Rachel Dickey

Assistant Professor, Architecture
Storrs 147

Faculty Research Connections Profile

Rachel Dickey is an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture and founder of Studio Dickey, a public art and design practice. She holds a Masters of Design Studies with a concentration in technology from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Master of Architecture from Georgia Institute of Technology, where she received the Ventulett Distinguished Chair Award and Prize for her graduate thesis project.

As a teacher of undergraduate and graduate architecture studios and computational design seminars her classes investigate approaches that emphasize design agency in architecture. Her research and work have been published in many journals including Architectural Review, Architect Magazine, Paradigms in Computing, and Arteca Journal by MIT Press. Dickey has exhibited at the Angels Gate Cultural Center in Los Angeles, Office for the Arts at Harvard, Des Cours in New Orleans, and the Museum of Design in Atlanta.

Recognizing that current technologies are allowing for an increasingly direct relationship between design and translation, her research seeks to investigate the potential for a machine and material epistemology in architecture. It explores the use of machines and tools in design not only in terms of material manipulation, but also as instruments, which affect people and their environments. Overall, her research and practice examine ways of appropriating technology in design to uncover approaches that demonstrate the influential capacity of art and architecture to impact and enhance the lives of those who encounter it. Visit her website

Explore Her recent work

colorful light installation of transparent curved forms on sidewalk next to light rail line

Dickey's interactive installation titled "Covid Confessionals" selected for South End Rail Trail Festival. 

exhibit of hanging silver forms that inflate with contact

In the spring of 2018, Dickey turned Storrs Gallery into “a petri dish” of experimentation with her interactive installation, Air Hugs. The “Air Hugs,” 12-foot-long massive mylar balloons that hung from the ceiling, turned the gallery into a “sensing environment” that responded to visitors by “inhaling and exhaling,” creating “a socially enveloping brilliance of reflection and light.” 

white sculpture outside of building composed of scalloped forms to make a cube

Dickey's "Sound Pavilion" used sound performance to guide the construction of repeating gypsum forms into an architectural space.