photo of Benjamin Ibarra Sevilla

Benjamin Ibarra Sevilla

Associate Professor

Supplementary Title

Program Director for Advanced Studies

Faculty Advising Contact for Historic Preservation

Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Historic Preservation, Program Director Masters Advanced Studies, and Program Coordinator Masters of Science in Historic Preservation. He is an architect who graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and holds a degree in Conservation and Restoration of Built Heritage from the Excellence Program of the Carolina Foundation and the University of Alcalá de Henares, Spain. Previous to UT Austin, Prof. Ibarra-Sevilla was part of the faculty at the University of Minnesota's School of Architecture where he taught design and building technology courses and was a Research Fellow of the Center for World Heritage Studies. 
His expertise involves case studies of ancient mason techniques, stereotomy, descriptive geometry, and architectural geometry informed by form-resistant structures. His most recent research work focuses on the transmission of building technology from Europe to the Americas exploring the constructive and geometric analysis of sixteenth-century ribbed vaults in Mexico. His work in masonry, geometry, and stereotomy has been awarded in Mexico and the US and has been disseminated in various forums and journals of Europe, Latin America, and North America. His most recent book named "Mixtec Stonecutting Artistry" published by the National Autonomous University of Mexico has received numerous awards, and his exhibition holding the same name has been traveling for two years through eight cities of Mexico and the United States.  Benjamin has participated in developing assistance for world heritage cities such as Zanzibar in Tanzania, Baku in Azerbaijan, and the Batanes Islands in the Philippines. He recently participated with Ochsendorf DeJong & Block in the project "Beyond Bending" designing and constructing tile vaults exhibited at the Architecture Biennale in Venice 2016. To learn more about his research work visit this website
As an educator and designer, Benjamin's Design Studios focus on the current challenges of historic preservation, including adaptive reuse and insertions of contemporary pieces of architecture in historic urban landscapes. His seminar "Secret Knowledge, Rediscovering the Methods and Techniques of the Old Master Builders" explores the relationships between geometry, space, and structure while learning the challenges faced by gothic and renaissance designers. Prof. Ibarra-Sevilla has a profound interest in building technology; he teaches Construction 2, which is the introductory course of the technology sequence within the undergraduate program. His Graphic Documentation course focuses on developing documentation projects of historic buildings following the HABS guidelines, and in recent years the work developed in this class has been under contract with the National Park Service. Within these documentation efforts, Prof. Ibarra-Sevilla works with students exploring traditional methods of documentation and digital technologies such as Laser Scanner and Digital Photogrammetry as vehicles for assessment and visualization of historic properties. 
Before his career as an academic, Prof. Ibarra-Sevilla worked in restoration projects in Oaxaca, Mexico including the seventeenth-century Ex-Convento of Santo Domingo de Guzman, the sixteenth-century Open Chapel of San Pedro y San Pablo Teposcolula, the sixteenth-century Casa de la Cacica (also in Teposcolula) and the eighteenth-century Casa de la Ciudad Oaxaca City. Associate Professor Ibarra-Sevilla has a passion for photography, he believes in this media and its potential as a design tool, a documentation tool, and as an art that captures space and time in one frame.
Professor Ibarra is the first Mexican to obtain tenure at UT School of Architecture. 



photo of Fernando Lara

Fernando Lara


Supplementary Title

Program Director for Architecture PhD

Fernando Luiz Lara works on theorizing spaces of the Americas with emphasis on the dissemination of architecture and planning ideas beyond the traditional disciplinary boundaries. In his several articles Prof. Lara has discussed the modern and the contemporary architecture of our continent, its meaning, context and social-economic insertion. His latest publications include Excepcionalidad del Modernismo Brasileño; Modern Architecture in Latin America (Hamilton Award runner up 2015) and Quid Novi (Anparq best book award 2016).

Prof. Lara is the editor of Latin America: Thoughts, a series published by Romano Guerra editora; and a member of several editorial boards that include AULA – Architecture and Urbanism in Las Americas; Revista DEARQ (Universidad Los Andes, Bogota); Revista Pós (FAU USP); Arquitecturas Del Sur (Universidad Bio Bio, Chile); and Revista Urbana (UNICAMP).

At the University of Texas at Austin Fernando Lara teaches seminars on 20th century Latin American architecture and urbanism, Theory of Architecture and doctoral courses on decolonial methods for architectural history.

From 2012 to 2015 Prof. Lara was Chair of the Brazil Center at the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies. Since 2018 Prof. Lara serves as the Director of UTSoA PhD Program in Architecture.

photo of Sarah Lopez

Sarah Lopez

Associate Professor

Sarah Lopez is a built environment historian, as well as a migration scholar. Lopez' research focuses on material histories of US-Mexico migration. Her first book, The Remittance Landscape: The Spaces of Migration in Rural Mexico and Urban USA , explores the impact of migrant remittances—dollars earned in the U.S. and sent to families and communities in Mexico—on the architecture and landscape of "rural" Mexico and "urban" USA. Published by the University of Chicago Press in 2015, The Remittance Landscape won the 2017 Kostof Book Award from the Society of Architectural Historians. Her 2015 book chapter, "Putting Vista Hermosa on the Map: Migrant Boosterism in Distant Homelands," won the 2017 Bishir Article Prize from the Vernacular Architecture Forum.

Lopez is currently working on two book projects. The first examines the long history of migrant incarceration in the U.S. from the docks of Ellis Island to the privately run mega-detention facilities in rural Texas. The project commenced in partnership with the Humanities Action Lab (HAL) in 2015 when with a team of students, Lopez researched Texas detention centers. Oral and spatial histories resulted in Spatial Stories of Migration and Detention, which contributed to HAL’s national-exhibit. An American Quarterly article, "From Penal to "Civil:" A Legacy of Private Prison Policy in a Landscape of Migrant Detention" builds off this research. 
The second book project tracks the development over the last fifty years of a network of Mexican stonemasons, quarry workers, homebuilders, architects, and businessmen who primarily provide services to Mexican and Mexican-American clientele in the American Southwest. A binational construction industry has emerged around the excavation, transportation, distribution, and installation of cantera stone, a type of limestone found in approximately ten states. Since at least the 1970s, Mexicans resettling in the north have been implementing ways to bring it to the US. Cantera networks and related construction practices and knowledge reposition “migrants” as drivers of a Mexican construction industry in the US that is reshaping Mexican and Mexican-American structural relationship to places.

Lopez’ teaching ranges from public history to digital humanities to scholarly methods for built environment scholars.  Broadly speaking, she teaches about U.S. cultural landscapes, the interface between migration, architecture, and cities, the use of interdisciplinary methods (including ethnography) to study space and society, and pre-modern global architectural histories. She received the 2015 Outstanding Teaching award from LLILAS, and the 2016 Outstanding Teaching Award from the School of Architecture. In 2017, Lopez was a Princeton-Mellon Fellow in Architecture, Urbanism, & the Humanities. In 2021, Lopez is a Mellon Fellow in Urban Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard.

photo of Juan Miró

Juan Miró


Professor Juan Miró, FAIA, LEED AP was born in Barcelona and obtained his professional degree at the Escuela de Arquitectura of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. In 1989, he earned a Fulbright Scholarship to complete a post-professional Master’s degree at Yale University, where he was awarded the William Edward Parsons Memorial Medal.  He has been a faculty member at the UT School of Architecture since 1997.

Since 1998, Professor Miró has directed Studio Mexico, a program at the UTSoA that affords students the opportunity to travel to Mexico to study Mexican architecture and design. Professor Miró has lectured and written on Mexican Architecture with a special focus on the ancient city of Teotihuacan. In his teaching, practice, and research Professor Miró explores the connections between architectural design, placemaking, nature, and the relevance of history.  He regularly lectures about his work in professional and academic settings in the US and abroad.

Professor Miró is also a principal and founder of Miró Rivera Architects, an architectural firm based in Austin. The firm works on a variety of projects spanning from urban design to institutional and commercial buildings to residential architecture. The firm has garnered over 80 design awards, including the AR Emerging Architecture Award, the Texas Architecture Firm Award, and 34 local, state and national AIA Awards. Miró Rivera Architects was awarded the firm achievement award by the Austin AIA in 2006, and received the Texas Society of Architects’ Architecture Firm Award in 2016.

Emerging as one of the leading new architectural voices in the nation, Miró Rivera has represented new architecture from the United States at exhibitions at the Museum of Architecture in Frankfurt and at the Aedes Gallery in Berlin. Their work has been extensively featured worldwide in numerous exhibitions and many prestigious publications, including Architectural Record, The Architectural Review, Architectural Digest, The New York Times, ArchDaily and the third volume of Phaidon’s 10 x 10 book series.

Juan Miró is an active member of the American Institute of Architects and has served as a juror for several AIA design award competitions at the national, state, and local levels. In 2011, Juan was elevated to the organization’s College of Fellows in recognition of his contributions to the profession and to society.


- Award for Outstanding Educational Contributions, Texas Society of Architects

- Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, University of Texas System

- Academy of Distinguished Teachers, The University of Texas at Austin

- Professor of Excellence, The University of Texas at Austin

- Distinguished Professor, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture

- Harwell Hamilton Harris Fellow, The University of Texas at Austin

- Faculty Scholarship Award, The University of Texas at Austin

- Outstanding Teacher Award (Studio), The University of Texas at Austin

- Texas Excellence Teaching Award, The University of Texas at Austin


- College of Fellows (FAIA), American Institute of Architects

- AD100: Top 100 International Architects & Designers, Architectural Digest

- Silver Medal, Texas Tech University, Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society

- Austin Under 40 Award

- Fulbright-MEC Scholarship

- The William Edward Parsons Memorial Medal, Yale University

photo of Bjorn Sletto

Bjorn Sletto


Supplementary Title

Graduate Adviser for Community & Regional Planning

Bjørn received his doctorate in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. He has a master’s degree in Geography from the University of Kansas and a BA in Journalism from the University of Minnesota. A native of Ål, Norway, Bjørn’s research focuses on indigenous land rights, environmental and social justice, and alternative planning approaches, both in the United States and in Latin America. He is particularly interested in the dichotomies and tensions between local knowledge and traditional environmental management systems, and formal planning and management approaches. He has lived and worked in indigenous villages and border cities in Venezuela, investigating environmental conflicts and land rights struggles and conducting participatory mapping projects with the Pemon in the Gran Sabana and Yukpa in the Sierra de Perijá. As the director of the Institute of Latin American Studies’ (LLILAS) Research Initiative in Participatory Mapping, Bjørn works closely with partner institutions in South America to further international scholarship on representational politics and social justice in vulnerable communities. He is also engaged with research on informality and community development in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, focusing on the role of critical pedagogy for insurgent planning in neoliberal contexts. In addition to his international work, Bjørn examines the relationship between pedagogy, planning practice, and environmental and social justice in low-income communities in Texas.

Bjørn teaches Geographic Information Systems, environmental and social justice, public space theory, and seminars and studio courses focusing on international planning and development. Through his partnership with PODER, GAVA, and other local groups, Bjørn offers critical service learning courses where students investigate issues of social and environmental justice in partnership with community members. He also teaches studio courses in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where students work closely with community leaders, activist organizations and public officials in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to address environmental and social vulnerability in the informal settlement of Los Platanitos. In spring 2008, students conducted a risk and vulnerability assessment; in spring 2010, a second group of students built on this study and developed a participatory solid waste management plan; in spring 2012, students built on this work to initiate a vermicomposting feasibility study with an EPA P3 Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and in 2014 students conducted an outcome assessment of the composting project and an ethnobotanical study to consider the role of composting for food security and green space development in Los Platanitos. Further projects were conducted in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and can be seen here.

Bjørn is an associated faculty member in the Department of Geography and the Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS), University of Texas.

photo of Patricia A. Wilson

Patricia A. Wilson




Dr. Wilson's research in sustainable community development focuses on individual and social transformation through community engagement and collaborative action. She uses the methods of appreciative inquiry, social narrative, and participatory action research, and draws upon the theories of communicative action and awareness-based systems change. She directs an ongoing action research project on sustainable community development in Mexico. Dr. Wilson's current teaching includes a graduate seminar, The Art of Community Engagement, along with a freshman signature class entitled Participatory Democracy


Dr. Wilson holds a B.A. in economics from Stanford and a Master's and Ph.D. in Planning from Cornell. She has worked in economic development planning at the local and Federal level, for the City of San Francisco and the Economic Development Administration in Washington, DC. She has also worked in grassroots community development in Hispanic neighborhoods in San Francisco and Austin, and was the principal investigator for a national study of subemployment and the urban underclass. At the University of Texas, she designed the economic development concentration in planning and developed the Joint Master's Program in Planning and Latin American Studies.

Dr. Wilson began her international development work in the mid-1970s in Latin America, where she taught regional economics at the Universidad Catolica in Lima, Peru, and regional development planning at the Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria, also in Lima. Her early research and consulting focused on integrated regional development, export-led development, decentralization, democratization and participation. A past-president of the Sociedad Interamericana de Planificacion, the professional society of Latin American planners, Dr. Wilson has worked in  Mexico, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru.  She currently oversees a community-based action research program and studio in Monterrey, Mexico.

Dr. Wilson has published seven books and numerous articles on planning, local economic development, and community-engagement.  Her most recent book, The Heart of Community Engagement:  Practitioner Stories from Across the Globe (NY: Routledge) won the 2020 Hamilton Book Award Grand Prize for Best Textbook.  (For reviews and exam copies click here.)