Courtney Crosson is a licensed architect and Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona where she
teaches classes on water in the built environment and community outreach studios. These studios, funded by
the City, County, or private practice, tackle critical issues in urban sustainability. Through exhibitions, books,
presentations, workshops, and even board games, the design work seeks to go beyond the studio and engage
citizens and governments in solutions for their cities. Several of the designs produced in her studios have
received public funding to be constructed.
Her current research advances decentralized water systems to address pressing problems facing cities –
whether water scarcity in the US Southwest or safe and affordable water access in informal settlements in
Nairobi, Kenya. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals in architecture, engineering, and
She has won numerous awards for her teaching, outreach, and research. Most notably, she received the
Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) national President’s Award for Educational and
Environmental Collaboration and Excellence in 2017 and the Association for Collegiate Schools of Architecture
(ACSA)/American Institute of Architects (AIA) national Practice and Leadership Award in 2018.
She is currently serving an elected three-year term on the national board of the Association for Collegiate
Schools of Architecture (ACSA) as a Director At-Large. She served on the AIA Los Angeles Board from 2013-
2015. Crosson holds a Masters in Architecture from Yale University (M.Arch) and an Art History BA from Duke
Crosson’s work outside academia spanned many scales and locations including Europe, Africa, Asia, and North
America. She has worked for BuroHappold Engineers in Los Angeles, Foster + Partners in Hong Kong, Muf
Architecture+ Art in London, Multiplicity in Milan, and UN Habitat in a Nairobi informal settlement called Kibera.
At BuroHappold she was the sustainability consultant for the net zero energy design of the new Los Angeles
County Museum of Art (Atelier Peter Zumthor), UCSB’s Institute for Energy Efficiency (Kieran Timberlake
Architects), and the net zero water and energy design of the new Santa Monica City Hall extension (Frederick
Fisher Architects). At the master plan scale, she has guided energy and water reduction frameworks at Rice
University, Los Angeles Union Station, and University of California San Diego. Crosson’s first net zero design
has been in operation since 2009; a seven acre secondary girls boarding school in Muhuru Bay, Kenya, for which
she was the project manager and lead designer.