch and B.P.S. degrees from the University of Buffalo. His academic research excavates the role of racial identity and race thinking in architectural history and contemporary design culture. His current book project, tentatively titled “Black by Design: An Interdisciplinary History of Making in Modern America,” recovers the overlooked contributions of black artists and architects in shaping the built environment from the Harlem Renaissance to Black Lives Matter. Charles is co-editor of Race and Modern Architecture (University of Pittsburgh, 2020) and author of Building Character: The Racial Politics of Modern Architectural Style (University of Pittsburgh, 2019), which traces the historical integrations of race and style theory in paradigms of “architectural organicism,” or movements that modeled design on the generative principles of nature.
Tyler Swingle joins the school as our 2022-24 Emerging Scholar. Before joining, Swingle held the Visiting Scholar position at the School of Architecture at Montana State University and worked as both research and project lead at Matter Design. He received his Bachelor of Environmental Design degree from Montana State University and his Master of Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture + Planning. Between degrees, Tyler worked at Barkow-Leibinger Architects in Berlin. After graduating, he lectured at the Peter Guo-Hua Fu School of Architecture at McGill University until 2021 where he began to develop an interest in misusing architectural tools. This semester, Swingle will teach a Design V studio and a software seminar titled “Danger of Defaults.”