University Scholar Series: Virginia San Fratello


University Scholar Series: Virginia San Fratello


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Play, Clay, and Chardonnay

Virginia San Fratello's research is grounded in the discipline of architecture as the basis for creative production. In 2002, following the attacks on the World Trade Center, she formed the creative practice Rael San Fratello, with her partner Ronald Rael, in order to imagine alternative outcomes for architectural practice in a post 9/11 world. A primary focus of their work folds together indigenous and traditional craft and material practice, contemporary design technologies, and storytelling, as strategies to unravel the complexities of contemporary society. She comes from an extremely rural background and grew up in the forests and tobacco farms of the deep South. Humor, play, and hybridity are important aspects of the work of Rael San Fratello, often layered with serious topics that span the themes of immigration, start-up companies, waste, homelessness, fashion, graphic design, and 3D printing. Her practice is closely tied to her commitment to public education in her role as professor and chair in the Department of Design at San Jose State University.

Date of Event

Spring 4-21-2021


3D printing, reusing agricultural waste, material reuse, indigenous architecture, indigenous material culture, alternative architecture


Industrial and Product Design | Mechanics of Materials


1 streaming media file (60 min.) : digital, sound, color. Closed captioned for the hearing impaired.

University Scholar Series: Virginia San Fratello