Peter Scupelli

Peter Scupelli

Associate Professor, Director of Learning Environments Lab.

Peter Scupelli is an Associate Professor of Design, Director of the Learning Environments Lab, and Visiting Professor at Politecnico di Milano. He was the Nierenberg Professor from 2019-2022. Peter’s current research focus is on learning environments and design futures. Peter is co-founder of the Global Design Futures Network (GDFN).

Peter teaches both undergraduate and doctoral-level courses. He teaches required courses such as: Environments Studio I: Form and Context, Futures, and Design Futures.

Peter's teaching and research focus on two fundamental topics necessary to bring aspects of Transition Design to design practice: aligning short-term design action and long-term vision goals and embedding values into design processes. In Dexign Futures, students learn to combine Design Thinking with Futures Thinking to align short and long-term time horizons. In Design for Zero-Carbon Lifestyles, he teaches how to live a zero-carbon lifestyle and create zero-carbon organizations. In Design Your Futures students learn to design their life.

Peter's training and career path link architecture, interaction design, and human-computer interaction research. He completed his Ph.D. at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. His dissertation focused on how the architecture of the built environment around large schedule displays and nursing control desks supports coordination services in surgical suites.

Peter has a master’s degree in interaction design from the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. His thesis essay explored the effect of affordances in communities of practice. His thesis project entailed making process work visible to design teams throughout a project in time-shared project rooms.

His architecture degree is from the Universitá di Genova in Italy; thesis title, “Strangers in the residual spaces of the contemporary city,” focused on the role of obsolete parts of the city as community resources. He was advised by Stefano Boeri (chair), Fabrizio Paone (Urban Planner), Anna Costantini (Art Critic), and Brunetto De Batte (Design Composition).

While in Italy, he worked in architecture studios in Milan and was part of the A12 architecture collective. His interest in physical environments and information technology emerged while collaborating with new media artists on installations in museums and art galleries.

He collaborated with A12 and Udo Noll on Parole, an online architecture glossary. Parole was in the VII Architecture Biennial of Venice, PS1 MOMA, New York, the São Paulo Contemporary Art Biennial, and other places. Other collaborations include Urban Epidemics a city-wide installation deployed in Turin, Italy for the Biennial of Young Artists from the Mediterranean); Mirrors, a few reflections on identity, an urban installation in Reggio Emilia, Italy; HUMBOT, at the ZKM Museum of Karlsruhe, Germany, net_condition exhibition, ZKM, 1999); A description of the Equator and Some Øtherlands, at Galerie Schenk in Cologne, Germany; UNMOVIE at Wood Street Galleries, in Pittsburgh, PA.  etc.