Aletheia Ida

Associate Professor of Architecture

Program Chair, Master of Science in Architecture

Director, University of Arizona RESTRUCT

Master of Science in Architecture
School of Architecture


Areas of Expertise

  • Building physics
  • Critical material practice
  • Environmentally adaptive design
  • Emerging building technologies


Ph.D., Architectural Sciences, CASE, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

M.Arch, Architecture, Design and Energy Conservation emphasis, University of Arizona

B.Arch, Architecture, University of Oregon

Aletheia Ida, PhD, AIA, NCARB, LEEP AP, is an architect and associate professor in the School of Architecture, Director of the UA RESTRUCT strategic initiative, and Co-Director of the Adaptive Environments Design Lab. She teaches courses in Design Studio, Research Methods, Environmentally Adaptive Systems, Emerging Materials, Building Enclosures, Environmental Building Technology Design Theory, as well as Independent Research and Thesis advising. Aletheia earned her accredited Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon, post-professional Master of Architecture in Design and Energy Conservation from the University of Arizona, and Doctorate in Architectural Sciences from the Center for Architecture, Science and Ecology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She integrates design theory in her research for emergent environmental building technologies, incorporating aspects of material inventions with socio-environmental performance criteria through innovative digital and physical prototyping methods.

Aletheia is developing interdisciplinary design theory for robust frameworks to inform fundamental and applied research in emerging environmental building technologies. She has over fifteen years of experience in professional architecture practice and is fluent with environmental performance analytics, building physics, and material physiochemistry. She has recently lectured at Yale University, Princeton’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, and the Center for Ecosystems and Architecture at the New Lab in Brooklyn. Her design and research is published with Metropolis “Source Materials,” ACADIA, World Sustainable Built Environments, Materials Research Society “Programmable Matter,” Cambridge University Press MRS Advances, Society for Optics and Photonics, ACSA-AIA Intersections, IGI Global Press “Energetic Forms of Matter” and "Fluid Matters," AIA BRIK Knowledgebase, PLEA, Arquitectura Ciudad y Region, Simulation in Architecture and Design (SimAUD), Advanced Building Skins (ABS), Building Technology Educators' Society (BTES), and Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC). Her research is recognized through the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and funded by the National Science Foundation, Microsoft, Google, Tucson Water, and the Salt River Project power and water utility.  She received the 2018 AIA Arizona Research Design Award for her work on Symbiotic Matter: A Research and Design Framework for Emerging Building Technologies

Her current research emphasis focuses on critical material practice in architecture within the regions of: Sonoran Desert and Arizona-Mexico border, Fukushima-Japan, Moyo-Uganda, Lima-Peru, and the border of upstate New York-Canada. She is the Founding Director of Ecollagency - an innovative non-profit practice for addressing emerging societal issues such as environmental, socio-economic, and ecological challenges that require multiple expertise to inform potential solutions or processes within the built environment for adaptation and change. Aletheia is working on long-term potentials for bio-adaptive material systems in architecture through fundamental chemistry, biology, and physics' logics, including bio-mineralization structures, hydrogel membranes and lung walls, responsive cellulosic composites, algae bio-systems, and the integration of biological conservation. The work necessitates an understanding of the natural and human ecology of place, including systemic challenges such as climate change and natural disasters, to inform the material byproducts and equitable processes and systems for production into building technologies. Aletheia is on the Board of Directors for the national Building Technology Educators' Society and is establishing an Emerging Building Technologies Committee within the non-profit Arizona Technology Council to advocate for socio-environmental equity through manufacturing and production in the region.