Mary Hardin

University Distinguished Professor of Architecture


  • Architecture
  • School of Architecture
Mary Hardin

Smith House, 1195 E. Speedway Blvd.

Areas of Expertise

  • Affordable housing design and delivery
  • Design-build pedagogy
  • Energy conservation strategies for affordable housing
  • Rammed earth construction


Mary C. Hardin, AIA, is University Distinguished Professor of Architecture in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona. Mary served as Interim Dean for CAPLA from 2016-2017, and Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs for CAPLA, from 2011 to 2016. She has held a concomitant position as a Professor of Architecture, specializing in design-build studios and the provision of affordable housing.

Hardin has been a faculty member in CAPLA since 1997, and received her promotion from Associate to Full Professor in 2003. Her teaching included capstone studios, design-build studios and courses in the materials and methods of construction. Her research interests include affordable housing design, energy and water conserving technologies for affordable housing, and the adaptation of rammed earth production methods for low-cost housing. She is a registered architect and licensed residential contractor in Arizona.

Interim Dean Hardin obtained her undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Liberal Arts with a Concentration in Architecture, and her professional degree, a Master of Architecture, at The University of Texas at Austin. She practiced architecture in Austin from 1983 to 1989, while also teaching in the School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin. In 1989, she relocated to Arizona and taught at Arizona State University as an Assistant and Associate Professor before joining the faculty at The University of Arizona. She served as Interim Director of the School of Architecture in 2010-11.

Hardin has received national awards for teaching, design-build project delivery, affordable housing policy initiatives and collaborative practice, as well as state AIA awards for her project designs. She was awarded the AIA Education Honors Award, a Learn and Serve Faculty Scholar Award, a UA Academy Teaching Award, as well as the ACSA Collaborative Practice Award in 2001 and 2011 for her integration of education, professional practice, and community constituents in her design-build studio projects. She also received the national SEED (Social Economic Environmental Design) Award for her series of design-build residences, and seven AIA Awards for those projects as well as private commissions. A National Urban Policy Initiative Award and a book award were also related to the design-build projects.

Mary Hardin is also the President of the Drachman Design-Build Coalition (DDBC), a 501c3 non-profit organization formed for the purpose of involving faculty and students of CAPLA in design and construction projects that benefit the underserved population of Arizona. Incorporated in 2004, DDBC has a mission and history rooted in service learning and community outreach. Hardin has served on neighborhood design review boards since her arrival in Tucson, most recently joining the board in the Mercado District at the west end of the streetcar line. She is currently working with rising fifth year Architecture students on the design and construction of an affordable, energy efficient residence in the A-Mountain community.

News, Research and Projects

Mary Hardin and architecture students

UArizona Distinguished Professor Mary Hardin Wins ACSA Design-Build Award for Stadium Rowhouses

University Distinguished Professor of Architecture Mary Hardin has been awarded an ACSA 2023 Design-Build Award for Stadium Rowhouses: Macro to Micro. One of just four national Design-Build Award recipients, Hardin leads hands-on design-build projects with undergraduate and graduate architecture students at UArizona.

Librillo plan by Sam DeBartolo

Richärd Kennedy Fourth Year Prize Propels Bachelor of Architecture Students into Fifth and Final Year

The semester before their final year in UArizona’s five-year Bachelor of Architecture program, students have the opportunity to reflect on their learnings over their first four years and put their best work forward in an exhibition and portfolio competition: the Richärd Kennedy Fourth Year Prize, providing $10,000 in awards and scholarships.