Ronald Rael is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley with a joint appointment in the departments of Architecture and Art Practice. Prior to joining the faculty at Berkeley he was the co-director of Clemson University’s Charles E. Daniel Center for Building Research and Urban Studies in Genova, Italy. He earned his Master of Architecture degree at Columbia University in the City of New York, where he was the recipient of the William Kinne Memorial Fellowship. He is the author of Earth Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008) — a history of building with earth in the modern era to exemplify new, creative uses of the oldest building material on the planet.
His creative practice, Rael San Fratello, established in 2002 with Virginia San Fratello, is an internationally recognized award-winning studio whose work lies at the intersection of architecture, art, culture, and the environment. In 2014 Rael San Fratello was named an Emerging Voice by The Architectural League of New York—one of the most coveted awards in North American architecture. Research by Rael San Fratello has resulted in the start-up company, Emerging Objects — a pioneering design and research company that focuses on innovative 3D printed materials and objects for the built environment.
Rael’s research and creative work transforms the practice of architecture into a cultural endeavor — one that is defiant, inventive and tied to contemporary issues. The work relies upon a deep understanding of place, and its inherent resources, and makes careful links between a broad spectrum of tools that come from manual, industrial and digital approaches to making architecture.