Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Director of the Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Program
Professor of Practice in Design Thinking
Edson Cabalfin, PhD, is an educator, architect, designer, researcher, and historian. He is the newly appointed Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the Tulane School of Architecture. In 2017-2018, he was the Curator of the Philippine Pavilion at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale 2018.
Cabalfin's research focuses on intersections of architecture history and theory, cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, postcolonial theory, Southeast Asian studies, spatial justice, public interest design, and heritage conservation
He received his Ph.D. in History of Architecture and Urban Development from Cornell University in 2012. Under a Fulbright Fellowship, he obtained his Master of Science in Architecture degree from the University of Cincinnati in 2003. Prior to coming to the U.S., he received his professional Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees from the University of the Philippines in 1996 and 2001, respectively.
Before coming to Tulane, Edson was Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Interior Design Program in the School of Architecture and Interior Design in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati. He has also previously taught in various capacities at Cornell University, University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University, University of Santo Tomas, and De la Salle – College of Saint Benilde.
Edson’s research in the last two decades have focused on the interdisciplinary and transnational intersections of architecture history and theory, cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, postcolonial theory, Southeast Asian studies, spatial justice, public interest design, and heritage conservation. He wrote the book “What Kids Should Know About Filipino Architecture” (Adarna Books, 2015) and edited “The City Who Had Two Navels: Catalogue of the Philippine Pavilion at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale 2018” (National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 2018).
In the last five years Edson has been involved in various social innovation and design thinking projects and initiatives. At the University of Cincinnati, he organized a foreign-study program in Southeast Asia with a design studio focusing on typhoon Haiyan disaster recovery in Leyte, Philippines. From 2016 to 2018, he was faculty fellow at Live Well Collaborative, University of Cincinnati’s design thinking-based and multi-disciplinary innovation center, leading projects on heath, wellness, and aging-in-place. He was a consultant with the non-profit organization Village Life Outreach Project conducting participatory design thinking workshops with three rural villages in Tanzania. He also conducted several design thinking workshops with faculty and administrators of Sycamore High School and Winton Woods High School of the Cincinnati Public School system.
A licensed and registered architect in the Philippines, Edson also runs his design consultancy Talyer Kayumanggi/Brown Workshop, based in Cincinnati and Manila, with projects in architecture, interior design, set design, costume design, fashion design, exhibition design, graphic design, and design strategy in North America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Middle East in the last 25 years.