In Memory Of

Marvin J. Malecha

Remembering President Malecha


  • Master of Architecture, Harvard University
  • Bachelor of Architecture, University of Minnesota

About President Malecha

Marvin J. Malecha, FAIA, DPACSA, is the President and Chief Academic Officer at NewSchool of Architecture & Design in San Diego, California. For the past 20 years was the Dean of the College of Design at North Carolina State University, and prior to that position served as Dean of the College of Environmental Design at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona for more than a decade.

President Malecha’s career has been characterized by leadership in academic management, attention to the scholarly and reflective aspects of a design education, a consulting practice that informs a life in the academy and a passionate belief in the absolute right of access to an education for every individual in our society. He believes that education and practice lie along the same continuum in life and he has encouraged others to find the connections between them.

Throughout his career, he has maintained an active involvement with architectural practice in roles from peer reviews to project architect and designer. As an architect, President Malecha gained experience working with the firm of Hugh Stubbins and Associates in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and he has continued to work on his own and in association with offices in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and the Raleigh-Durham area. He has worked on building types as diverse as university classrooms and galleries, church and parish facilities, correctional facilities, an entertainment amphitheatre master plan, and residential projects, including the official residence of a university chancellor.

President Malecha’s Achievements, Awards, and Accolades

President Malecha has achieved numerous accolades and awards as a testament to his leadership in the fields of architecture and design, and is currently a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects. He was elected as First President/President Elect (2008-2009) of the American Institute of Architects and in 2009 served as the professional association’s National President. He was also awarded the James Haecker Distinguished Leadership Award for Architectural Research (2007) as well as the William R. and June Dale Prize for Excellence in Urban Planning (2008). He was one of seven recognized Architectural Educators of the Year Award (2006) from Design Intelligence Magazine. He was ranked second nationally in 2005 for his influence on practice among architectural educators in the U.S. by the same publication. Also in 2006, President Malecha was inducted into Sigma Xi, the scientific research society, and received the Jackson Rigney Award for International Service from North Carolina State University. Malecha received the prestigious 2003 Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education from the American Institute of Architects and Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

He was recognized in 2002 as a Distinguished Professor by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). This national distinction recognizes creative achievement in the advancement of architectural education through teaching, design scholarship, research or service. Also in 2002, he was selected as part of a team among six to receive the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy.

President Malecha is a recipient of the American Institute of Architects, California Council, Excellence in Education Award. He is the only American Educator to have been recognized as an honorary member of the European Association for Architectural Education. In 1999, he was presented the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. President Malecha has served as President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and the California Council of Architectural Education, as well as the Vice Chair of the AIA/ACSA Council on Architectural Research.

He has been inducted as an honorary member into the Golden Key International Honor Society, Sigma Iota Rho International Studies Fraternity, Alpha Rho Chi Professional Fraternity and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

President Malecha in Academia

As an academic, President Malecha regularly accepts teaching assignments. He has taught critical thinking/design thinking for first-year students, professional practice for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, design thesis advising and studio instruction. President Malecha believes that teaching is the essence of a life in the academy as a complement to leadership and administrative responsibilities.

In the field of research, President Malecha has been the principal investigator for two major projects. The first, The Total Energy House, was funded by the General Dynamics Corporation to investigate single-family home design in the major climate zones of the United States to facilitate independence from the energy grid ($250K in 1978-79); the second, funded primarily by the Kellogg Foundation ($3.1M in 1988-94), investigated the development and built a Center for Regenerative Studies on the Cal Poly campus. In both instances, the projects were realized by a capable team of participants.

President Malecha’s Commitment to Global Immersion, Interaction and Education

As an educator, President Malecha has devoted considerable energy to international studies. He has been invited to conduct seminars and lectures at universities abroad including in Belgium, Chile, Italy, Japan, Korea, Romania, and Spain. While at NC State he provided the leadership to initiate the Prague Institute, a year-round study center at the core of the city and at Cal Poly Pomona he led student tours to Europe, initiated study abroad programs in Japan and Greece and conducted urban research projects in Northern Italy. More recently, he has conducted lectures and seminars in Antwerp, Belgium; Santiago, Chile and Bucharest, Romania, where he was presented with an honorary degree, the Professor Honoris Causa, and founded a bi-annual conference between the Architecture Research Centers Consortium and the European Association of Architectural Educators (EAAE). He was recognized as the 1980 Rotch Traveling Scholar, a prestigious honor, established in 1883 and bestowed annually to a top scholar, allowing them to travel the world and study abroad for a minimum of six months. The Scholar documents the travel in images, drawings and text. In addition to Malecha, the roster of Rotch Scholars includes many of the country’s most distinguished architects.

He has had frequent exchanges with the European Association for Architectural Education as a visiting speaker and as an advisor. He has served as a member of the National Institute for Architectural Education Teaching Office Task Force. Malecha has also served as a Master Juror for the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, as a member of the National Architectural Accrediting Board, and on the Steering Committee of the AIA Architects in Education Professional Interest Area as the Chair, and as a member of the AIA Research Policy Board.

President Malecha has led the effort to promote the development of the case studies in architecture as a fundamental responsibility of the American Institute of Architects. As co-chair of the AIA Case Study Workgroup, he fostered increased collaboration between academic institutions and professional offices. He has traveled extensively and maintains a network of colleagues world-wide.

President Malecha’s Authorship

President Malecha is also a published author, and his most recent book, Being Creative: Being a Creative (Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2015), published in June 2015. In addition, his authorship includes The Learning Organization and the Evolution of Practice Academy Concepts; Reconfiguration: In the Study and Practice of Design and Architecture; Foundations; The Fabric of Architecture: Images of People and Architecture; The Total Energy House; Learning About Architecture; Essays on Architecture; The Design Studio; The Study of Design, Form and Performance; Angels in the Architecture; Design in Life; The Nests of Pegasus; and an article, “Architectural Education,” published in EKISTICS. In 2006 he was invited to author a major article for the 30th Anniversary Publication of the European Association for Architectural Education on the subject of Professional Education. He co-authored, with Robert Greenstreet, The Junior Faculty Handbook on Tenure and Promotion and the New Administrators Handbook.

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