Professor, Graduate Architecture

Mitra Kanaani | (619) 684-8788


  • Doctor of Architecture, University of Hawaii
  • Master of Architecture, University of New Mexico
  • Master of Urban Planning, University of Tehran, Iran
  • Bachelor of Science in Economics, University of Tehran, Iran
  • Bachelor of Arts in Musicology, Conservatory of Classical Music, Tehran

About Mitra

In academia for the past 24 years, Mitra Kanaani, D.Arch, MCP, FAIA, ICC, has been a professor of design, research, and tectonics. She has served in many different capacities, as Chair of the Architecture Department, Acting Dean, and Chair of the Undergraduate Program, where she was instrumental in developing new and improving existing programs.

Mitra has been Principal of Universal Design & Code Consulting since 1997 and has 28 years of experience in architectural practice in California and New Mexico. She is a licensed architect registered in California and a certified Accessibility consultant with International Code Council, ICC. One of her latest projects is a design proposal for the San Diego Summer Pops Outdoor Pavilion for the San Diego Symphony.

Published works include The Direction of the Architecture Profession and Education, Integrating Licensure with Education, Design, and Research, Studios as Research Laboratories, and Performative Architecture. Mitra also co-authored a comprehensive handbook of architectural design and practice, entitled, Routledge Companion to Architectural Design & Practice: Established and Emerging Trends, in January 2016. She has been the recipient of various Excellence in Education Awards at the local and state, as well as service awards at the national levels.

Additional Information

National Involvement: Mitra has been appointed to the ARE 5.0 Development Committee of the National Council of Architecture Registration Boards, NCARB, for development of examination contents. She served as a member of the National AIA Education Committee, working on reformatting the Continuing Educational requirements, and CEU courses and has served as a peer reviewer for the last three years. Mitra has served as NAAB Team Chair and member, and as the Secretary of the Association Collegiate Schools of Architecture, ACSA, Board of Directors. She was instrumental in the latest update of the Rules and By-Laws of the Board. She has also been an international evaluator with the National Architectural Accrediting Board, NAAB, for the EESA evaluations for the past ten years, and has been involved in the NCARB Education Standards revisions.

International Involvement: Mitra has collaborated and been instrumental as a volunteer Global Associate Faculty in the development of a program of architecture for the Baha’i’ Institute for Higher Education, BIHE, which was founded in 2005 based on humanitarian reasons for the young minority citizens in Iran that are deprived of higher education due to their religious beliefs. She has conducted online teaching design and technology courses and has been a mentor and teaching advisor for the graduating theses. During this time, she has mentored over half a dozen graduating students during their thesis projects.


  • Professional Member, International Conference of Building Officials (ICC)
  • Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Licensed Architect (California Architect Board)
  • Certified Accessibility Consultant (ICC)


  • 2011: NewSchool of Architecture & Design Meritorious President’s Award
  • 2010: AIA California Council Excellence in Education Honor Award
  • 2010, 2007, 2002: ACSA Service Award
  • 2010: NewSchool of Architecture & Design Service Award
  • 2006: Judge in ACSA/AISC Annual National Student Competition
  • 2005: Judge in AISC National Student Bridge Competition
  • 2005: AIA California Council, Excellence in Education Award
  • 2005: Faculty Mentor – Second Prize Winner Award for the ACSA – Steel National Student Competition
  • 2001: Architecture Education Award, AIA San Diego
  • 2001: NewSchool of Architecture & Design, Award for outstanding efforts in achieving a six years accreditation with the NAAB
  • 2000: ACSA Technology Fellow
  • 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995: Teacher of the Year Award
  • 1999, 1998: CSI Certificate of Appreciation, for excellence in architecture education
  • 1996: Faculty advisor appointed by AIA Research for Seismic Design-Build Charrette and Faculty Seismic Institute held at Cal Poly Pomona

Click here to view Mitra Kanaani’s Faculty Spotlight page.

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