Gabriel Tenaya Kaprielian


Assistant Professor 

Phone 805.756.1444
Office 34-220-E
Web page  

Areas of Expertise

Climate Change Adaptation 
Interdisciplinary Collaboration 
Extended Reality (AR/VR/XR)
Built and Natural Environment Integration


Gabriel Tenaya Kaprielian is a designer, artist, and educator based in California. He is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He has taught at UC Berkeley, Temple University, and the California College of the Arts. Gabriel received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cal Poly and a Master of Architecture and Master of City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley. 

Gabriel’s research and creative work explore the interconnected relationship between the built and natural environment, past, present, and future, to inform more resilient and livable cities. Employing a multi-scalar and transdisciplinary approach, his work seeks to build knowledge, enable creative discourse, and inspire collective optimism in developing innovative solutions for the climate crisis. The focus of his current research is on the contested territory of urban waterfronts in tidal cities. This work seeks to reframe the problems associated with sea level rise and coastal climate change events as an opportunity to reshape the edge condition between land and sea, proposing new relationships between urban life and ecological systems. 

Gabriel has served as a U.S. Fulbright Research Scholar in Singapore, American Arts Incubator Lead Artist for Peru, Fellow at the Exploratorium: The Museum of Science, Art and Humanities and Artist-in-Resident at Autodesk Pier 9 in San Francisco and Kunstnarhuset Messen in Norway.


Educational Credentials:

Master of Architecture, University of California, Berkeley, CA
Master of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley, CA
Bachelor of Architecture, Minors in Art and Spanish, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA 

Teaching Experience:

Assistant Professor, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA 
Program Director, Design and Innovation for Sustainable Cities, University of California, Berkeley, CA 
Assistant Professor, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 
Lecturer, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA 
Senior Lecturer, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA

Professional Experience:

U.S. Fulbright Scholar/Visiting Faculty, Earth Observatory of Singapore, Singapore 
U.S. Lead Artist for Peru, American Arts Incubator, Lima, Peru 
Project Manager Innovation Lab, Sherwood Design Engineers, San Francisco, CA 
Designer, Eight Inc., Singapore 
Design Fellow, Architecture for Humanity, San Francisco, CA 
Designer, M:OME, San Luis Obispo, CA 
Designer, Studio2G, San Luis Obispo, CA 
Designer, Leonard Grant Architects, Pismo Beach, CA


LEED Accredited Professional 


Selected Publications and Recent Research:

  • Kaprielian, Gabriel and Alex Hirsig. 2022. “Design for Change: Climate Centered Pedagogy in the Architecture Studio,” Presented at the ARCC-EAAE International Conference, Resilient City: Physical, Social, and Economic Perspectives, Miami, Florida. 
  • Kaprielian, Gabriel and Renee Jackson. 2022. “Design for Change: Digital Tools and Games for a Sustainable Future,” Presented at the Associate of Collegiate Schools of Architecture ACSA 110th Annual Meeting, Empower, Los Angeles, CA. 
  • Kaprielian, Gabriel. 2021. “Lima 2100: Collective Resilience through Adaptive Urbanism,” Presented at the Environmental Design Research Association Annual Conference EDRA 52 “Framing Just Worlds,” Detroit, Michigan 
  • Kaprielian, Gabriel and Gary Scales. 2020. “Adapting Waterfronts: A Sea Level Rise Toolkit for a Resilient Future,” Presented at the Architecture Research Centers Consortium, Strategies to Achieve Sustainability Panel (ARCC) Virtual Conference 
  • Kaprielian, Gabriel. 2018. “Past, Present, Future: The Landscape as Design Collaborator,” Presented at the 106th Annual Meeting of Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), Denver, Colorado 
  • Kaprielian, Gabriel and Andrew Santa Lucia. 2018. “Pinstagrammed! The Internet as Muse,” Presented at the Social Media and the Internet Session at 34th National Conference on the Beginning Design Student (NCBDS), Cincinnati, OH 
  • Kaprielian, Gabriel. 2017. “Between Land and Sea: An Approach for Resilient Waterfront Development Along the San Francisco Bay,” The Plan Journal, 2017/vol. 2, Issue 2, Resilient Edges, p. 273-294, doi 10.15274/tpj.2017.02.02.02, Bologna, Italy. 
  • Kaprielian, Gabriel and Carlos Sandoval. 2017. “Waterfront Ecologies: Redefining the Urban Edge,” Bracket Journal 5: On Sharing 
  • Kaprielian, Gabriel. 2017. “Site Analysis as Design,” Presented at the 33rd National Conference on the Beginning Design Student (NCBDS), Salt Lake City, Utah 
  • Kaprielian, Gabriel. 2017. “Sea-Level Hi-Rise: or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Climate Change,” Presented at the 105th Annual Meeting of Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), Detroit, Michigan 
  • Kaprielian, Gabriel. 2016. “Scan Fab Lamps,” Presented at the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture Conference, Computational Ecologies: Design in the Anthropocene, (ACADIA), Cincinnati, OH

Selected Exhibitions:

  • Kaprielian, Gabriel. 2023. “Postcards from the Future,” project video included in the Transpecies Design exhibition at The European Cultural Center in the Venice Biennale’s 18th International Architectural Exhibition, Palazzo Bembo, Venice Italy. 
  • Kaprielian, Gabriel with Renee Jackson and Matt Shoemaker. 2023. “Game On! Design and Play for a Sustainable Future,” exhibition of architectural board games, Temple University Library Gallery, Philadelphia, PA 
  • Kaprielian, Gabriel. 2022-Present. “Adapting Waterfronts: Postcards from the Future, Singapore 2100,” augmented reality public art installation and exhibition developed as part of a U.S. Scholar Fulbright, in collaboration with the Earth Observatory of Singapore at Nanyang Technological University. Additional support provided by the Collection of the National Museum of Singapore, National Heritage Board, and the National Archives of Singapore. Singapore 
  • Kaprielian, Gabriel with artists Cristina Ocampo, Elsa Bustamante, Giovana Pillaca. (2021-Present). “Mitos, Voces y Tejidos: Construyendo indentidades digitales al bicenentario,” (“Myths, Voices and Tissues: Building digital identities to the bicenentario”), virtual reality gallery exhibition of curated work at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo MAC Contemporary Art Museum in collaboration with MAC Lima, Zero1, Universidad de Ingeniería y Technología UTEC, Lima, Peru 
  • Kaprielian, Gabriel. 2019. “Sea-Level Hi-Rise: The Waterfront Adaptation Board Game,” digitally fabricated board game at public group exhibition “Play with the Rules: Portmanteau Exhibit” at the Milwaukee Museum of Art, Milwaukee, WI 
  • Kaprielian, Gabriel. 2018-Present. “Genius Loci: Architecture and the Landscape Along the Hardangerfjord,” public installation of constructed fjord observatory, Kunstnerhuset Messen, Ålvik, Norway (on permanent loan and public display) 
  • Kaprielian, Gabriel. 2016-Present. “Social Topographies of San Francisco,” digitally fabricated 3D data visualization at the Exploratorium’s Fisher Bay Observatory, San Francisco, CA (on permanent loan and public display) 
  • Kaprielian, Gabriel. 2017. “Floating Habitat Pods,” public art installation funded by the Ecoptian Toolkit Program by the University of Pennsylvania’s in the Environmental Humanities at Bartram’s Garden, Philadelphia, PA

Selected Awards:

  • U.S. Embassy Grant, “Postcards from the Future: Singapore’s Adapting Waterfront,” Singapore (2022-2023) 
  • U.S. Scholar Fulbright Research Award, “Postcards from the Anthropocene: A Sea-Level Rise Toolkit for Urban Waterfront Resilience in Singapore,” granted by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars and U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Hosted by the Earth Observatory of Singapore at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2020-2022) 
  • U.S. Lead Artist for Peru, “Lima 2100: Collective Resilience through Adaptive Urbanism,” American Arts Incubator is an international creative exchange program developed in partnership between ZERO1 and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program focused on addressing the social challenge of urban development in Lima, Peru using art + technology in collaboration with Peruvian artists, architects, and activists in partnership with the U.S Embassy in Lima, University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC), and the Contemporary Art Museum (MAC – Lima). (2019-21) 
  • Fellowship, Exploratorium: The Museum of Science, Art and Humanities, San Francisco, CA (2019) 
  • Kunstnerhuset Messen Artist-in-Residence, Alvik, Norway (2018) 
  • Autodesk Pier 9 Artist-in-Residence/Affiliate Artist, San Francisco, CA (2014/2015)

Selected Awards:

  • Faculty Advisor, Armenian Student Association (2024-Present)

​Updated 01.16.24

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