Katie MacDonald’s scholarship reconsiders construction standards and materials in light of new lifecycle questions and overextended supply chains. MacDonald is Director of the Before Building Laboratory, where she pioneers new biomaterial assemblies, with the aim of creating building material systems that sequester carbon and reduce construction’s contribution to the environmental crisis. Her scholarship has been supported by the AIA Upjohn Research Initiative, the Arnold W. Brunner Grant, the Robert James Eidlitz Fellowship from Cornell University, and the Paul M. Heffernan International Travel Award from Harvard University, among others. Current projects focus on rapidly renewable biomaterials, including wood, bamboo, grass, various invasive plant species, and hemp.
MacDonald is Cofounder of After Architecture, an architecture firm named to convey the built environment's impact on cultures and ecologies. After Architecture has completed projects in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont, Washington D.C., California, and Europe including a memorial in Washington D.C. and an installation at the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019 “Enough: The Architecture of Degrowth.” For her work at After Architecture, MacDonald has been recognized as “Next Progressive” by Architect Magazine, “Emerging Designer” in the Virginia By Design Awards, and “Curbed Young Gun” by Curbed National.