Michelle LaFoe received her undergraduate degree in Architecture and Fine Arts in 1989 and her Bachelor of Architecture professional degree in 1991, both from Rice University. After completing a Post-Baccalaureate degree in Drawing and Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1992, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Architecture and worked in Italy.
Although she was accepted to graduate programs at Yale and M.I.T., Michelle instead chose to become a Distinguished University Fellow for Advanced Architectural Research at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where she earned her Master of Architecture degree in Architectural and Urban History and Theory in 1999. She then returned to New Haven to complete a year of post-graduate research in design and materials technology at Yale.
Both abroad in Italy and in the States, Michelle has taught and been a visiting critic with several architecture and fine arts programs that include the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Oregon, l’Universita’ di Perugia, the Pennsylvania State University, the University of Illinois, RISD, Harvard, and McGill University.
Michelle is a licensed architect with professional experience that includes work with Cesar Pelli & Associates (now Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects) and Centerbrook Architects and Planners in Essex, CT. While at Cesar Pelli’s office, she was a designer on academic, commercial and residential development, cultural, and museum projects, including The National Museum of Contemporary Art in Osaka, Japan.
While at Centerbrook Architects and Planners, she was a designer on private residences, a civic (bridge) project, and academic and dormitory projects, including several buildings on the Quinnipiac University campus in Hamden, Connecticut and The Brandeis University Shapiro Admissions Center in Massachusetts.
Michelle’s interests include art, cities, science, and architecture. In 1994 she became a Fulbright Scholar and worked in Perugia, Italy and the American Academy in Rome to focus on the 3D interrelationship between art and architecture in the urban setting in Umbria, Italy. In 2003 she received a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts to coordinate a conference in Rome, Italy on the artist and scientist Giambattista Nolli and his 1748 architectural plan of Rome.