Melissa Arminio Kops, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, LFA has been practicing architecture for more than 15 years. She has experience in many project types including: educational, institutional, museum, performing art, residential, adaptive reuse, and historic preservation, all with a focus on empathetic, sustainable, and responsible design.
Melissa’s passion comes from approaching every project as a chance to elevate the human spirit by encouraging a healthy connection to place, community, and ecology. She believes sustainability centers on human health and wellbeing, which is directly impacted by clean air, water, and ecosystem health. This humanistic view of sustainable design has the benefit of making it more tangible and immediate to project stakeholders.
Her interest in design developed from an early love of languages and mathematics, and a desire to combine her passions for analytical systems, problem solving, and creativity. During her academic career she studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain and Bologna, Italy. Communicating in and navigating other cultures further intensified Melissa’s empathetic tendencies and her ability to understand many different viewpoints.
Melissa obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago, where she majored in Art History. After attending a career discovery program at Harvard, she decided to pursue a career in design, earning her Master’s Degree in Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). She is fascinated by the ability of works of art and architecture to communicate the values and aspirations of the individuals and society for which they are created.
Melissa has made it her mission to contribute to her community and raise awareness of sustainable design. She is on the board of the Connecticut Green Building Council, advises the City of New Haven on sustainability measures, and has been involved with the Open Architecture Collaborative. An ambassador for the International Living Future Institute and co-facilitator of the Connecticut Living Building Challenge Collaborative, she gives presentations about all aspects of the Living Building Challenge, a green building certification system that defines the most advanced level of sustainability.