David Dobereiner

 AA Dipl., MA (Env.Des.)

David Dobereiner (Dob) was born in New Jersey but raised and educated in England. After completing his architectural training at the AA in London he returned to the United States to commence a phase of his career teaching architectural design in various departments of architecture and landscape architecture. After nineteen years as a full time professor of architecture with only limited opportunities for practice, he quit teaching, married a budding anthropologist and moved to Nepal where his wife was to do her field work. There, unexpectedly, he was soon immersed in a busy architectural practice employing up to fifteen people. This phase lasted six  years.

In Nepal, working as a ‘local hire’ consultant to various foreign aid agencies (UNICEF, USAID and their Canadian, German and Swiss counterparts) and for private clients, he executed a significant body of work. This work included passive solar experiments, residences and commercial buildings, university campus master plans and a complete new residential medical training center in which everything was designed and built down to the furniture and six sattelite health posts. During this phase he  become an expert in the principles of bioclimatic design.

On returning to USA in 1982 he became senior designer in a small San Francisco architectural office which specialized in educational facilities but also provided design consultancy services for large commercial projects in Australia.

Using the expertise he had acquired in Nepal, he won, in collaboration with Dan Chin, an international design competition for 25 bioclimatic houses in Tenerife, The Canary Islands. His team was the only US based one among the 25 winners. The construction of this design was completed 2010.

The Tenerife competition proposes autonomous (energy independent) houses built of sustainable materials but still follows the standard suburban model in terms of layout. Realizing that this type of development may help individuals but does nothing for social development or the culture of large cities which are the global norm today, Dob has been stimulated to envision what might be, in the future; sustainable cities based on the same ecological principles but conserving land and promoting strong communities at the same time. He first conceived of Matripolis for a lecture given by Architects, Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility in San Francisco in 1998.

(for further details see Dob’s web sites at www.daviddobereinerarchitect.com and www. matripolis.org)

123 Tom Collins House, Dunn Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 1DB, UK.