Staff & Fellows

Sergio Palleroni, Co-founder and Director of the BaSiC Initiative, is a Professor and Fellow of the new Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices at Portland State University.  He has been a Professor at the University of Texas, Austin and University of Washington, where in 1995 he co-founded the BaSiC Initiative with Professor David Riley to support the service learning work they had been doing with students since the late 1980s in Mexico and Central America.  Sergio earned his professional BArch from the University of Oregon and his MSArchS in History Theory & Criticism from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He has worked on housing and community development in the developing world since the 1970's, both for not-for-profit, governmental, and international development and relief agencies such as the United Nations and the World Bank, as well as the governments of Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua, India, and Taiwan. He has received numerous awards for his teaching and design work for underserved communities, including the National Education Awards from the ACSA/AIA (1997), NCARB (2003 and 2006), and the National Design Award from the Smithsonian Institution and the White House in 2005. His books include: Time & Other Constructs: The Work of Carlos Miijares, co-authored with Rodolfo Santamaria (Escala Press, 1989); Studio at Large: Architecture in Service of Global Communities, with Christine Merkelbach (University of Washington Press, 2004); and Teaching Sustainability in Asia (NTUT Press, 2006). In addition, his work has appeared in numerous international magazines and publications including, most recently, Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism, by Bryan Bell and Katie Wakeford (2008), Design Like You Give a Damn, by Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr (2006), Building a Straw Bale House: The Red Feather Construction Handbook (2005), and the forthcoming Experiments in Design Pedagogy, by Mao-lin Chiu (Taipei, 2009). Email: .

Steven Moore, PhD, is the Barlett Cocke Professor of Architecture and Planning at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches design and courses related to the philosophy, history, and application of environmental technology. He has practiced as the design principal of Moore/Weinrich Architects in Maine, and has received numerous regional and national awards for design distinction. In 1999, Moore was appointed Director of the graduate program in Sustainable Design at UT-Austin and in 2001 was co-founder of the UT-Austin Center for Sustainable Development. He has published in Center, the Journal ofArchitectural Education (JAE), the Journal of Architecture (JOA), and the Design Book Review (DBR). His books include: Technology & Place: Sustainable Architecture and the Blueprint Farm (UT Press, 2001); Sustainable Architectures: Natures and Cultrures in Europe and North America, co-edited with Simon Guy (Routledge/Spon, 2005); and Alternative Routes to the Sustainable City: Austin, Curitiba, and Frankfurt (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006). Email: .

Margarette Leite is a practicing architect and an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Portland State University . She has been involved as an instructor for the Basic Initiative’s work in Mexico where she contributed her practical knowledge and experience in metalwork to the construction of various school projects . She is currently co-founder of the Adopt a School Program, under the Basic Initiative, which strives to work with Portland schools to integrate more sustainable building solutions and to develop design partnerships between school communities and University students. Her work has been featured in various publications as a partner in pldp architects whose work focuses on sustainable communities and built environments. Email .

Gabriela Videla, a Chilean journalist and author, has lived in Mexico for more than 30 years. Since 1973, she has worked to make indigenous communities in Central Mexico economically self-reliant, and culturally sustainable. Gaby has founded several community organizations, which have worked to better the conditions of both native populations and informal settlements in Mexico, two of which (Accion y Dessarollo Ecologico, and now Communidad AC) have become important partners in the work of the BaSiC Initiative in Mexico. Gaby has also received several Mexican and international awards for her community work. Email .

James Adamson has been a partner in the Jersey Devil design/build collaborative for three decades. The Jersey Devil, pioneers in design/build and sustainable practices, were an early inspiration to both the BaSiC Initiative and the Rural Studio when they began in the early-1990s. Jim has been a teacher and co-director of fieldwork in the program’s foreign study program’s since 2000. His work can be seen both in a monograph on the Jersey Devil’s work, Devil’s Workshop: 25 Years of Jersey Devil Architecture, by S. Branch,and M. Palladino (Princeton Architectural Press, 1997), and in the BaSiC Initiative's own Studio at Large: Architecture in Service of Global Communities (University of Washington Press, 2004). He has been widely published internationally. Email: .

Peter Spruance is a graduate of the Master of Architecture program at the University of Washington, where he participated in BaSiC Initiative programs in Mexico, and with the American Indian Housing Initiative in Montana. Since then, he has been co-directing field work in the Global Studio with Jim Adamson. His furniture designs have received numerous awards. Email: .

Matthew Sullivan, a graduate of the Master of Architecture program at the University of Washington, Matthew Sullivan has participated in BASIC Initiative design/build programs in Mexico and Cuba. In 2004, he received an AIA Seattle honor citation for work done with a small rural community in western Kenya. He works for Environmental Works, a community design center in Seattle. Matthew, with Geoff Piper, heads the BaSiC Initiative's newest global studio initiative, the "Design a Village, Change a Life Program," for homeless coffee worker families in Central America. Email: .

Geoff Piper, a graduate of the Master of Architecture program at the University of Washington, has participated in BASIC Initiative design build programs in Mexico, Cuba, and United States. In 2004, he received an AIA Seattle honor citation for work done with a small rural community in western Kenya. He is a principal with 5dot Design/build in Seattle. Email: .