RVTR is an experimental platform for architecture and urban design research currently embedded within Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Our work operates across scales to position design as an active agent in continually evolving ecologies: biotic, social, environmental, technological and cultural. Our projects range from the visioning of the urban futures of regional territories, to high performance building design, to prototype-based research in responsive envelope systems and the development and production of digitally crafted objects. These operational scales are tied together through a complex systems approach and a belief in the power of design to transform our world for the better. Since our inception in 2007, RVTR's directors – Geoffrey Thün and Kathy Velikov have worked to integrate design research within practice contexts as a means to advance both professional and disciplinary discourse and the depth of thinking embedded in the  resulting work. Our studio environment operates as an experimental think tank engaging a range of national funding agencies, philanthropic foundations, industry partners and private clients. RVTR  regularly collaborates with broad multidisciplinary teams of academic, scientific, industry partners and professional consultants - enabling a deep and informed approach to design.

RVTR's work has been recognized with numerous awards including a Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Award of Excellence for Innovation in The Practice of Architecture (2011),  R&D Awards from Architecture Magazine (2010, 2016), the Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture from the Canada Council for the Arts (2009), the Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers (2008). Our work has been exhibited and widely published internationally. In 2016, RVTR represented Canada at the Venice Architecture Bienalle as part of the Extraction project team led by curator Pierre Belanger. We are currently working on a range of projects at the intersection of technology, society and design.


Kathy Velikov, Director, Professor of Architecture, University of Michigan

Geoffrey Thün, Director Design Research,  Professor of Architecture, University of Michigan

Colin Ripley, Director (Emeritus), Professor of Architecture, Ryerson University

Richard Hua (Research Assistant)

Sophie Pacelko (Research Assistant)

RVTR Alumnae

Paul Raff (Director 2007-2010), Jose Uribe (2007), Mauro Carreño (2007), Mark Friesner (2007), Zhivka Hristova (2007), Leila Mazhari (2007), Gregory Perkins (2007), Pooya Baktash (2007-2009), Farid Noufailly (2007-2009), Clayton Payer (2007-2008), Matthew Storus (2007-2008), Maya Przybilski (2007-2008), Lauren Abrahams (2008), Mike Blois (2008), Sonya Storey-Fleming (2008), Jeff Cheng (2008), Mathew Peddie (2008-2011), Rufina Wu (2009), Zain Abusair (2009-2011), Mary O’Malley (2010- 2015), Din Blankenship (2011), Lauren Shirley (2011), Sara Dean (2011), Lisa Sauve (2011-2013), Adam Smith (2011-2013), Dan McTavish (2011-2015), Ian Ting (2011-2013), Richard Tursky (2012), David Weinriech (2012), Charles Gurrey (2012-2013), Hans Papke (2013), Anthony Pins (2013-2014), Caileigh MacKellar (2013-2015),  Wiltrud Simbuerger (2013-2014), John Hilmes (2013), Nick Safley (2014), Eric Meyer (2014), Christina Kull (2014), Michael Sanderson (2014), Yunzhi Ou (2013), Andrew Wald (2014-2016), Di Wu (2015), Stefan Cavezzali (2015), Stephen Sarver (2015), Lucien Menair (2015), Jen Ng (2015), Kallie Sternburgh (2015-2016), Suo Ya (2015-2016) Karen Toomasian (2015-2016), Daniel Tish (2015-2018), Travis Crabtree (2016-2017), Lauren Lahr (2017-2018), Peter Watkins (2017-2018), Cassandra Rota (2017), Kevin Raley (2018), Emine Seda Kayim (2018), Rebecca Smith (2018), Jono Sturt (2018), Han Zhang (2018), Dicle Taskin (2019), Andrew Kremers (2016-2019), Jiushuai Zhang (2018-2019), Salvador Lindquist (2019), Harsheen Kaur (2019), Amin Aghagholizadeh (2019), Adam Schueler (2019-2020), Areeba Bawani  (2020), Kazi Najeeb Hasan (2019-2021), Joshua Krell (2018-2021), Tithi Sanyal (2018-2021), Lucas Denit (2020-2021), Linda Lee (2019-2021), Chengdai Yang (2022), Emma Powers (2023), Eilis Finnegan (2023)