FAIA | Founding Principal
Sheila Kennedy is an American architect, innovator, and educator. She is a Professor of Architecture at MIT and a Co- Founder and Principal of KVA Matx. Designated as one of Fast Company’s emerging Masters of Design, Sheila Kennedy is described as an “insightful and original thinker who is designing new ways of working, learning, leading and innovating”. Sheila has received the Innovator Award from Architectural Record, the Rupp Prize for Distinguished Practitioners, the Innovation Green Grant from the Lemulson Foundation and a MIT Bose Innovation Fellowship.
At KVA, Sheila brings 20 years of professional experience in architectural design. She consults on all design projects. Sheila directs Matx, KVA’s material research division that works with business leaders, cultural institutions, and public agencies to design new applications for renewable materials and resilient ‘soft’ infrastructure for networked cities and urbanizing regions. Kennedy’s design work has been widely published and has been exhibited at the United States Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, at MoMA, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, the International Rotterdam Biennial, the Vitra Design Museum, and the TED conference in California. Kennedy has been invited to share her work at the United Nations in New York, on National Public Radio, BBC World News, Swedish Television, French Television, CBS Spotlight on Design, The Discovery Channel, CNN Principal Voices, Wired, Elle Magazine, The Economist, and The Wall Street Journal.
J. FRANO VIOLICH
FAIA | Founding Principal
As a co-founding Principal at Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Frano Violich has developed an expanded interdisciplinary practice that engages building design, material innovation, digital fabrication, and energy resilience. Recent projects include Hayden Library at MIT, the Global Flora Plant Conservatory at Wellesley College, and the Institute for Data Sciences at the University of Rochester. KVA’s material research division Matx has worked with business leaders, cultural institutions, and public agencies to design and build resilient soft infrastructure in the US, Germany, and France and urbanizing global regions in central Asia, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, India, and Africa. Violich has lectured widely and has taught architectural studios at RISD, Berkeley, UVA, Michigan, and Cornell, and Harvard’s GSD which was documented in the book BRICK: Thick/Thin published in May 2017.
AIA | Principal
Ben Widger, AIA, has more than a decade of experience leading the design and management of significant university and public sector projects across three continents. Ben served as Project Architect for the Global Flora Conservatory at Wellesley College, winner of the 2017LaFarge-Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction and an Architecture Master Prize. He has led design teams at Colorado College, Northeastern University, and the Berklee College of Music. Ben has run international research projects at KVA, including the design of heat-harvesting linen soft goods for leading textile manufacturers in France, a peer-to peer clean-energy infrastructure project in Melbourne, Australia, and the Nanobionic Plant Project which was displayed at the Cooper Hewitt’s 2019 Design Triennial. Ben’s experience with locally sourced materials, automated component fabrication, and high-performance building envelopes are an extension of his passion for sustainability—he is an avid composter and year-round bicycle commuter. Ben is a graduate of Cornell University with a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Master of Architecture.
AIA | Senior Associate
Ned Goodell, AIA, brings over 22 years of experience directing award-winning domestic and international projects. Recent KVA work includes; Mullins Library at the University of Arkansas, Lincoln Field Building at Brown University for the Department of Earth, Environment and Planetary Sciences, MIT’s Hayden Library, and the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe. Prior to KVA, Ned was a Principal at Machado and Silvetti Associates, where he led cultural arts projects, including the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the Wellin Museum and the Kennedy Center for Theatre and Studio Arts at Hamilton College, and the Black Family Visual Arts Center at Dartmouth. International work included the Olayan School of Business at the American University of Beirut, mixed-use developments in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and the Museo Arqueologico Regional de Copan in Honduras. Ned earned a BA in Economics and Fine Art from Colby College and a Master of Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.