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People  •  Architecture  •  Associate Professor

Michelle Laboy




  • Master of Urban Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Master of Architecture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mayagüez


2022 Latrobe Prize, AIA College of Fellows
2020 Excellence in Teaching, CAMD
2017 Latrobe Prize, AIA College of Fellows
2004 AIA Henry Adams Medal
2004 Thesis Award, University of Michigan School of Architecture
2001 Etienne Totti Award, University of Puerto Rico, Civil Engineering

Professional Experience

  • Principal, FieLDworkshop Architecture, Design, Urbanism, Research, Boston, MA
  • Senior Associate, Maryann Thompson Architects, Cambridge, MA
  • Architectural Designer, Skidmore Owings & Merrill, LLP, Chicago, IL

Past Clients

  • Boston Groundwater Trust
  • City of Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics
  • Princeton University
  • Shady Hill School
  • International School of Boston

Michelle Laboy is Associate Professor of Architecture, with affiliate appointments in Civil & Environmental Engineering and the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. Trained in architecture, engineering and urban planning, she works to advance transdisciplinary methods in design that build resilience and sustainability across scales. Her scholarship examines the influence of socio-ecological thinking in critical design practices and conceptualizes the processes by which buildings are situated in ecologically regenerative and socially just environments. This includes exploring the technical and cultural potential of design that engages material circularity and the persistence of place, towards grounding long lasting buildings in more resilient urban landscapes. Michelle has twice been the recipient of the biennial Latrobe Prize, in 2017 and 2022, awarded by the AIA College of Fellows to advance research with potential to transform architectural practice.

Michelle co-founded FieLDworkshop, a research-based design practice in Boston dedicated to regenerating cultural and ecological space in cities. Prior to that, she practiced for 12 years in design firms in San Juan, Barcelona, Detroit, and Boston. Her work ranges in scale from small interactive objects in public space to urban design, including many published and award-winning commercial, educational and residential buildings. She is a licensed engineer (PR), holds NCCES and NCARB records, and a certification from Cal-OES as a Safety Assessment Program Evaluator.

Michelle Laboy’s design research received funding from Northeastern University, AutoDesk, the Boston Groundwater Trust, AIA, NSF, DHS, and DOE ARPA-E. She co-authored the book The Architecture of Persistence: Designing for Future Use. Her scholarship has been published in book chapters and peer-reviewed articles, including the Journal of Architectural Education, Enquiry Journal, The Plan Journal, the Journal of Industrial Ecology, the Journal of Architecture, Structures, and Construction, and other; as well as in proceedings for many national and international conferences.

Courses Taught

  • ARCH 2130: Site, Space & Program
  • ARCH 2140: Urban Institutions
  • ARCH 2240: Architectonic Systems
  • ARCH 5120: Comprehensive Design Studio
  • ARCH 5220: Integrated Building Systems
  • ARCH 5230: Structural Systems
  • ARCH 6340: Graduate Topics
  • ARCH 7130: Masters Research Studio
  • ARCH 7140: Masters Design Studio