D. S. Nicholas RA, AIA, NCARB
Acting as full time faculty at Drexel University in the Department of Architecture & Interiors, Professor Nicholas instructs Graduate and Undergraduate Interior Architecture and Design Students. Teaching a variety of studios and required courses in both the materials and conceptual sequences of the MSAID and BSID programs; Professor Nicholas also specializes in interdisciplinary immersive courses centered on human centered problem solving, creativity, material and community making processes. As a member of Drexel’s AIA Health and Research Consortium, one of only eleven consortiums nationwide, Professor Nicholas’ research practice is focused on informed research driven design in the urban indoor environment as an engine for collaborative projects, human centered design innovation, experimentation, material innovation and making.
Professor Nicholas has founded a research laboratory The Studio for Immersive Design and Engagement (SIDE)-a community based learning laboratory with Interiors Professor Debra Ruben-where new work in the urban environment is showcased and experimentation around collaboration can take place. In addition to her work as Interiors faculty, Ms. Nicholas oversees the Interdisciplinary Smart Initiatives Minor (INSI) and the Sustainability in the Built Environment minor and is a Co-director of the Interdisciplinary Smart Initiatives Program-a program for interdisciplinary learning and exploration around innovative technology in the urban environment. These programs afford her the opportunity to collaborate directly with stem based faculty in order to create research opportunities for students and faculty across the university.
Professor Nicholas is also a member of the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute Research Consortium, and a founding member of the Corelab group of partner faculty at the Dornsife Center Community Extension Center in the Mantua Community. Professor Nicholas completed a Bachelor of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University, she then received an MFA from the University of the Arts. For almost ten years she ran a solo practice in Philadelphia executing residential interiors, storefront revitalization, space planning and adaptive interior nonprofit reuse. Ms. Nicholas has exhibited widely and taught architecture and interior design for 16 years at various schools including: Temple University, Drexel University, and Philadelphia University. She has been a critic at the University of Pennsylvania, University of the Arts and Gallaudet University. She has presented research works at both national and international conferences and most recently, she presented the work of her collaborative graduate conceptual studio at the Interior Design Educator Council's annual conference in Fort-worth Texas. Her work has been published and exhibited in a variety of academic journals including ARCH IN-Form, ARCC and ACSA.