Sergio Palleroni




Professor Sergio Palleroni is a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University, a founding member and faculty of the federally funded Green Building Research Lab, and a member of the faculty of the School of Architecture. Professor Palleroni’s research and fieldwork for the last two decades has been in the methods of integrating sustainable practices to improve the lives of communities worldwide typically underserved. In 1988, to serve the needs of these communities he founded an academic outreach program that would later become the BASIC Initiative (, a service-learning fieldwork program. Today, the BASIC Initiative continues to serve the poor in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the U.S. In addition, Professor Palleroni has worked and been a consultant on sustainable architecture and development in the developing world since the 1980s, both for not-for-profit agencies and governmental and international agencies such as UNESCO, World Bank, and the governments of China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua and Taiwan. Palleroni holds a Master of Science in Architectural Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oregon.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      


Todd Ferry

Research Associate
Todd Ferry is a Research Associate at the Center for Public Interest Design within the School of Architecture at Portland State University. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of Georgia and a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. Before pursuing architecture, Todd worked for over a decade in the nonprofit field, including founding KIU ART, a service-learning organization working with a small community in Mwanza, Tanzania to build classrooms and exchange ideas. His background and interest in working with underserved populations led him to seek opportunities to apply his skills as a designer toward public interest design efforts. To that end, he has been active in leading and participating in progressive design-build projects around the world. Todd is currently involved in many projects at the Center for Public Interest Design, including the SAGE Green Modular Classroom, design-build work for the Montesinos Orphanage and Environmental Technical School in Haiti, and ongoing community outreach in Portland. He has a diverse range of interests in architecture that usually center around the intersection of theory and practice. He has been awarded a number of travel fellowships to pursue research topics in this area, including the work of Rudolf Steiner in Dornach, Switzerland, the evolution of museum typology in Oxford, England, and the Spomenik Monuments of the former Yugoslavia. His current research with the Center for Public Interest Design is focused on developing new models of working with underserved populations by leveraging available technology in those communities.


Margarette Leite

CPID Fellow 


Margarette Leite teaches architectural design and building tectonics in the School of Architecture at Portland State University.  Her work focuses on the creation of opportunities for students to engage in design processes and design/build activities that serve communities in need. These initiatives have garnered awards for civic engagement and have been the subjects of numerous publications and documentaries.  She has been a featured speaker at various forums nationally on public interest design. Her work with students includes projects with local school districts for the design of sustainable learning spaces as well as a current statewide initiative to build and distribute a greener, affordable modular classroom across Oregon and the nation. The SAGE Classroom was awarded an international SEED award in 2013 and serves as a model for how the profession can engage communities in solving critical social issues.  Her tectonics classes focus on the responsible use of sustainable and reusable materials as well as the promotion of hands-on making as a life-long habit for students of architecture.  In addition, she is a partner in PLDP Architecture, a firm that designs and promotes sustainable buildings and communities with particular emphasis on disaster relief.


B.D. Wortham-Galvin

CPID Fellow


B.D. Wortham-Galvin is an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture at Portland State University and founder and Director of the non-profit Urban Dialogues. She teaches a wide variety of subjects including urban and architectural design history and theory, and studios that focus on adaptive reuse, urban design, and community based design. Her scholarship focuses on how theories of the everyday and the participatory can be applied to the design and stewardship of the built environment. Professionally, her non-profit, Urban Dialogues, works on community design issues and is currently partnering with the Rosewood Initiative. As a member of the Maryland Urban Research Studio, she helped45rtory’s Channel’s, The City of the Future Challenge. In 2010 she and partner Jacob Day won the Outstanding Project of the Year Award, Heart of the Chesapeake Heritage Area for Place Work[s]hop held in East New Market, Maryland.          


Travis Bell

CPID Fellow

Travis's primary interest lies in making architecture that is in closer alignment with the natural patterns of our environment. This primary interest grounds a research, teaching and design agenda focused on appropriate material choice, the prioritization of authentic craftsmanship, passive systems design, adapted historical technologies, Critical Regionalism and temporary architectural solutions.



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