Ilaria Mazzoleni, Architetto  
Ilaria Mazzoleni, Architetto, LEED AP

Ilaria Mazzoleni is an architect and founder of IM Studio Milano/Los Angeles. Her professional and academic focus is on sustainable architecture at all scales of design, and on biomimicry, where design innovation is inspired by the processes and functions of nature. Her conceptual work has been published globally and her built work can be found in Italy, California, and Ghana. Gaining attention in the fields of sustainable architecture and biomimicry has led to Ilaria’s increasing participation and contribution in multiple international magazines, conferences and workshops. Since 2005, she has also been a full-time faculty member at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles.

Before starting her own practice, Ilaria worked in several leading offices in California and Europe, designing and collaborating on projects including agps architectures’s Topanga House, Esslingen Housing and Children’s Museum of Los Angeles and as junior designer for CO Architects working on Kendall Square Laboratory in Cambridge, WH Foege Building at University of Washington and Campus Emergency Services Facility at University of California, San Diego. As founder of IM STUDIO, Ilaria has been building installations and projects including Cocoa House in Ghana, W house extension in South Pasadena, Artist Franco Normanni Retrospective installation in Bergamo, Celestini private residence in Bergamo, and Vico Magistretti: A Traveling Archive installation at Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles.

Her ongoing work continues to uphold sustainability as a primary means of delivering excellence in design. Valuing her clients’ needs, she incorporates communication and flexibility as a foundation for successful project delivery, balancing progressive thinking with environmental and cost effective solutions.

Ilaria has been a visiting professor at several institutions such as Art Center College of Design, UCLA, and USC. At SCI-Arc she has been teaching design studios, sustainable environmental systems and bio-inspired design seminars at both graduate and undergraduate level. Her motivation is to increase environmental awareness in academia with curricula that extend beyond the traditional classroom setting. She has co-created a workshop traveling to Italy entitled "Design is One,” organized more like a field trip than typical academic course. Each year, she and a group of fifteen students would explore architecture and design "from the spoon to the city," visiting manufacturing companies and architectural offices in Northern Italy in order to more intimately understand what has been shaping the design field at large. 

Her academic and professional research done in collaboration with biologists and other scientists from top research institutions, explores the connections between biotic and abiotic elements within eco-systems, in order to develop sustainable urban planning strategies and address solutions for issues of global climate change. Her ongoing research program centers on understanding how organisms have evolved and adapted to their environment, applying that knowledge to design strategies for building façades. The conceptual implications arising from biomimetics and design have led to a body of work that investigates innovative material processes, forms, geometries and structural patterns.

Through IM.PRINT, Ilaria's think tank dedicated to written research and cross-disciplinary discourse, she published a book entitled Architecture Follows Nature – Biomimetic Principles for Innovative Design by CRC Press (2013). Ilaria writes extensively about the interrelationships between the built environment and nature and collaborates with magazines such as DOMUS and Abitare, among others. She is the new Los Angeles correspondent for Abitare magazine.