Seth Wachtel

Seth Wachtel

Associate Professor

Program Director • Full-Time Faculty

(415) 422-6087 XARTS 010


Seth Wachtel is the program director of the Architecture & Community Design program. He received his MArch from UC Berkeley and has worked in architecture and construction in India, Colombia, Haiti, Israel, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Zambia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. His focus is on culturally and environmentally appropriate design and the development of innovative construction techniques that produce regenerative and aesthetically fitting buildings and landscapes for human environments.

Professor Wachtel teaches the Community Design Outreach, International Projects, and Construction Innovation courses, which provide students the opportunity to work on real-world local and international design/build projects for underserved communities and threatened environments. Co-founder of the first organic community garden on the University of San Francisco campus, Seth is actively involved in the production of shelter communities and food security gardens in urban areas, as well as regenerative processes in rural and peri-urban regions. He serves on the boards of Groundwork Institute, Self-Sustaining Communities, New Paradigm College, and the Building Beauty program.

Among his awards are the Distinguished Teaching Award, NEH Chair, Service-Learning Award, Frank Beech Award, College of Arts and Sciences Full-Time Faculty Service Award, Humanitarian Engineering Award, and a Digital Humanities grant from the National Endowment for Humanities.

Chair, Department of Art + Architecture
Program Director, Architecture and Community Design
UC Berkeley, MArch in Architecture, 1987
UC Berkeley, BA in Architecture, 1982
Adjunct Professor in Architecture, UC Berkeley
Design/Build, Berkeley & Oakland, CA
Project Design and Management, Resources for Community Development
Project Coordination, BBI Construction, Oakland
Project Design and Management, Center for Environmental Design, Berkeley
Community Engaged Design
Construction Innovation
Tiny House Villages
Food Security Gardens
Environmentally Appropriate Design
Culturally Appropriate Development
Construction Innovation
Regenerative Landscapes
Community Engaged Learning
Shelter and Food Security
Selected Publications

Youth Spirit Artworks Tiny House Village, Oakland, CA

Maison des Lumieres, Oujda, Morocco

Bibliotheque Du Soleil, Carrefour-Feuilles, Haiti

Goyena Community Center, Goyena, Nicaragua

Plantation Workers' Shelter, Buga, Colombia

Awards & Distinctions

University of San Francisco Frank Beach Award, 2017

School of Mines Humanitarian Engineering Award, 2017

NEH Chair 2016

National Endowment for Humanities, Digital Humanities Start Up Grant, 2015

University of San Francisco Distinguished Teaching Award, 2014