Dale Clifford

Position Associate Professor
email dtcliffo@calpoly.edu




web page

For more info on thesis: calpolythesis.weebly.com

For more info on biology inspired design: biologicarchitecture.com

Areas of Expertise

Responsive Architectural Technology


At Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Arizona, Clifford has initiated coursework and research programs to develop building technologies based on regional building practices, biomimetics, and advances in materials science. The vehicle for Clifford’s research is prototyping, and includes full-scale demonstration projects to field-test transitional building technologies that promote the sustainable and sensorial integration of the built and natural environments.

He is a founding member of the UA Emerging Materials Technology Graduate Program, the Bio_Logic Research Group and is a Research Associate at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Clifford has worked on grants and contracts to forward applications of collaborative design research with BuroHappold, IDEO, DARPA, DOE, MIT, NASA and Carnegie Mellon University. Clifford holds an appointment with the CMU College of Civil and Environmental Engineering and is a recipient of the ACSA Creative Achievement Award. He has worked across disciplines in the architectural and biomedical fields.

Clifford has worked as a ships carpenter and is interested in the relationship of teaching/learning with both hand and mind - and the correlation of form and performance.


Educational Credentials:

MSci of Architectural Studies in Building Technology, MIT, Cambridge, MA 
BArch, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY 

Teaching Experience:

Assistant Professor, Architecture, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA   2014–Present
Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA  2009–2014
Visiting Professor, Masters Studio, Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, MI  2012
Visiting Professor, Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway  2006

Professional Experience:

Principal, Brooks/Clifford Design, LLC, Pittsburgh, PA and San Luis Obispo, CA  2009–Present
Materials Innovation Consultant (BCJ, NBBJ, Arquitectonica)  2013–Present
Principal, Binary Design, LLC, Tucson, AZ and Pittsburgh, PA   2004-2008


Registered Architect, State of Arizona #50871

Professional Memberships:

Bio_Logic Design Group
Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy
Building Technology Educator’s Society


Selected Publications:

  • Clifford, D. 2015 “Academic | Practice Partnerships: Developing Responsive Architecture,” AIA/ACSA
  • Clifford, D. and Melendez, F. 2015 “Responsive Architectural Interventions: Mediating Between the Built and Natural Environments,” Intersections and Adjacencies, Building Technology Educators Symposium
  • Clifford, D. 2014 “Visualizing Change,” Glascon Global Conference, 2014
  • Clifford, D. and Yao, S.C. Patent Application, 2014 ”Devices for Modulation of Temperature and Light Based on Phase Change Materials
  • Clifford, D. 2013 “Encoding Material,” Encoding Architecture publication
  • Clifford, D. 2013 “Material Teaching,” Building Technology Educators Symposium
  • Clifford, D. 2012 “Optical and thermodynamic Relationships of an Emerging Class of Organic Phase Change Materials,” International Journal of Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
  • Clifford, D. and Jones, L. 2012 “Emerging Materials Research: Application of Organic Phase Change Materials to Meet the Living Building Challenge,” Proceedings of the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction
  • Vollen, J. and Clifford D. 2011. Matter: Material Processes in Architectural Production, chapter
  • Clifford, D. “Project Nervi_ Technology and Aesthetics,” Architectural Research Centers Consortium 2011 - Considering Research

Selected Research:

  • 2017 AIA Upjohn Research Initiative Grant. CoPI with Prof. Kelle Brooks, Research in Adaptive Architecture
  • 2015 Principle Investigator, Smart Material, Adaptive, and Reconfigurable Tiles “SMART Tiles” for Environmentally Responsive Building Surfaces, National Science Foundation. $464,264 (Cal Poly | UPITT | University of Dayton Research Institute)
  • 2014 Principle Investigator, AVRP Housing Innovation Grant ($10,000)
  • 2013 Principle Investigator, Innovative Phase Change Material Products for Green Buildings, Innovation Works and the CMU Office of Technology Transfer ($63,000)
  • 2012 Principle Investigator, Materials Innovation Grant, Sire Properties ($93,000)

Selected Activities:

  • Research Associate, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
  • 2015 Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education to help develop creativity assessment standards for higher education (committee member)
  • 2014 AIA Emerging Professionals Exhibition, AIA National Headquarters, Washington, DC. (invited to exhibit recent work)
  • 2014 “Responsive Material Systems,” Invited Speaker for the Natural Discourse Symposium, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2014 “Integration of Research and Practice,” Invited Speaker, AIA San Luis Obispo Chapter
  • 2011-4 Associate Editor, The International Journal for Architecture, Engineering and Construction

Selected Awards:

  • Recipient of the 2012 ACSA Creative Achievement Award
  • Recommendation by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars for a Fulbright Teaching Award in Thailand. US peer review acceptance.
  • Margaret B. Gruger Faculty Award, Innovation in Building Technology_ Glass Fiber Reinforced Composites, CMU School of Architecture  2012
  • Design, Art and Technology (DATA) Awards Finalist, Bio_Logic Research Group for the entry ‘Flow,’ Thermal storage building technologies using organic phase change materials  2012
  • American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Engineering Excellence Grand Winner, Rose Neighborhood Bridge, with C. Trumble
  • Structural Engineer_ Structural Grace, Tucson, AZ  2010
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory / Department of Energy (PI) Competition to research, design, build, and operate an energy-efficient solar-powered home on the National Mall in Washington DC. Solar Decathlon Project


Updated 12.07.2022

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