Fellow, American Institute of Architects Certified Planner, American Institute of Certified Planners
Professor Michael Fifield researches topics in housing, community development, and urban design. He addresses residential design for all scales and economies in his design studios, courses, and seminars.
Fifield, along with Madis Pihlak, developed a regional design framework for metropolitan canals in Arizona while on the architecture faculty at Arizona State University, where he was director of the Joint Urban Design Program. Funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and regional municipalities, the resulting publication received a research award citation from Progressive Architecture in 1995, an award of merit from the Valley Forward Association in 1991, a first place award from the Arizona Planning Association in 1990, and several exhibitions in the Phoenix metropolitan area. This work followed his publication of design guidelines for neighborhood development and infill with support from the City of Phoenix and the Phoenix Board of Realtors. Fifield also completed a scenic corridor study and separate design guidelines for affordable housing and for the downtown area in Phoenix.
Fifield came to the University of Oregon in 1997 from Pennsylvania State University, where he was head of the architecture department. Since his relocation Fifield has turned his attention to the city of Eugene, creating a study of low-rise middle-density housing alternatives and embarking on a collaboration with fellow UO faculty member Brook Muller on the city's alleyscape. During a sabbatical in 2004, he participated in a HUD-funded project for Louisiana State University's Office of Community Design and Development and conducted research as a visiting scholar at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. He also taught as an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico. He served as department head at UO from 1998 to 2003.
A peer reviewer for the General Services Administration since 2000, Fifield chaired the design jury for Eugene's U.S. Federal Courthouse. He has also worked as a consultant for the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department, the Phoenix Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Fifield served as an appointed member of the National AIA Housing Committee from 1988-1992. He was a charter member of the Congress for a New Urbanism (1994-2001). His current service activities include membership on the board of the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation in Eugene and participation in the Portland chapter of Architects Without Borders.
Fifield has served on award juries for regional AIA and APA chapters across the country. His entry in "A New American House," a national design competition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1984, was awarded an honorable mention and was included in an associated publication and exhibition. Fifield received the University Alumni Award for Faculty Excellence in 1983 and 1984 from the University of Idaho, where he began his teaching career.