Fernando Luiz Lara is a Brazilian architect with degrees from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (BArch, 1993) and the University of Michigan (PhD, 2001). The author of several books and hundreds of articles, in academic and professional journals as well as the general media, Prof. Lara writes extensively on a variety of issues regarding the Latin American built environment. Fernando Lara is Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin where he also serves as Chair of the Brazil Center at the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies.
A member of the Brazilian Institute of Architects, and the Brazilian DOCOMOMO, Lara has also been active in his native country as a critic, researcher and educator. A licensed architect in Brazil, Lara has designed many structures, alone or in partnership with others. His current interest in the favelas has turned into opportunities to engage with public policy at the municipal level as well as collaborations with local firms designing public spaces in informal settlements. In 2005 he founded Studio Toró, a non-profit devoted to the challenges of water conservation and urban flooding in Latin America. Since 2009 Fernando Lara has collaborated extensively with Horizontes Arquitetura, a Brazilian firm dedicated to public space, favela upgrades and social housing. Together they created the Laboratório de Urbanismo Avançado, a non-profit devoted to the creation of better public spaces.
At the University of Texas at Austin Fernando Lara teaches seminars on 20th century Latin American architecture and urbanism, a doctoral course on the critique of architectural eurocentrism, as well as studios related to the continent’s current urban challenges.