Edson G. Cabalfin, Ph.D., is an educator, architect, designer, curator, and historian. He is the newly appointed Professor of Practice in Design Thinking and Director of the Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Program in the School of Architecture at Tulane University (New Orleans, LA). In 2017-2018, He was the Curator of the Philippine Pavilion at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale 2018.
He received his Ph.D. in History of Architecture and Urban Development from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) in 2012. Under a Fulbright Fellowship, he obtained his Master of Science in Architecture degree from the University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH) in 2003. Prior to coming to the U.S., he received his professional Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees from the University of the Philippines in 1996 and 2001, respectively.
Before his appointment at Tulane University, Edson was Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Interior Design Program in the School of Architecture and Interior Design in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati where he taught from 2009 until 2020. He has also previously taught in various capacities at Cornell University, University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University, University of Santo Tomas, and De la Salle – College of Saint Benilde.
Edson’s research in the last two decades have focused on the interdisciplinary and transnational intersections of architecture history and theory, cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, postcolonial theory, Southeast Asian studies, spatial justice, public interest design, and heritage conservation. He wrote the book “What Kids Should Know About Filipino Architecture” (published by Adarna Books in 2015) and edited “The City Who Had Two Navels: Catalogue of the Philippine Pavilion at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale 2018” (published by the Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts in 2018).
In the last five years Edson has been involved in various social innovation and design thinking projects and initiatives. At the University of Cincinnati, he organized a foreign-study program in Southeast Asia with a human-centered design studio focusing on typhoon Haiyan disaster recovery on Leyte island in the Philippines. He was also faculty fellow and project leader at Live Well Collaborative, University of Cincinnati’s design thinking-based and multi-disciplinary innovation center where he led a team of students from various disciplines on a project focusing on the future of health and wellness through the experience of various consumers.
Edson served as consultant with the non-profit organization Village Life Outreach Project where he conducted participatory design thinking workshops with the villages of Burere, Nyambogo and Roche in Tanzania as part of the effort to develop future programs in health, water, and education for these rural villages. Together with his colleague Nazanin Khodadad, he also conducted several design thinking workshops with faculty and administrators of Sycamore High School and Winton Woods High School of the Cincinnati Public School system.
A licensed and registered architect in the Philippines, Edson also runs his design consultancy Talyer Kayumanggi/Brown Workshop, based in Cincinnati and Manila, with projects in architecture, interior design, set design, costume design, fashion design, exhibition design, graphic design, and design strategy in North America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Middle East in the last 25 years.