Farling Receives 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award
PHOENIX, AZ Melissa Farling, FAIA, Managing Principal of HDR's Phoenix, Arizona, architecture studio, has received a Distinguished Alumni Award for her accomplishments in architecture from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte College of Arts + Architecture.
"It is an incredible honor to receive this distinction," Farling said. "I am overwhelmed and humbled, and I am thankful for the support that HDR has provided throughout my journey. I found my passion for architecture and social justice while at UNCC, in addition to forming many life-long relationships."
The Distinguished Alumni Awards were created by the College of Arts + Architecture in 2015 to recognize the accomplishments of alumni who demonstrate the core themes of the college's vision through their work: professionalism, global perspective, environmental engagement, connectivity with community, collaboration and the emergence of new ideas, skills and practices. Each department's faculty and administration designates one distinguished alumni award winner every year.
Farling has dedicated much of her 28-year career to researching the impact of architecture on people, which she believes is essential for the creation of sustainable and appropriate environments. Her work is focused primarily on public projects, for which she has successfully applied her research to the designs of correctional, educational and behavioral health facilities, courthouses, land ports of entry, commercial projects and residences.
An advocate for the industry, Farling co-chaired the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Women's Leadership Summit in 2013 and served as past president of the AIA Central Arizona Chapter. In 2014, she was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows. She served as co-chair of the AIA Academy of Architecture for Justice (AAJ) Research Committee from 2006 to 2016, during which time she co-organized and co-led the first series of criminal justice neuroscience-architecture workshops. She is currently a member of the AAJ Leadership Group, as well as a liaison to the Research Committee. She serves on the AIA Phoenix Metro Chapter Advisory Council as well.
Farling was a Principal Investigator on a National Institute of Corrections-funded study that examined the impact of nature on stress in a jail intake area. She has contributed to several publications, and she frequently presents on evidence-based design.