Mónica Ponce de León, AIA is Dean of the School of Architecture at Princeton University. A National Design Award winner, Ponce de León is widely recognized as a pioneer in the application of robotic technology to building fabrication and architecture education. Her interdisciplinary practice, MPdL Studio, has offices in New York, Boston, and Ann Arbor, MI. Ponce de León previously served as Dean of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan (2008–2015) and as Professor at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University (1996–2008).
MPdL Studio’s work ranges in scale from furniture to architecture, urban design and infrastructure, with a focus on design integration, craft, detailing, and precision. The studio seizes on the challenges unique to each project—the peculiarities of a site, requirements of program, and cultural specificity—as the catalysts for transformation. At the macro-scale the studio draws from the multidisciplinary forces that form the relevant context of every project. Program and experience drive our understanding and shaping of space. At the micro–scale, an investigation of the potentials of materials and construction techniques is the foundation for every design. Much of the studio’s research is dedicated to an exploration of how to improve on contemporary modes of construction, investigating both industry standards as well as evolving technologies derived from digital manufacturing processes.