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People  •  Architecture  •  Associate Teaching Professor

Silvia Illia-Sheldahl

I was born and raised in Cordoba, Argentina, where I completed a Bachelor of Architecture degree at Universidad Catolica de Cordoba. In 2001, I moved to Boston and worked with Merge Architects, Brian Healy Architects, Utile, and Sasaki. In 2010, I received my master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Design. Shortly after, in 2014, Paxton Sheldahl and I co-founded BOS|UA, an award-winning practice located in Cambridge, MA.

My teaching approach has a dual focus; it taps into the study of the creative process itself and on issue-driven projects as catalysts for a design agency, where architecture can become a vehicle for positive change. As an educator, I aim to provide students with guidance and tools to unleash fearless thinkers and makers. As a practitioner, I believe we must become instrumental in framing and communicating complex topics that affect our realities today by promoting change from the bottom up. These goals are at the core of my teaching pedagogy that promotes observation, analysis, and critical thinking through making, engaging all aspects of the architectural project. I believe in creating a diverse culture of inquiry and exploration of global issues within local conditions, with every studio and project, fostering engagement between creative individuals and their socio-political contexts.

Research/Publications Highlights


  • Plataforma de Arquitectura features Health Yoga Life


  • ArchDaily features Health Yoga Life


  • Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design Award Publication &
    Online feature. February 2018
  • Health Yoga Life featured under Small Firm Design Awards on
    the Boston Society of Architect’s Website and in Exhibitions at
    BSA and ABX. January 2018


  • Health Yoga Life featured under 2017 AIA New England Design
    Awards website. December, 2017
  • Sushi Kappo featured online in Boston Magazine and Eater
    Boston August, 2017
  • “Charlestown Navy Yard redevelopment: 7 ideas for transform-ing
    its waterfront” Online article features Charlestown Drydock
    2.0 as part of selected work from a call for ideas on Charlestown
    Navy Yard, Curbed Boston. May 22, 2017


  • Solbe featured under Unbuilt Awards on the Boston Society of
    Architect’s Website & Exhibition, February, 2016


  • Recycling & Waste Research Book and Video
  • GSD Global Redesign Conference & Exhibition directed by
    Toshiko Mori
  • Dissolving Automatic, Genocide Museum in Yerevan, Armenia,
    Traces Studio Publication


  • How to Survive (as an Architect) Silvia Illia & Elizabeth Timme .
    Independent book and documentary, part of Lars Muller exhibition
    & Paul Nakasawa’s seminar at GSD
  • Stacks Unam Decentral Library, UNAM Mexico City, Studio Works




  • Master in Architecture II, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
  • Bachelor in Architecture, Universidad Catolica de Cordoba


  • 2021 BSA Small Firms Honor Awards: Fog x FLO: Sculpting with Water Exhibit at Shattuck Visitor Center
  • 2021 BSA Small Firms Honor Awards: PRX Headquarters
  • 2020 BSA Interior Architecture & Design Award: Fog x FLO: Sculpt-ing with Water Exhibit, Shattuck Visitor Center
  • 2018 BSA Interior Design Award: Sushi Kappo BOS|UA & RS
  • 2017 Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design Winner, Retail: Health Yoga Life
  • 2017 AIA New England Design Awards Citation: Health Yoga Life
  • 2017 BSA Small Firm Design Awards, Honor Award: Health Yoga Life
  • 2016 BSA Unbuilt Design Awards: SolBe Learning Center BOS| UA & Supernormal, IO
  • 2012 First Place: Boston Redevelopment Authority Energy + Home with Utile

Courses Taught

  • ARCH 1110 Fundamental Representation
  • ARCH 6200 Grad Studio 1
  • ARCH 5120 Comprehensive Design