Ellen has researched, taught, designed, and participated in educational events throughout the world, which has helped her contribute to local and international projects at the firm.”
Ellen has brought her expertise in 21st century learning spaces to a multitude of educational facilities, ranging from early childhood education centers, to all girl’s schools and international high schools. While her design portfolio is varied, all of her projects share a similar goal- to create flexible, comfortable, and supportive spaces that encourage fun in learning at every turn.
Her inspirations draw from the eclectic intersection of culture, community, and interactive design. From in-house research around gender differences in architecture to the relationship of design with neuroscience, Ellen provides resilient contemporary solutions that embrace equitable learning.
Educational spaces are more than just an architectural design to Ellen, they present an opportunity to stimulate intellectual, social, and emotional growth for 21st century students. Whether it is working with a group, exploring a new skill, or blossoming a new friendship, she feels thoughtful educational spaces can result in experiences that enrich everyday lives. From in-house research around gender differences in educational spaces to the relationship of design with neuroscience, Ellen is always searching to bring learning environments to life through unique design solutions.
Ellen has researched, taught, designed, and participated in educational events throughout the world, which has helped her contribute to local and international projects at the firm. Before her role as a designer with Fielding, she researched and worked with award-winning firms in Ecuador, China, and Germany. She has taught as an assistant in sustainable systems coursework at the University of Michigan and has been invited to facilitate workshops at nationally renowned conferences, including the Deeper Learning conference and with the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools. Beyond her passion and pursuits in design, she enjoys adventure travel, culinary exploration, and outreach initiatives in her local community.
Ellen holds a B.S. in Architecture from Northeastern University, with a minor in International Affairs, and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Michigan. Recent projects with Fielding include designs for an elementary school in Cedar Falls, Iowa; a master plan for an all girl’s catholic school in Virginia; and an early childhood education center in Shanghai, China.
I am beyond impressed with the knowledge and expertise that Ellen brings to the table each time we meet. She listens intently to the input being given and is able to bring our ideas to life in the next iteration... We are elated to have such a talented architect!”
We are overjoyed to announce the recognition of Fielding International's Ellen Duff, as AIA Michigan's 2023 Young Architect of the Year. This accolade underlines Ellen's profound passion, unwavering dedication, and exemplary leadership in the realm of architecture. From her early days with our firm, Ellen has shown a commitment to excellence and innovation, setting her apart. Her ability to continuously push boundaries and transform clients' visions into realities showcases her unparalleled expertise in architectural design. Ellen guiding a staff engagement session at Portage Public Schools. Ellen values user voices, collaborating with Kindergarten students at Singapore American School to design play spaces. Ellen collaborates with stakeholders and addresses the Portage Board of Education. “Her work reflects her attention to detail, her capacity to take all the thoughts, ideas, and suggestions that emerge from a group discussion and translate that into drawings that have people smiling and nodding their heads because they know they were heard.” - Ken Schunk, Singapore American School A Beacon of Inspiration Ellen's enthusiasm and drive have been pivotal for our team at Fielding International. Moreover, her impact reverberates throughout the architectural profession, particularly within the niche of education design. With every project she undertakes, Ellen emphasizes her dedication to enhancing our communities positively. She stands out as a thought leader in the architectural domain, with enduring contributions in areas such as community-informed design, pioneering K-12 educational settings, and mentorship in design. A Journey of Excellence Ellen's start in architecture came with an ambitious goal: to harness design as a tool for societal progress. Her innovative designs, inspired by the harmonious blend of culture, community, and interactive design elements, have paved the way for educational spaces that cater to evolving and equitable learning experiences. YCIS Ronghua Early Learning CenterShanghai, China Portage Public Schools - Central Elementary SchoolPortage, MI, USA Ballarat Grammar School 5/6 CentreWendouree, VIC, Australia Her outstanding projects are globally recognized. One of her earliest ventures post-graduation was transforming a nightclub in Shanghai into an Early Learning Center, garnering the A4LE LeSolutions award in 2019 and becoming the first LEED Gold school in Shanghai. Whether it's a sustainable elementary school for 2,000 students in Singapore's rainforests, a middle school with community ties overlooking Mexico's coastline, or incorporating student voice and educational alignment into the designs of new elementary schools in Portage and Ann Arbor, Ellen's fingerprint remains consistent. She aims to shape learning spaces that amplify opportunities for students, educators, and their surrounding communities. Ellen and the Fielding team at Temple Israel's 2020 site visit. Ellen, Lead Designer, transformed the school's spaces and programs. Ellen sparks inspiration during a staff engagement session at Delmar Middle School in Mexico. Beyond Architecture But Ellen's contributions are not confined to architecture alone. She's an advocate for knowledge sharing and continual learning. From her role as a Graduate Student Instructor at the University of Michigan to being a speaker at national educational conferences, her voice and vision are always in demand. Ellen's engagement in podcasts and workshops resonates with her belief in an open exchange of ideas. Furthermore, she's a beacon for positive change both within Fielding International and the broader community. Through initiatives ranging from coordinating research internships to mentoring Detroit's budding architectural talents, Ellen's influence is widespread. Her leadership in Fielding International's Certified B Corporation™ initiative further cements her commitment to societal change. As businesses globally recognize the need for sustainable and community-centric operations, Ellen's vision for Fielding International aligns perfectly with this global movement. A Bright Future Ellen’s journey epitomizes what it means to be a visionary architect in the modern world. As she propels forward, her unwavering commitment to community engagement and innovative educational design promises to keep shaping a brighter future for all. AIA Detroit Young Architect Award, 2022 AIA Michigan Young Architect Award, 2023 Ellen attending AIA awards ceremony with Fielding colleagues Congratulations, Ellen, on this well-deserved recognition! The sky is the limit, and we are ecstatic to witness your continued ascent in the architectural world.
We are thrilled to announce that Fielding International is now a certified B Corporation! Fielding International is the first school design company to receive B Corp certification, joining a global movement of companies committed to using business as a force for good. Together, we are a community of businesses using our collective power to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges, such as climate change, inequality, and—in our position—education. B Corp certification is a rigorous process that evaluates a company’s social and environmental impact, accountability, and transparency. By becoming a B Corp, we are committing to a higher standard of social and environmental performance, along with ethical practice. As a global design and education company, we believe our work should be more than just creating architecture. We have always been committed to creating nurturing places for learning where students thrive. Becoming a B Corp is a natural extension of this commitment. We will strive to improve our social and environmental practices by setting and achieving ambitious goals and implementing sustainable business practices across all aspects of our company. We will continue to engage our clients, employees, and partners to drive positive change in our communities and the world at large. The B Corp certification process has been a valuable learning experience for us. It has allowed us to identify areas where we can improve our social and environmental impact. We have gained insights into best practices and new ideas that we can implement in our business—making us better every day. We have always been transparent about our design process and practice by sharing our knowledge in articles, blog posts, books, and our online resource for school design patterns, SchoolPatterns.com. Becoming a B Corp reinforces our commitment to transparency and is essential to building trust with our clients and employees. Our B Impact Score is available publicly on our B Corp Profile Page. Going forward, we will publish our annual impact report, which will provide a detailed overview of our social and environmental performance and our efforts toward making the world a better place through school design. B Corp Impact Areas What does this certification mean for you? When partnering with Fielding International, you can be assured that you are working with a company that is dedicated to making a difference in the world. Together, we will set an example of how good business, meaningful relationships, and thoughtful school design can improve education around the world. Moving forward, we are committed to using our position as a B Corp to drive positive change in our industry and beyond. We will continue to innovate and push the boundaries of school design. We believe that business has the power to be a force for good, and we are excited to be part of a movement that is redefining success in business. By becoming a B Corp, we are making a public commitment to using our business as a platform for positive change, and we hope to inspire others to do the same.
Above: Content Courtesy of AIA Detroit Ellen's work draws specifically from the intersection of culture, community, and interactive design to form innovative solutions for dynamic and equitable educational environments. She designs local and international schools that re-imagine learning spaces through robust stakeholder engagement and visioning workshops. Read More 2022 AIA Detroit Young Architect Award Recipient, Ellen Duff, with members from the Fielding International Michigan Studio. Learn More https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjXEFQx0XBg
West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA
Wendouree, Victoria, Australia
Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA