Nadia is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design in the School of Architecture and the Director of the City.Building.Lab. Her research, teaching, and practice focus on publicly-engaged design as a vehicle for social empowerment and environmental resilience. Her work ranges across scales from the detailing of modular post-flood affordable housing to regional studies of local foods systems. Her research on the history of architectural practice and the transformative power of publicly-engaged design practice and pedagogy are published in the Journal of Architectural Education, Public: A Journal of Imagining America, and the edited volume Community Matters: Service-Learning in Engaged Design and Planning along with numerous national and international conference proceedings, presentations, and symposia. More recently, she has been involved in connecting community engagement with big data systems-modeling to create informed, implementable policies and practices with respect to the built environment.
Prior to joining the UNC Charlotte faculty, Anderson was a member of the Architecture and Urban Design faculty at Iowa State University (ISU) where she developed the Bridge Studio, recipient of the NCARB Prize for Creative Integration and Practice and the USGBC Excellence in Green Building Education award. She co-founded and co-directed the Community Design Lab, an interdisciplinary engaged research practice, as a partnership between ISU Extension and College of Design. Anderson is a licensed architect, practicing in Chicago, Warsaw, and Vienna prior to moving to full-time academic work. She received her Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and her Bachelor of Arts from Yale University.