Alberto de Salvatierra is a multilingual and bi-cultural polymath, urbanist, designer and educator. He is an avid world traveler who received his Bachelor of Architecture (with an inaugural minor in Design and Environmental Analysis) from Cornell University and a first-professional Master of Landscape Architecture and an advanced post-professional Master of Design Studies in Urbanism, Landscape and Ecology at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design.
While at Cornell, he conducted research in Nepal investigating the vernacular building practices of the Tamang people in Mhanégang; re-examined Leon Battista Alberti's architectural magnum opus De Re Aedificatoria (synthesizing Alberti's ideals on urban planning) in Pienza, Italy; and explored concepts of utopian urbanism in Valletta, Malta. He was also a Teaching Associate for Terra Verde, a summer abroad program in Scandinavia that explored the philosophies of ecology in the context of design and architecture, and was an official Photographer for the Cornell in Rome Program. He has also conducted international service projects that include building a house for a family in need in Piedra Menuda, Nicaragua and constructing a clinic for the village of Veron in the Dominican Republic. Making use of a multiplicity of interests, Alberto has also conducted research on palliative healthcare facilities under Dr. Rana Zadeh, assisted in the development of a structural bamboo system by Professor Jack Elliott and collected writings on the architecture of structure for an upcoming book publication by Mark Cruvellier, Chair of the Architecture Department at Cornell.
Because of his work as Designer-in-Residence for Olin and Uris Libraries at Cornell University (which included the design and execution of several exhibitions like PARALLAX: Cornell Luminaries of Science Fiction and Foreign Fields: Perspectives on the Great War), he was awarded the libraries’ highest honor: the William F. Fuerst ’39 Outstanding Library Employee Award which cited his 1,000+ lighted origami installation Siege of Cranes—a preamble to the exhibition When the Emperor Was Divine—and his permanent installation ARTery as exemplary contributions to the art and culture of the libraries. Alberto has also been awarded multiple other scholarships and grants from which he was able to finance research travel to over 25 countries in 7 years—including the Cornell Alumni Association of Atlanta and the Nancy Penn Lyons Scholarships.
Currently, in addition to being a Visiting Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas' School of Architecture, Alberto is the Founder & Chairman of the Center for Civilization, and the Director of Aesir Lab. He has previously been an Instructor in Landscape Architecture at Harvard University GSD, a Visiting Adjunct Professor at Boston Architectural College, the inaugural Editor-in-Chief for the MDes Research Log, a Research Assistant for the Waste-to-Energy Design Lab, and an inaugural May Crane Fellow at Harvard University's Lamont Library. He is also currently developing several simultaneous research projects: Vegetation as Urbanism, Ecologies of Eutopia, Sacred Shrines: Spirituality, Syncretism and Space (which is examining the peaceful coexistence of Hindu and Buddhist shrines in Kathmandu), Planned Cities Catalog (for which he was named a Walking Visionary by Walk21 Vienna), and Reed Urbanism: Soft Infrastructures in the Floating City of Uros for which he recently received Harvard GSD's Penny White Prize and Cornell's Robert James Eidlitz Fellowship. Alberto spends his free time thinking about grass (especially maize), knowledge, cities and civilization.