University of Oregon

Department of Architecture

Programs in Architecture and Interior Architecture

Alison B. Snyder

Associate Professor Alison Snyder

Associate Professor

phone: (541) 346-1447
office: 263 Oynx Bridge

M.Arch. Columbia University, 1987
BA (Architecture) Washington University, St. Louis, 1982

Licensed Architect: New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey


Associate Professor Alison Snyder is interested in the intersection between architecture, art and the interior. She teaches interior and architectural intermediate and advanced design studios, working drawings, preparation for the interior architecture comprehensive design project, and seminar courses. She was the Director of the interior architecture program for eight years from January 2007 through December 2014, and Co-Director of the product design program from January 2007 through August 2008 at the University of Oregon.

Snyder’s research draws on both archaeological and anthropological investigations to reveal how places, buildings, and interiors transform over time.  She dismantles settings, structures, and cultural systems—monumental and mundane—for interpretation and analysis. She first explored the role of light in determining structure and form in ancient and modern religious buildings, initially through research and surveys of Ottoman mosques in five cities as Columbia University's William Kinne fellow, and as a recipient of a Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts grant; and later in essays including her chapter "Transformations, Readings and Visions of the Ottoman Mosque" in A Historical Archaeology of the Ottoman Empire (Klewer Academic Press/Plenum Press, 2000) and "Daylighting by Two Modernists and an Old Master" in Architectural Record (1996). Influenced by her work as architect for archaeological excavations in Israel and Turkey Snyder began to investigate the effect of modernization on settlement patterns and customs in Middle Eastern contemporary village vernacular. Her writing on this topic has appeared in the journals Anatolica (2000), the Middle East Technical University's Journal of the Faculty of Architecture (2005), Turkey’s Chamber of Architect’s journal, Dosya (2009), and in the book On Global Grounds: the specificities of urban change within globalization (Nova, 2008). Her archaeological renderings are found in both the Journal of Field Archaeology and the catalog of the Miho Museum in Japan, and as part of a team, a rendering of Northwest Palace of Ashurnasirpal is mounted (1999) for permanent exhibition in the Assyrian Room at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Snyder’s current research looks at urban interiors in Istanbul, and how these spaces contribute to marking cultural change within a city undergoing both local and global transformation.  Related publications include a journal article in Dosya (2011) and in 2A, Art and Architecture (2015).   Other significant publications include a chapter, “What Shapes the Global Interior” is in The Handbook of Interior Architecture and Design (Berg Publishers, 2013), and "Adequate Shelter For All," a cover story in Metropolis Magazine reflecting on the UN HABITAT II conference in Istanbul (1997).

Snyder is the associate editor of art, architecture, and archaeology for the international journal Review of Middle East Studies for the Middle East Studies Association, and she has been appointed Reviewer for the Journal of Interior Design and part of the Academy of Reviewers for the Interior Design Educators Council. She was a founding member of Studio L, a foundation for creative student endeavors at Washington University in St. Louis.

With diverse architectural expertise in residential, religious, and commercial spaces as well as lighting and furniture design, Snyder maintains a small practice.  Her adaptive reuse design for the first synagogue in Juneau, Alaska was ten years old in 2015.  Before moving to Oregon, she worked as a project architect and lighting designer in New York City and Philadelphia. Snyder has also held visiting teaching positions at Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi/METU in Ankara, Turkey, and Denmark Institute for Study Abroad, and taught as adjunct faculty for the New York Institute of Technology, Pratt Institute, and what is now Philadelphia University.