Chandrika V. Jaggia

 Photo of Chandrika Jaggia

Position Lecturer
Phone 805.756.1316
Office 21-239

Areas of Expertise

  • Sustainability
  • Experiential Design
  • Integrated Design
  • Architectural Programming


Chandrika Jaggia’s passion for architecture stems from her integrative approach to design. She gets equally excited about engineering and construction as she does about design, theory, and culture. She comes with a varied background in sustainable architectural design and construction management. She graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Chandigarh College of Architecture in India. She practiced in India for two years designing and constructing residences, an office, a dental hospital, and a school. Three of these buildings were designed using passive heating and cooling techniques.

Subsequently Chandrika moved to the United States to pursue a Masters in Architecture and a Masters in Construction Management from Iowa State University. Her thesis discussed the integrative approach to architectural design where pertinent information from all fields of engineering, finance, construction and design are considered simultaneously to arrive at an optimal solution. She argued that such an approach enhances beauty in architecture. She received a ‘Premium for Academic Excellence Award’ and completed her degrees in 1991.

Always having a penchant for a hands-on experience, Chandrika joined the construction industry first, working for Isemoto Contracting Company in Hilo, Hawaii for the next two and a half years. This proved to be an invaluable experience and she also had a blast working on the shores of the famous Hamakuaa coast. She managed the construction of four building projects including a school, music hall, hospital structure and control buildings for a geothermal power plant. She oversaw employees ranging from five to fifty five. She also created a computerized cost estimating, job tracking, and material tracking system for the firm.

Having had a successful stint in construction Chandrika returned to architecture working first on programming and housing design in Atlanta with Sizemore Floyd Architects – the master planning firm for the 1996 olympics, and then specializing in lab design while working with the well known firm of Goody Clancy Architects, in Boston, Massachusetts for the next ten years. Here Chandrika first re-designed I.M. Pei’s 70,000NSF chemistry building at MIT, a highly complex project that required the building to function during construction. The building received R& D magazines ‘Renovated Lab of the Year Award’ in 2004. Chandrika continued to work on other lab projects including Charles Correa and Goody Clancy’s 200,000NSF Brain and Cognitive Science Center, the first of its kind in the world, also at MIT.

In 2007, Chandrika with her husband, Sanjiv Jaggia, and their daughter Minori, moved to San Luis Obispo in California, lured by the warm weather and beautiful scenery. She has been teaching at the department of architecture ever since, specializing in sustainable design and practice courses.

Teaching Philosophy

Chandrika’s inherent pedagogical style is to focus on the totality of design - to understand design through the natural and built world around us beyond the realm of buildings. Abstractions and designs thus developed for architecture must be imbued with considerations of local ethos, rural/urban fabric, economics, nature, climate, and construction technology. A thorough knowledge of architectonics is crucial to translating these ideas into credible built works and the built environment. Therefore, her pedagogy emphasizes equal importance and passion for each branch and stage of architecture. In essence, the philosophy of sustainability forms the basis of Chandrika’s pedagogy.

Chandrika begins each quarter with an overview of the first principles of design followed by small hands-on exercises involving collecting materials and artifacts, sketching, photographing, visiting and analyzing buildings and sites to hone in on the first principles studied. This is followed by intensive discussions and designs of one or two specific issues under consideration that quarter. Topics of practice and design are integrated in these mini projects. Physical model making is a crucial part of such preliminary design exercises. A lot of freedom is given to students to develop their own design vocabulary. The bulk of the quarter is then spent on one major design project that incorporates all the learning of the past few weeks. Technology issues learned during the practice class are continually integrated into the design. Site visits, programming, ideation through collages, graphics, and writings, music, dance, movies, potlucks, and intense designing through sketching, physical models and CADD drawings and details are many of the activities that characterize this studio time.

Her interactions with students are infused with kindness, positive reinforcement, a rigorous work ethic, and instilling a desire to excel. Having discussions with young minds and discovering how much they learn in just a few weeks she finds especially invigorating. To quote a few of her students "my architectural design abilities have grown more than I had anticipated at the beginning of the quarter," "finding fundamental concepts of design in nature and built items really helped me see them in action," "prioritizing is paramount; it is the choices I make that determine the quality," "architecture is excellence, and I’ve learned to observe it, design it, feel it, and love it." Chandrika looks forward to having highly motivated and bright students in her class and working together to create beautiful architectural designs.


Educational Credentials:

M.Arch and MS Construction Management, Iowa State University, IA  1988-1990
B.Arch, College of Architecture, Chandigarh, India  1981-1986

Teaching Experience:

Lecturer, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo  2008-current
Adjunct ProfessorCal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo   2007-2008
Teaching Assistant – Iowa State University, Iowa  1989-1990

Professional Experience:

Senior Architect - Goody Clancy & Associates, Boston   2001-2005
Project Architect - Goody Clancy & Associates, Boston   1999-2001
Junior Architect - Ellenzweig Associates, Inc., Boston   1998-1999
Project Manager - Bradfield, Richards & Associates, Architects, Inc., Atlanta  1996-1996
Architect Intern - Sizemore Floyd Architects, Inc., Atlanta   1995-1996
Principal Architect - Kalakrit, Chandigarh, India   1993-1995 & 1986-1988
Project Engineer - Isemoto Contracting Company, Ltd., Hawaii  1991-1993


Licensed in the State of Georgia since 1998 (license #: GA009576)
NCARB Certification
LEED@AP  2004

Professional Memberships:

SLO Green Build


Selected Publications amd Recent Research:

  • Jaggia, Chandrika. Book in progress. “Prelude to Design – An Architectural Programming Template for Sustainable Buildings”

Selected Activities:

  • Participated and volunteered for the 2015 California Climate Action Planning Conference (CCAPC)
  • Reviewed papers for the 2016 National Conference on the Beginning Design Student (NCBDS)
  • Student Advisor since Fall 2015


Updated 09.08.17


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