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Cara Armstrong is an educator, writer, and illustrator who was trained as an architect.
She brings interconnectivity to the classroom and to her current research, which involves integrating better solutions for community health, accessibility, and adaptability. She completed bachelor’s degrees in environmental design and philosophy (both cum laude) at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, a Master of Architecture from Columbia University, and a Master of Fine Arts in poetry from Drew University.
Armstrong was a project director at the Urban Design Center in Kent, Ohio, from 1994 to 95, and an intern architect at Myers Associates, Architects, Medina, Ohio, before taking a post in 1995 as historic preservation planner for the city of Key West, Florida. In 1997, she became president of Gecko Roamin’ Inc., a gallery in Key West that featured her art-to-wear designs and the work of other local artists.
In 2002, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy named her Curator of Buildings and Collections at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, where she oversaw the landmark’s structural restoration. She also began a collaboration with architecture students at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, that developed into a design-build studio and led to her appointment as Fallingwater’s Curator of Education in 2006. In that role, she developed and delivered programming that received recognition from the American Architectural Foundation, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, and the Architecture + Design Education Network. She first came to Norwich as a visiting professor in 2011.
While at Norwich, Armstrong has taught architecture history and theory lecture courses, architecture design studios, architecture and engineering seminars, studio art classes, and composition and literature classes to undergraduate and graduate students. Her professional, pedagogical, and research interests continue to develop, rooted in interdisciplinary inquiry. As an administrator and educator, she strongly supports and encourages faculty and students to explore parallel fields as a means of enriching their own academic discourse.
Writing, illustrating, and curating allows her to connect architecture, design, and art with a larger audience. Armstrong is co-author of two architecture-related books, author and illustrator of three books, and curator or co-curator of over 10 exhibitions. Her book, Moxie the Dachshund of Fallingwater, now in its third printing, continues to be used in educational and museum settings, including programing at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, an exhibition with fellow illustrator Ard Hoyt related to the importance of place at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, and a celebration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.