Gutierrez is a Professor and Director of the Undergraduate Program and Master of Advanced Architectural Design at the Department of Architecture at UC Berkeley. She is an innovator in the intersection of architecture and carbon-negative materials engineering designed from the nano to the building scale. In 2008 she founded her research group BIOMS which has collaborated and focused on transforming natural materials’ multifunctional capacities at the intersection of energy-water-air and culture. Gutierrez’s research and design have been featured in leading scientific and architectural, and public forums, including Science Nation and the BBC, and recipient of various design awards, including the ACSA Creative Achievement Award, Evolo Skyscraper (Detox Towers) and a semifinalist of the most prestigious award in sustainability design innovation – Buckminster Fuller Award. She is also the recipient of various national and international teaching awards, including the Sarlo Distinguished Mentorship and the Blue Award at UT Vienna, and recently the most prestigious construction design award – 2022 DETAIL award.

Gutierrez has developed extensive fieldwork in the Americas on advancing sustainability, health, and equity in construction innovation in remote zones such as the Northwestern Amazon, including her leadership as Senior Fellow for the Energy Climate Partnership of the Americas (2011-16). Her most recent research and design focus on plant and wood composites with multifunctional capacity for flood resilience and the democratization of 3D printing in remote regions, including design-built work in the Amazon and low-cost microengineered lichen blocks for air detoxification.  Gutierrez is a Bakar Fellow 2020-22, Fulbright Fellow, and the only architect to receive the prestigious Emerging Frontiers of Innovation Award by the US National Science Foundation as lead PI. Professor Gutierrez’s award-winning research has been published in the most prestigious scientific journals, including Science and Nature, and exhibited internationally in biennials and museums, including the Oslo Architectural Triennale.

Gutierrez is a Bakar Fellow for her research in engineered lichen blocks and the RIBA 2020 President’s Medal of Research Award (Climate Change/shortlisted). She has two forthcoming books Regeneration Wall (2021 Routledge) and The Forest, The Fields, 3D Printing Now and Then (2023, Cambridge Scholars), and two provisional patents on 3D printing innovation. She holds a Ph.D. in Building Science/Materials Engineering from the University of Cambridge and a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.


BIOMS’ research agenda studies new precision and integrated methods to redirect, concentrate, and exchange energy, as well as, to redistribute and metabolize matter, contributing to the development of autotrophic built environments. Advanced computational and material analysis of environmental flows is being developed to study methods of bio-synthetic compatibilization integrated into building systems and infrastructures. With the aim to produce effective energy and material balances, we are venturing into new methods of synchronizing synthetic and LIVE matter as active building agents.


2014 Buckminster Fuller semifinalist and National Science Foundation Award  # 1030027 – Team: PI: M P Gutierrez; co-PI L.P. Lee

RIBA research Award (shortlisted)

Lichen blocks NSF/NASA Award (first phase)



331 Wurster Hall, U.C. Berkeley