Michael Kothke

Professor of Practice in Architecture


  • Architecture
  • School of Architecture
Michael Kothke


Areas of Expertise

  • Architecture and design
  • Creative process
  • Digital and analog tools and representation
  • Environmentally adaptive systems
  • Innovations in architectural pedagogy


Michael Kothke is a national award-winning architect and educator. His approach to teaching, service, and research is rooted in the discipline of architecture itself, with a particular emphasis on "synthesis" and the processes of coordination and collaboration that the realization of creative works require. Michael is motivated by Louis Kahn’s notion that the conceptual, the delightful, the "un-measurable" in architecture can only be revealed and achieved through "measurable" means and through a mastery of the language of the discipline. Michael believes that architecture itself can be a powerful teacher.

"Design begins with insight. The design process, and the development and resolution of a creative work then reveals further insight."

As a studio coordinator and instructor, Michael's priority is to critically engage students and their projects at the intersection of thinking and making as the foundation for broader design exploration. As a course instructor, his teaching underscores the fundamental connections between ideas and action, emphasizing a consideration of course content not as nouns to be consumed, but as verbs to be executed.

Michael has been recognized with the Commendation for Teaching by students of the School of Architecture, the Leicester and Kathryn Sherrill Creative Teaching Award by the University of Arizona, Educator of the Year by AIA Arizona, Most Admired Educator by Design Intelligence, AIAS Educator Honor Award by the American Institute of Architecture Students and the Young Architect Award by the American Institute of Architects.

Michael is Co-Principal of HK Associates Inc with Kathy Hancox, AIA, a national award-winning architectural practice.

"Striving for elegance and honesty in design, our creative approach is client and site specific, structuring spaces and moments that are timeless and contextual. For us, architecture is a process of revealing. When the acts of daily life and the cycles of the environment meet the original design intentions, this results in places that reveal."

News, Research and Projects

AIA Arizona 2022 Design Awards

UArizona Architecture Faculty Honored for Community Design, Design Pedagogy and Distinguished Architecture by AIA Arizona

School of Architecture faculty members have been honored once again by the Arizona chapter of the American Institute of Architecture: Laura Carr with the Community Design Award, Eric Weber and Trevor Watson with the Design Pedagogy Award and Jesús Edmundo Robles Jr (DUST Architects) and Michael Kothke (HK Associates) with Distinguished Architecture Citations.