Nora Wendl questions the composition of architecture—seeking to expand the perception of what the discipline’s built forms and histories are (and could be). Her compositions exist on a spectrum between the written artifact and the built artifact, aligning architecture and its histories with the adjacent fields of fiction, poetry, contemporary art and literature. Wendl is co-editor, with Isabelle Loring Wallace, of Contemporary Art about Architecture: A Strange Utility (Ashgate, 2013). In 2012, she co-organized the international ideas competition Pruitt Igoe Now with Michael R. Allen, Director of Preservation Research Office in St. Louis, Missouri (pruittigoenow.org). She is widely published in numerous architectural journals, including 306090, Architecture and Culture: Journal of the Architectural Humanities Research Association, Forty-Five, Journal of Architectural Education, On Site: Review, Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, and Thresholds. Beyond academic writing, she has recently published Ave Maria (Savannah: A-B Editions, 2016) with photographer Rylan Steele.
Her work has been recognized with interdisciplinary awards and fellowships. She is currently artist-in-residence at Santa Fe Art Institute in their thematic residency program, Truth & Reconciliation. In 2017, she was awarded a seat at Tin House Summer Writers Workshop (in Creative Nonfiction) to workshop her current manuscript, Glass. In 2015, along with her collaborator, photographer Rylan Steele, she was named a finalist for the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize by the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies for Ave Maria, a cycle of poems in response to Steele’s photographs of the pseudo-utopian town, Ave Maria, Florida. In 2015, the Oregon Arts Commission granted her a Career Opportunity Grant to produce “Glass Document,” recording sounds of the Farnsworth House (Mies van der Rohe, Plano, Illinois, 1951) as it is moved/augmented to avoid imminent destruction by the Fox River: a portrait in sound of the past and present of the structure. In 2013, she was a resident artist of Coast Time (Oregon) and in 2011 she was one of twelve Pacific Northwest writers selected for a Jack Straw Fellowship (Seattle, WA). At Portland State University, her research has been supported with competitive grants from the Office of Academic Affairs, the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, the Provost’s PSU Foundation, and the Center for Academic Excellence.
Wendl currently sits on the editorial board of Forty-Five: A Journal of Outside Research and previously the Journal of Architectural Education (2014-2017). Over the past decade, she has presented, performed and exhibited at numerous national and international academic conferences and venues including, most recently, the 2014 Biennale Sessions at La Biennale di Venezia, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Delft University of Technology, Seattle Art Museum, Blue Sky Center for Photographic Arts (Portland, Oregon), Seattle Public Library, Center for Architecture (Portland), Oregon Jewish Museum, Art Institute (Portland), Westbrook Artist’s Site (Madison County, Iowa), Bookfest, Wordstock, American Institute of Architects (Washington, D.C.), Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA), Universities Art Association of Canada (UAAC), and the National Conference on the Beginning Design Student (NCBDS).
Nora Wendl is currently Associate Professor of Architecture at University of New Mexico. Prior to this, she was Associate Professor of Architecture at Portland State University (2010-2016 Assistant Professor, tenure awarded in 2016), Visiting Assistant Professor of Architecture at University of North Carolina-Charlotte (2008-2010), Gallery Director at the University of Georgia Lamar Dodd School of Art (2006-2008), Director of Anderson Gallery (2004-2006), and Pearl Hogrefe Fellow in Creative Writing at Iowa State University Department of English (2004-2005). She earned both her B.Arch. (2003) and M.Arch (2006) at Iowa State University.