Vernelle A. A. Noel, Ph.D. is an architect, design scholar, artist, TED Speaker, and Director of the Situated Computation + Design Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech.) where she investigates traditional and automated making, human-computer interaction, interdisciplinary creativity, and their intersections with society. Dr. Noel’s scholarship and expertise include design in the Trinidad Carnival, craft practices, architecture, and art. She builds new expressions, tools, and methodologies to explore social, cultural, and political aspects of making, computational design, and emerging technology for new social and technical reconfigurations of design practice, pedagogy, and publics.
Her research has been supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Mozilla Foundation, and ideas2innovation (i2i), among others. Dr. Noel is a recipient of the 2021 DigitalFUTURES Young Award for exceptional research and scholarship in the field of critical computational design. Currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture and the School of Interactive Computing, she teaches courses in design, computation, and architecture.
Noel’s work is situated at the intersection of computation, ethnographic inquiry, and critical practice where she interrogates socio-cultural and socio-technical issues in computation and computational technologies in design and making. Her recent scholarship brings together methods and concepts from craft, human-computer interaction and media studies, and science and technology studies (STS). A scholar committed to fostering inclusive and minority perspectives on design, making, and technology, Noel conducts workshops and gives talks on design computation extensively across the globe. Her work is thoroughly interdisciplinary with training in architecture, design computation, science, technology, and society (sts) studies, media arts, and sciences; and arts education.
Vernelle was the 2018-2020 Ventulett NEXT Generation Visiting Fellow at Georgia Institute of Technology and has taught courses in design and computation for MIT at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. She is also the founder, creator, and editor of Architecture Caribbean, an online platform that showcased and promoted design by Caribbean nationals. In 2015, Noel gave a TEDx Talk titled, “The Power of Making: Craft, Computation, and Carnival” at TEDxPortofSpain. Dr. Noel has been featured on Madame Architect and is a Keynote Speaker at ACADIA 2020.
Vernelle is the first (and currently the only) Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in Architecture (Design Computing) from the Pennsylvania State University. She holds a Masters of Science in Architecture Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Design Computation); a Bachelor of Architecture from Howard University; and a Diploma in Civil Engineering from the John S. Donaldson Technical Institute (University of Trinidad & Tobago). Vernelle has taught courses in Design Computation and architecture at Penn State University, the Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD), MIT, and has practiced as an architect in Washington, DC; India; and Trinidad & Tobago.