College of Architecture and Interior Design

"We believe that the architect is professionally educated to give shape and meaning to the physical environment"


10 semesters
Teaching Mode
Face to Face Learning


The Architecture program considers architectural design as the fundamental axis of professional training. The workshops included in the academic curriculum articulate the theoretical, technical, and insertion processes of the built object in the environment. During a period of nine semesters, the students are prepared to develop skills that allow them to conceive and materialize an idea.


The College of Architecture offers students the following opportunities:

  • An academic program that emphasizes the architectural design of projects and the ability to build them. It takes on the architect trainning as the integration of the following areas: history, theory, urban planning, art, technology, and other related studies. All of the above is synthesized in the design workshops.
  • The College holds an International Architecture Forum every year with the most recognized professionals of our times. Internationally renowned architects visit the College to share their work, ideas, and critiques with students from higher levels. To date, 21 uninterrupted Forums have been developed. Additionally, teachers from other international schools visit us occasionally to offer academic modules in different areas. 
  • In addition to the exchange possibilities offered by the University, the College has its own agreements with high-level universities in Europe and the United States.
  • The College of Architecture’s academic staff is made up of professionals with extensive experience and solid training. Most of them hold master's and doctorate degrees from world-renowned universities.

Professional Field

The professional graduate of the Architecture program is able to work independently or together with other related professionals. The work environment in which you can carry out your activities includes the planning, execution, and management of public or private architectural projects.

Professional profile

The student graduates with a professional degree in Architecture, trained to design and build architectural projects of multiple scales and levels of complexity.

Our graduate is able to creatively synthesize and integrate information from history, theory, technologies, and other related professional studies, such as: computing, construction management, real estate management.


“I am very grateful to the College of Architecture and Interior Design of USFQ, since this is where I started my academic training. My time there included five years full of learning, in which I discovered my role in life. I graduated in 2006 with the tools necessary to develop architectural projects that are coherent, functional, and above all, respectful of the context and place. For my thesis project, I received the gold medal for the best final year project, a distinction that allowed me to face the professional world with great enthusiasm. In 2008, I decided to return to USFQ and studied a Master's in Construction and Real Estate Business Management, which complemented my studies and gave me the necessary motivation to open my own architecture studio in 2009, Gabriel Rivera Arquitectos. Today, with a team and after several years of work in architectural design and construction, we have just received the 2019 Quito City Ornament Award, in the category of New Buildings for Single Family Housing, with Casa Tacuri. This recognition fills us with pride and shows us that all effort is worth it.”

- Gabriel Rivera -

"After 5 years of preparing for the CADI-USFQ - one at UNAM-Mexico within an academic exchange, I had the opportunity to start my professional life with the help of one of my professors and faculty mentors, in a small architecture office that focused on the development of projects of various scales and typologies in the country, with important recognitions for its work such as obtaining the National Honorable Mention in the Architectural Design category at the XVII Architecture Biennial Quito. Since 2015, I have been in charge of the Mario Cueva Arquitecto office, with the same interest and determination to contribute to local architectural production, hand in hand with colleagues with whom I've shared and debated ideas since our time in the classroom, and with new individuals - professionals and students - with whom we have been collaborating during these 10 years of professional practice under my belt."

- Mario Cueva -

“Studying at USFQ enriched my global vision and fueled my interest in discovering the world thanks to the Liberal Arts. The continuous search for knowledge that the Liberal Arts planted in me has radically characterized my professional life. At the end of my undergraduate degree, I completed my first master's degree at ETSAM of the Madrid Polytechnic in 2011. Since then, I have been a founding partner of the DIM architecture studio, working on projects of various scales for the city. DIM has collaborated with CADI alumni because of the contact I have had with the university by working in parallel as an associate professor. In 2014 I completed my second master's degree at Columbia University in New York City. This experience radically boosted my professional and academic career. I am currently developing projects in DIM Building and I am a full professor at the CADI of USFQ.”

- Karina Cazar -

“In 2001, I finished my Architecture studies at USFQ and immediately started collaborating with Rafael Vélez Calisto's studio, getting involved in the design of corporate and residential buildings. In 2006, I completed a master's degree in history and theory at the Architectural Association in London and subsequently joined Kohn Pedersen Fox's team as a researcher and writer. Simultaneously, I was tasked with directing the Space section of Glass magazine, interviewing world-class architects, including Tadao Ando, ​​Eva Jiřičná, and Rem Koolhaas. In 2011, I started my Ph.D. studies at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, and completed them in 2017 at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, after a period of research at The University of California, Los Angeles. My writings have been published in The Journal of Architecture, The Journal of Architectural Education, Log, and various edited compilations. My first book will be published in 2020 by Bloomsbury, with the title Boredom and Architecture: Modernity and Spatial Experience. I am currently a member of the editorial committee of Architectural Histories, the academic publication of the European Architectural History Network, and I am a full-time professor at USFQ College of Architecture and Interior Design.”

- Christian Parreño -

“The journey that I began in the Architecture program at USFQ changed my life and my way of seeing the world. I obtained the Alberti Excellence Scholarship, which allowed me to fulfill my dreams of becoming an architect and of building projects like those we studied with so much love and enthusiasm in the classrooms of Aristotle. With a lot of effort, sacrifice, and above all, the support of my professors, I managed to obtain the Gold Medal with my end of degree project in 2010. That same year, I became a professor at the School of Architecture, teaching students in the first semesters. After two years, I was able to access the opportunity to study my master's degree in the United States, thanks to USFQ's agreement with Auburn University, in Alabama. This experience complemented my professional and personal training in an incredible way, where I could learn from great teachers and meet good friends. For my perseverance and dedication, I graduated with honors from the Master's in Landscape Architecture, earning the King Medal For Excellence in Architectural + Environmental Research awarded by the Architecture Research Centers Consortium.
Once I returned to the country, with the entrepreneurial spirit of San Francisco, I continued my independent professional practice. I founded my own architecture and landscape studio: ARCHITEKTEN. It fills me with pride to say that our work was recognized with the National Honorable Mention at the 2018 Pan American Architecture Biennale in Quito, in the category of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture."

- Felipe Palacios -


Comments from our teachers:

"CADI will mark the beginning of a path of discovery for those students who seek to approach the fascinating world of ideas, essential to compete in the new digital reality."

- Marcelo Banderas -

"Being a professor at the College of Architecture of the University of San Francisco de Quito is an unbeatable opportunity to grow every day as a professional through research and the intense and continuous experience that is obtained in the exchange with students and other professors The incessant intellectual exchange in the classrooms, in the corridors, in the workshops, between people who share the same passion for our profession, is one of the most pleasant things of the CADI-USFQ."

- José Miguel Mantilla -

Academic Faculty

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