Michelle is an architect, designer and advocate for smarter ways to design, build and live. Her mission with all of her work is to make thoughtful, sustainable design accessible. With her firm, Michelle Kaufmann Studio, she specializes in sustainable lifestyle design including single family homes, eco-luxury resorts, and multi-family communities. She is also a consultant for builders, developers and architecture firms on sustainability and prefabrication, and an Advisor to Architecture for Humanity.
She was the founder of Michelle Kaufmann Designs, a design/build company that led the movement of prefabricated green homes. The firm was given the 2008 TOP FIRM AWARD by Residential Architect. Her book, Prefab Green describes off-site construction and the green design principles of homes such as the Glidehouse®, the Sunset® Breezehouse®, the mkLotus® and others. Michelle has been called "the Henry Ford of green homes" by the Sierra Club and was named "2009 Green Advocate of the Year" by the National Association of Home Builders, was included in Business 2.0 magazine's list of "100 People Who Matter Now", and was listed as one of the "The Green 50" by INC magazine.
She has been featured on the Sundance channel, HGTV, Discovery, Planet Green and in numerous magazines including Town+Country, Dwell, Sunset, Time, and the Smithsonian.
Working to help extend education and awareness about the beauty of sustainable design, Michelle has had a number of her homes showcased in museums. A full-size replica of Michelle's home, the Glidehouse® home was built at the National Building Museum as part of the exhibit The Green House, and a fully-functioning 3-story mkSolaire® home is on display at the Museum of Science and Industry. The home is the exhibit on green building called The Smart Home: Green + Wired. Her work has also been on display at MOCA, the Walker Art Center, and the Vancouver Art Center.
Michelle received her undergraduate degree from Iowa State University, and her Masters from Princeton University. She has been a lecturer and keynote speaker for numerous events, has taught at Iowa State University and Woodbury University, and prior to founding Michelle Kaufmann Designs, Michelle was an Associate with Frank O. Gehry.
Michelle and her husband, Kevin, live in their Glidehouse home in the Bay Area with their 2 dogs.