Joyce Hwang, AIA, NCARB

Associate Professor, Associate Chair, and Director of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies - Department of Architecture - 127 Hayes Hall - (716) 829-5906

Associate Professor, Associate Chair, and Director of Undergraduate and Graduate Studis - Department of Architecture

Hwang engaged in a freshman studio critique.

Joyce Hwang stands with “Habitat Wall,” a prototype wall structure that accommodates humans and urban animals such as bats, raccoons and birds. Says Hwang: "I am interested in exploring how a wall can act not only as a facade, but also as an inhabitable, living membrane." Photo by Scott Gable

Joyce Hwang is associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Architecture at UB. Through her teaching, research and critical practice as director of Ants of the Prairie, she confronts contemporary ecological conditions through creative means.

Currently Hwang is developing a series of projects that incorporate wildlife habitats into constructed environments. Recent projects include “Bat Tower,” “Bat Cloud,” “Habitat Wall,” and “Bower.” She is a recipient of the Architectural League Emerging Voices Award (2014), the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship (2013), the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Independent Project Grant (2013, 2008), and the MacDowell Colony Fellowship (2016, 2011). 

Hwang, AIA, NCARB, is a registered architect in New York State. She has practiced professionally with offices in New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Barcelona, and has worked with the office of Carlos Ferrater in an invited competition for the new International Terminal at the Barcelona Airport. Hwang received a post-professional Master of Architecture degree from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University, where she received the Charles Goodwin Sands Memorial Bronze Medal.

"How do we think about the inclusion of life in the way we design space?"

 - Joyce Hwang on ecology and architecture, from Architect Magazine, April 14, 2014

Recent News

As part of a multi-year initiative in Madrid, associate professor of architecture Joyce Hwang will join an international group of designers to explore how design can create a new discourse on climate change in the context of public space.

Architecture professor Joyce Hwang's "Life Support" is a living art sculpture that transforms a dead, 400-year-old tree into functional habitat for bats, birds and reptiles. It was installed over the summer in an ecological offset zone in Canberra, Australia.

An exhibition that will travel across the country over the next two years to reveal the little-known history of architects as activists for social justice has landed in Buffalo.

Harkening in a new era of co-leadership for UB's Department of Architecture are chair Korydon Smith and associate chair Joyce Hwang.


UB architecture professor Joyce Hwang will play a lead role on the primary venue for research and commentary on architectural education as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Architectural Education.


Venice experience includes two weeks of intensive site visits and hands on investigations in urbanism throughout Italy's city of canals. The program concludes with a workshop at the U.S. Pavilion of the Venice Architecture Biennale.


Architecture professor Joyce Hwang is one of six recipients of the 2017 Urban Edge Award from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning. The recognition put Hwang on site in the City of Milwaukee for a series of site studies on adaptive reuse strategies along the Kinnickinnic River corridor. 

UB architect Joyce Hwang’s latest animal architecture creation is a bird-friendly public art installation that both promotes awareness of local avian species and calls attention to a common but often invisible peril: bird-glass window collisions.


  • B Arch, Cornell University College of Architecture, Art and Planning, Department of Architecture
  • M. Arch, Princeton University School of Architecture

Selected activities, honors and awards

  • The MacDowell Colony Fellowship (2016, 2011) 
  • Architectural League Emerging Voices Award (2014)
  • New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship (2013)
  • New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Independent Project Grant (2013, 2008)


Joyce Hwang .

Hwang's "Bat Cloud" is a hanging canopy of vessels designed and constructed to support bat habitation. It is installed in Buffalo's Tifft Nature Preserve. Photo by Joyce Hwang

Hwang's work has been exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale and the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, among other venues. Hwang’s projects and writing have been featured in international and national publications including Good, Curbed, PraxisAzure MagazineArchitect Magazine, Green Building and DesignAV ProyectosBracketMONUVolume Magazine, and Next Nature. She is a co-organizer of the Hive City Habitat Design Competition and a co-editor of Beyond Patronage: Reconsidering Models of Practice, published by Actar.


Assistant professor of architecture Martha Bohm, MArch graduate Gabrielle Printz & associate professor of architecture Joyce Hwang examine the shifting landscape of patronage within the field of architecture.
Elevator B is a 22 -foot-tall, free-standing steel, glass and cypress tower that was raised in "Silo City," an area along the Buffalo River where several massive abandoned grain elevators are located. The bee colony that now inhabits the tower was living in the walls of a long unused outbuilding destined for rehabilitation.
Hidden in Plain Sight is Joyce Hwang and Nerea Feliz's proposal for a series of urban furnishings that aim to amplify and bring awareness to various forms of urban “life” through visual, tactile and ecological means. The project is designed to support an inclusive web of interdependent species, both human and non-human.