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Patricia O’Leary, FAIA

Professor Emerita AND FORMER DEAN

Patricia O’LearyContact Information




Degrees Held

  • BArch, Arizona State University (1972)
  • MArch, Solar Energy Emphasis Studies, Arizona State University (1979)

Research Interests

Use of color in modern architecture, design influences on early and later modern designer Luis Barragan.

Professional Accomplishments


  • Advanced to AIA Fellowship: at the Alamo in San Antonio during the AIA Annual National Meeting, 2007. 
  • Fisher Traveling Scholarship Award I: Architectural Education Foundation, AIA Colorado, 2004. 
  • CU Denver Center for Faculty Development Award, 2004. 
  • Outstanding Achievement Award: Arizona State University, School of Architecture, 1997. 
  • Distinguished Professor: Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, 1996.
  • Tau Sigma Delta: Silver Medal for Outstanding Teaching: University of Arkansas, School of Architecture, 1995.
  • ​Outstanding Teaching Award: University of Arkansas Teaching Academy 1994.
  • ​Institute Scholars Award: American Institute of Architects, 1987.
  • ​AIA Award for Scholarship: American Institute of Architects, Central Arizona Chapter, 1967, 1968.

Elective Offices

  • Board of Directors, AIA Colorado, 1995-2003 
  • Board of Directors, National Architectural Accreditation board (NAAB).
  • ​NAAB Visiting Team Chair at the following schools: ​University of Memphis, 2012; University of Hartford, 2011; Tuskegee University, 2008; University of Texas at San Antonio, 2004: University of Illinois at Chicago, 2003: University of Houston, 2002: University of Pennsylvania, 1999: University of Cincinnati, 1997; University of Florida, 1996; Harvard University and University of California Los Angeles, 1995; University of Puerto Rico, New York Institute of Technology and Morgan State University, 1994; University of Virginia and Howard University, 1993.  Member of NAAB Visiting Team at the following schools: Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 2007; Virginia Polytechnic Institute at Blacksburg and Alexandria -Washington D.C. Center; 2006; Miami University, Oxford, OH, 2003; Hampton University, spring, 1992; and University of Oregon, 1991.  Member of Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Visiting Team at Savannah College of Art and Design, 1992: and the Canadian Architectural Certification Board Visiting Team at University of Calgary, 1995; University of Waterloo, 1998, and Carlton University, 2011; tree Year review Accreditation Review Committee for Carleton University, 2013.  External Consultant for Ontario Council of Graduate Studies' review of the University of Waterloo's architectural graduate program, 2006; Team Chair for NAAB Substantial Equivalency at Kuwait University, 2010.
  • ​Secretary-Treasurer, Board of Directors, NAAB: National Architectural Accrediting Board, 1993-94 term.
  • ​Vice President/President Elect Candidate, ACSA: Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, 1990, 1999.
  • ​Board of Directors, ACSA: Southwest Regional Director, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, 1987-90 term.
  • ​Treasurer, Board of Directors, ACSA: Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, 1981-83 term.


  • ​Dean,College of Architecture and Planning, University of Colorado at Denver/Boulder, 1995-2003.
  • Assistant Dean, School of Architecture, University of Arkansas, 1981-87.
  • Design Coordinator, School of Architecture, Architecture Program.


  • University of Colorado, 1995-
  • University of Arkansas, 1977-95
  • Brighton Polytechnic, summer 1987
  • Arizona State University, 1974-76
  • ​Scottsdale Community College, 1975-77



Registered Architect: Arizona, 1976, Colorado, 1995, NCARB Certificate.

Patricia O’Leary, Architect, Arizona, Arkansas & Colorado 1976- 2010

Michael & Kemper Goodwin, Ltd., Phoenix, Arizona 1973-75

Larkin Associates, Tempe, Arizona, 1973

Peters & Walling, Tempe, Arizona, 1972-73

Research and Scholarship

"Consequential Encounters: Luis Barragan's Influence on Louis Kahn" 2010 ACSA National Conference and Proceedings, New Orleans

"When Artists Build" 2010 ACSA National Conference and Proceedings, New Orleans

"When Artists Build" 2009 ACSA Southeast Region Conference and Proceedings, Savannah, (selected as one of the four best papers and forwarded to the ACSA National Meeting In New Orleans for presentation and inclusion in the proceedings.)  

"Porous Boundaries" 2009 ACSA Southeast Region Conference and proceedings, Albuquerque

"Mexican Fusion: The life, Times and Consequences of Luis Barragan" 2007 CSAAR Changing Regional Architecture In the Age of Globalization, Tunisia. 

"Barragan's Modernism from the Sixteenth Century" 2007 Hawaii International conference on Arts and Humanities, Honolulu, Hawaii.

"Enhancing the New Agenda:  Lessons Learned from Cultural Diversity that Informs Luis Barragan's Subdivision Design"  2006 Joint ACSP-AESOP 2nd World Planning Congress, Mexico City, Mexico.

"East Meets West at the Shadowed Wall" 1997 ACSA International Meeting at Berlin, Germany.

“Barragan's Homage to Albers" 1995 ACSA 83rd Annual Meeting, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. And 1994 Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians Conference, New Orleans University, New Orleans, Louisiana.

"Personal Object/Personal Space" 1994 ACSA Southwest Regional Conference, Southwest Louisiana University, Lafayette, Louisiana.

"Rapidly Tawdry: The Contribution of the Dutch Avant Garde to the Modernist Use of Colors" 1992 Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians Conference, University of North Carolina Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina.

"Remembering Whiteness: The Contribution of the Russian Avant Garde to the Modernist Use of Colors" 1991 ACSA Southwest Regional Conference, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

"A Chair, An Object, A Cafe" Co-authored with Alex Lapunzina, 1988 ACSA Northeast Regional Conference, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.

Funded Research and Contracts

“Develop a Draft Education Program for the Yellowstone/Teton Region to Study the Human Factors and Energy Impacts Associated with Gateway Communities” Funded contract ($30,000) with Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC, 2011.

"Design Analysis of Architectural Painting in Selected Contemporary Buildings" Funded research AIA Institute Scholars Award ($10,000) from the American Institute of Architects, 1987.

"Energy Conference for Architecture Faculty" Funded contract ($5000), Arkansas Department of Energy and Winrock Internationals, 1980-81.

"Distinguished Architectural Lectures Video-tape Project" Co-Principal Investigator, funded contract ($15,375) Chairman's Research Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, division of Education Projects Program and the University of Arkansas, 1980. 

"Architecture and the Arkansas House" Co-Principal Investigator, funded contract ($30,000) National Endowment for the Arts, the Association of the Collegiate Schools of Architecture, the Arkansas Education Television Network, and the University of Arkansas, ($5000) Owens-Corning Corporation, 1979.

"Micro-climate, Architecture and Landscape Relationships in an Arid Region: Phoenix, Arizona" Funded research ($11,000) National Science Foundation, Student Originated Studies Program, Arizona State University, 1976.

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