Kristin Thorleifsdottir headshot

Kristin Thorleifsdottir

Assistant Professor
Design Studies Department; Interior Architecture Major
Office 3107
“Eventually everything connects.”

–Charles Eames

I study and teach about environment and behavior, and specifically the influence of environmental design on aspects of people’s daily life: their behavioral patterns, environmental perception, and health and well-being. I have taught on this topic and others, including the history of public open space, designing environments for children, landscape inventory and analysis techniques, visual aspects of urban environments, and sustainability and ecological design. My current research concerns active living in small rural communities, mainly improving walkability.

My design practice is informed by a passion to promote health through community-based design, spanning projects from comprehensive regional plans and nature parks, to school grounds and retirement homes, to adventurous play areas. Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, I have also lived and/or worked in many countries, including England, Germany, Iceland, Bulgaria, Turkey, and the U.S., where I have lived for 13 years (in Madison since 2014).

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PhD, Community and Environmental Design, North Carolina State University
MLA (Master in Landscape Architecture), North Carolina State University
BA, Fine Arts (sculpture), Auburn University at Montgomery


Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture

DS 221 Person and Environment Interactions

LA 321 Designing Health Promoting Environments

LA 621 Designing Healthy Communities