Jeff Ponitz is a licensed architect and educator. He is an Associate Professor of Architecture at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he coordinates the 3rd Year Integrated Design Studios and teaches courses in computational design and digital fabrication, geometry, and building envelope design. In his teaching and his research, Jeff promotes an ethic of thinking through making: an iterative process where material, form, and phenomena intermingle to generate unexpected possibilities. He believes that looking critically at what we make, how we make it, and why we make it can reveal unanticipated and potentially innovative solutions—perhaps to problems we didn’t know existed.
Jeff is a founding partner of VERT Studio, an experimental design-research practice. His research explores the productive overlap of material, geometry and performance using computational design and digital fabrication processes. His work straddles the line between product design's approach of manufacturing for the masses, and architectural design's approach of customized crafting for a single client. In 2016, Jeff was awarded a residency at Autodesk Pier 9 in San Francisco, CA, where he developed zero-waste manufacturing methods for environmentally performative surfaces. This work is currently under further development with the support of a ZGF Architects Building Performance grant. Other design awards include a Virginia Society AIA Merit Award for his Compression Screen installation in 2009, and an Honorable Mention for his design proposal Crowd-Sourced Curation: Towards an Institutional Ecology in the 54 Jeff design competition (no relation) in 2013. Jeff has exhibited and published his work nationally in venues such as the AIA National Convention Expo, the Facade Tectonics World Congress, and the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA).
Previously, Jeff taught at the University of Virginia, where he coordinated the 2nd Year foundational design studios in addition to teaching courses in computational design and fabrication. He has worked as a designer in the Chicago offices of Solomon Cordwell Buenz as well as Valerio Dewalt Train. He holds a Master of Architecture from The University of Michigan as well as the University of Virginia, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan.
You can contact him at: jponitz @ gmail (dot) com