OU’s Gibbs College of Architecture Welcomes New Faculty Following National Searches

The University of Oklahoma’s Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture has hired three new faculty members following nationwide searches last year. Wenwen Cheng, Francesco Cianfarani, and Negar Matin will join the faculties of Landscape Architecture, Architecture, and Interior Design respectively as assistant professors during the Fall 2020 semester.  

“Thanks to Dr. Suchi Bhattacharjee, our incredible search committee, and an historically strong pool of applicants, we are excited to welcome three new tenure-track faculty to the Gibbs College of Architecture,” said OU Gibbs College Dean Hans E. Butzer. “Professors Wenwen Cheng, Francesco Cianfarani, and Negar Matin bring teaching and research expertise in strategically important areas, including housing, and evidence-based design.  

Dr. Wenwen Cheng earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on micro-climatic landscape research and design. 

Cheng uses interdisciplinary technologies such as remote sensing, spatial statistics, and bio- meteorological modeling to study relationships between urban climate change and human health. This work informs evidence-based landscape design practices.  

Dr. Francesco Cianfarani earned his Ph.D. in Architectural and Urban Design at Sapienza University in Rome, Italy, where he participated in national, interdisciplinary research programs on the renovation of Italian social housing stock.  

Cianfarani’s collaborative design and research work has received the attention of international journals and magazines, including Archithese, Paesaggio Urbano and U+D. Cianfarani’s work has been exhibited in national Italian architecture exhibitions such as Origine in Rome and the Stripe Festival in Fermo. He began teaching at Gibbs College as a visiting professor in 2017. in Fermo. He began teaching at Gibbs College as a visiting professor in 2017. 

Dr. Negar Matin earned her PhD from the College of Engineering and Technology at Eastern Michigan University, where she received the EMU Outstanding Ph.D. Student of the Year award. 

Matin’s research explores high-performance building systems and their impact on occupants’ comfort and building energy consumption.  

Gibbs College of Architecture is also pleased to announce that Keith Gaddie and Angela Person have joined the Division of Architecture as faculty. “The additions of Drs. Person and Gaddie will help advance the GCA’s intra-disciplinary research initiatives and connect our undergraduate and graduate students with new research opportunities,” stated Dean Butzer. 

Dr. Gaddie, who has been on the OU faculty since 1996, holds joint appointments in Gibbs College and the OU Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Gaddie is also President’s Associates Presidential Professor and Executive Faculty Fellow of the University, and Senior Fellow of Headington College.  

Trained as a political scientist, Gaddie studies the built environment and democratic values and has a special interest in the American South. 

Dr. Person has served as the Director of Research Initiatives and Strategic Planning for Gibbs College since 2016. Person’s dissertation research, “Locating the Agency of Architecture,” was recognized with an Honorable Mention by the Architectural Research Centers Consortium. 

A cultural geographer, Person studies environment-society relationships, with a particular focus on understanding affect and emotions in architectural environments.