Boston, MA 02116
Katherine W. Swenson is a nationally recognized design leader, researcher, writer and educator. Katie is the vice president of Design & Sustainability at Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit organization that invests over $1 billion annually in community development. In addition to raising over $20 million to support design excellence in projects across the US., her work investigates how critical design practice can and should promote economic and social equity, environmental sustainability, and healthy communities.
A member of the second class of Enterprise Rose Fellowship, Swenson was tapped to grow and lead the program in 2007, after completing her fellowship with the Piedmont Housing Alliance in Charlottesville, Virginia. Under her leadership, Swenson has recruited and mentored 52 fellows who have gone on to be the next generation of leaders in architecture and community development. The Enterprise Rose Fellowship has been showcased at Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the New York Center for Architecture and the National Building Museum and recognized by the American Institute of Architects for its groundbreaking work.
Katie has 20 years of experience in the theoretical and practical application of design thinking and is a talented global public speaker and thought leader. She co-authored the book Growing Urban Habitats and is a contributing author to Activist Architecture: Philosophy and Practice of Community Design and Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism. Swenson founded the Charlottesville Community Design Center and has received numerous design and social innovation awards. She is on the Board of MASS Design Group, a nonprofit architecture collaborative and winner of the 2017 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Architecture. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Architecture from The University of Virginia.