Skip to main content

Master of Architecture Faculty

< Back to list

Elizabeth Riorden

Title: Associate Professor
Office: 7209 Daa Addition
Tel: 513-556-0946

Elizabeth Riorden studied architecture in New York City, receiving her Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Historic Preservation in 1981. After working in New York City as an architectural designer, and after 1988 as a registered architect, in 1990 she returned to an earlier career interest: archaeology. With an undergraduate degree from Brown University in Ancient and Medieval Culture (graduating magna cum laude in 1978), Riorden had always sustained an deep interest in the built environment of past civilizations; in 1989 she was invited to participate in the newly resumed excavations at Troy, in Northwest Turkey, as a collaborator to the late Prof. Manfred Korfmann of the Universität Tübingen, and to Prof. C. Brian Rose, then of the University of Cincinnati. At Troy she pursued field documentation, architectural studies, and site conservation, this last under the mentoring of an older generation of international Bauforscher and conservators consulting for the Troy project. Her Troy drawings and articles are published in numerous volumes of Studia Troica. Most recently, she has authored an entire chapter, entitled “Conservation and Presentation of the Site of Troy, 1988-2012”, in the first volume of the final synthesis, published in 2014 and edited by Rose with Ernst Pernicka and Peter Jablonka.

In the mid-1990s, IBM Deutschland sponsored Riorden and her team in a project to use CATIA software to build 3D models of some of the layers of Troy most difficult to visualize. This work was expanded in the new millennium, in collaboration with Dr. Peter Jablonka of the Tübingen Troy Project, to include detailed models of six major periods of the Bronze Age and classical city. In 2002 Riorden adjusted her career path once more and became a full-time academic, teaching architectural design, history and preservation at the University of Cincinnati’s School of Architecture and Interior Design. Using the resource of CERHAS (Center for the Electronic Reconstruction of Historic and Archaeological Sites), located in her department’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, and a generous grant from the US National Endowment for the Humanities, Riorden’s team produced the educational website “Troy” (, which featured animations of the six computer models and other original material.

In 2006, the Troy Project invited Riorden to consider authoring a “Site Management Master Plan” for Troy. With funding from INSTAP (Institute for Aegean Prehistory) and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Riorden and a team of two University of Cincinnati graduate architecture students spent the 2008 season at Troy preparing material and conducting observational and other studies for the Master Plan, which Riorden completed in 2009.

Riorden is a Fellow of the American Academy of Rome (Samuel H. Kress Fellowship in Historic Preservation 2002) where her Fellowship project involved a study of roof interventions in sensitive archaeological sites. She has pursued field work at the medieval site of Psalmodi in the Rhône delta of France, bringing her students to the ruined monastic site for training in advanced architectural documentation and analysis. She has given numerous public lectures on her work in Turkey and France, and is currently working on several manuscripts, on architectural and urban topics ranging from the Early Bronze Age cities of the Aegean, to diachronic analyses of Mediterranean cities. She has also served on the Board of advisors of a Cincinnati area advocacy group, the Friends of Whitewater Shaker Village, and directed her students in a successful HABS documentation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Boulter House, which won an Honorable Mention in the 2009 Charles E. Peterson Prize.


  • Master of Architecture (M Arch), Columbia University, New York City, 1981.
  • Bachelor of Arts (AB), magna cum laude , Brown University, Providence, 1978 (Interdisciplinary major in Ancient and Medieval Culture, John Rowe Workman, advisor; Junior semester abroad, Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, 1977).

Research Information

Research Interests

Historic Preservation and Conservation, Architectural History and Archaeology, Sustainable Tourism and Cultural Resource Management, Computer Visualization and Cultural Applications, Design and Urban Design

Research Support

  • (PI), Riorden, Elizabeth, Troy on the Internet, National Endowment for the Humanities. (EE-50122-04), $182,000.00. 04/01/2004 to 12/31/2007. Status: Closed.
  • (PI), Riorden, Elizabeth, Culture and Technology: Understanding and Preserving the Past through Visualization, National Endowment for the Humanities. (OHC-R04-214), $2,000.00. 11/01/2004 to 06/30/2005. Status: Closed.
  • (PI), Riorden, Elizabeth, Culture and Technology: Understanding and Preserving the Past Through Visualization Program Income, Program Income. (Pr Inc 1), $2000. 11/01/2004 to 06/30/2005.
  • "A Site Management Plan for Troy", The Institute for Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP). 2008 to 2009.
  • "Digital Lerna", The Institute for Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP). 2009.
  • "A Site Management Plan for Troy", The Samuel H. Kress Foundation. 2008.
  • (Co-principal investigator), Elizabeth Riorden and Jeffrey T. Tilman, The Psalmodi Foundation. 2008.
  • (Co-principal investigator), Elizabeth Riorden and Jeffrey T. Tilman, The Psalmodi Foundation. 2005.
  • (Principal Investigator. ), The Psalmodi Foundation.. 2004.
  • University Research Council of the University of Cincinnati. 2003.
  • The Institute for Global Studies and Affairs, University of Cincinnati. 06-2014.
  • The Institute for Global Studies and Affairs, University of Cincinnati. 03-2004.
  • Gift to the School of Architecture and Interior Design from the LCA, through leading an adaptive re-use studio, including exhibit of student work in Hamilton, Ohio., The Lindenwald Civic Association (LCA). 06-2005.
  • Grant for symposium and lecture series “Culture and Technology: Architecture that isn’t there.” , The Ohio Humanities Council. 10-2004.


Peer-reviewed Publications

  • (2009). “Dörpfeld’s Theory of Wood and Mudbrick Architecture: Implications and a Reassessment” . Byzas, 9, 199-210.
  • (2007). “Ilion’s Odeion: a reconstruction and its implications”. Studia Troica, 17, 47-55.
  • (1996). “Three-Dimensional Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) in Anastylosis: A Case-Study at the Odeion of Ilion”. Studia Troica, 6, 103-110.
  • Elizabeth Riorden and Friedmund Hueber (1994). “Plan von Troia 1994 and Troia. Freiliegende Ruinen und Besucherwege 1994”. Studia Troica, 4, 115-120.

Published Books

  • (In Progress). The City, the Ship and the Temple; Aegean Architecture and Urbanization in the Early Bronze Age. ..
  • (In Progress). Pirates, Empires, People: the Deep Time Structure of Mediterranean Cities (tentatively)..

Book Chapters

  • (2014). “Conservation and Presentation of the Site of Troy, 1988-2012” . In Ernst Pernicka, C.B. Rose and P. Jablonka, editors. (Eds.), Troia 1987-2013: Grabungen und Forschungen I; Forschungsgeschichte, Methoden und Landschaft, Teil 1 (Studio Troica Monograph Series 5) (pp.428-519)..
  • (In Progress). “The Architecture of the Benedictine Abbey of Psalmodi” ..
  • (In Progress). “Memento Mori: Ruins during Antiquity” ..

Other Publications

  • Elizabeth Riorden, Jeffrey T. Tilman, & to be translated into French by Kirsten Koehler. (2011). Psalmodi Final Report: Architectural Studies and Overview..
  • Elizabeth Riorden (2009). Troy: An Archaeological Site Management Masterplan..
  • Elizabeth Riorden (2000). "Visions of Troy". Archaeology, January/February edition, 52-59.
  • (2006). Practices 7/8.

Presentations & Lectures

Invited Presentations

  • (03-2013). “Locus vs. Metis: the complexities of depicting versus measuring, at Troy, and elsewhere.” The Symposium Troy: New Perspectives on Archaeology and Cultural Heritage in Turkey at the Allard-Pierson Museum and the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • (03-2013). “Troy: Fact, Fiction, Significance.” Hanover College, Madison, Indiana. .
  • (11-2012). “Troy, the Iliad, and the Nature of Epic.” The Symposium Myth and Memory at Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL..
  • (04-2011). “EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ARCHAEOLOGY AND CRM*but were afraid to ask.” The University of Pennsylvania, School of Classical Studies.
  • (10-2008). “Troy: past, present, future. Why Site Management Plans matter.” The University of Texas, Austin. .
  • (2008). “Looting in Turkey” University of Cincinnati, Department of Anthropology..
  • (02-2007). “What did Homer Really Know?” The Honors Seminar of the Department of Classics and Comparative Religion at Ohio University, Athens, OH. .
  • (03-2006). “Greece, Troy, Archaeology and Meaning” The CMC’s “Just for Teachers” series at the Cincinnati Museum Center.
  • (11-2005). “Visualization and Site Conservation at Troy” The University of Pennsylvania, School of Classical Studies..
  • (09-2005). “Timeless Troy – Homer’s Windy City” The Smithsonian, Washington DC.
  • (06-2004). “Traces of the Iliad at Bronze Age Troy” and “Uses of the Legend in Classical Troy” The Smithsonian, Washington DC.
  • (02-2003). “Between Two Chairs: Archaeology and Architecture” UCLA Honors Program at UCLA.
  • Elizabeth Riorden and Betsey Robinson (02-2002). “Troy and Corinth: Perspectives on the Past” The American Academy in Rome.
  • (02-2002). “The production of The Ancient Roman City: a collaboration" The Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome .
  • (07-1997). “A Few Things an Archaeologist should know about Site Conservation” At the restored Odeion of Troy, Turkey.
  • (10-1993). “What does an Architect do at an Archaeological Site?” Williams College, MA..

Experience & Service

Work Experience

  • 2008 to Present, Associate Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture and Interior Design (SAID), University of Cincinnati.
  • 2013 to 2015, Associate School Director for Faculty Affairs, School of Architecture and Interior Design (SAID), University of Cincinnati.
  • 2002 to 2008, Assistant Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture and Interior Design (SAID), University of Cincinnati.
  • 2001Adjunct Assistant Professor, SAID, University of Cincinnati.
  • 1990 to Present, The Troy Project, The Universities of Tübingen and Cincinnati, Troy, Turkey.
  • 2003 to Present, Digital Psalmodi, true.
  • 2008 to 2009, The Digital Lerna Project, true.
  • 1979 to 1997, Psalmodi Excavation, true.
  • 2000The Agios Spyridon Project, true.
  • 1999 to 2002, GBBN Inc., Architects, true.
  • 1990 to 1991, Cioppa Rosen Associates Inc., true.
  • 1987 to 1990, Kupiec & Koutsomitis Architects PC, true.
  • 1986 to 1987, Eli Attia Architects, true.
  • 1984 to 1986, Prentice and Chan, Olhausen Architects, true.
  • 1982 to 1984, Mascioni and Behrmann Architecture and Interiors, true.
  • 2011Professional Consultation,.
  • 05-2005Professional Consultation, The School of Architecture of the University of Nebraska.

Events Organized

  • Symposium. “Architecture that isn’t there: Virtual Recreations of the Destroyed, the Altered and the Never Built" (04-2005, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.

Student Advising

  • Ana Ozaki (Master), Committee Member.
  • Gözde Doğramacılar (Master), Committee Member.
  • Banu Bedel (Master), Committee Member.
  • Jose Kozan (Master), Committee Member.
  • (Master), Chair.
  • (Master), Chair.
  • (Master), Chair.
  • (Master), Chair.


  • Reviewer of Ohio Mid-Fest 2011 on behalf of Ohio Humanities Council grantees 2011
  • Judge, Ohio Association of Garden Clubs, annual photo competition 2007
  • Member of the Board of Trustees, Friends of White Water Shaker Village 2004 to Present
  • Presentation to fifth-graders on Troy, Waldorf School, Winton Place, Cincinnati, OH 2005
  • Member of the Board of Advisors, Friends of White Water Shaker Village 2003 to 2004
  • Volunteers Coordinator, Society of Architectural Historians 61st Annual Meeting in Cincinnati, OH 04-2008
  • Reviewer, Paper reviewer, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, 2007, 2008 and 2010 meetings.
  • Chairperson, SAID Faculty Search Committee 2011 to 2015
  • Chairperson, Ad-Hoc committee to review/rewrite School’s Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure document 2009 to 2010
  • School Committee on Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure 2009 to 2010
  • Presentation for Graduate Student organized colloquium 2007
  • Reviewer for Master of Architecture applications 2006 to 2009
  • Reviewer for Master of Architecture applications 2012 to 2013
  • Chairperson, History, Theory and Criticism Curriculum Committee 2005 to 2006
  • Committee to Review SAID document on “Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure” 2005
  • Organized a 2-year lecture series 2003 to 2004
  • Faculty Search Committee 2002 to 2005
  • Associate School Director for Faculty Affairs 2013 to 2015
  • College Committee on Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure 2008 to 2009
  • Committee on Research Excellence for DAAP UC/21 2004
  • Chairperson, Humanities & Arts Committee of the University Research Council (reviews grants) 2006 to 2009
  • Ad Hoc Committee to Review Faculty Interdisciplinary Grants 2006 to 2007
  • International Student Travel Grants: reviewer 2011 to 2012
  • Judge, Graduate Student Poster Competition 2006
  • Judge, Graduate Student Poster Competition 2010
  • Department of Classics Faculty Search, Associated Faculty committee 2005
  • Historic Preservation Certificate Program Advisory Committee 2002 to Present
  • Cincinnatus Competition Assessor 2004 to 2005
  • Cincinnati Art Museum 2015

Other Experience and Professional Memberships

  • 2013 to Present ,ICOMOS/US, . Member of scientific committee ICAHM (International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management).
  • 2012 to 2013 ,Affiliated Member of ICAHM,
  • The Society of Architectural Historians,
  • The Society of Fellows of the American Acedemy in Rome,
  • The Cincinnati Preservation Association,
  • The American Association of University Women,
  • Brown University Alumni Association: applicant interviewer,
  • Architectural Registration, . New York State License 019699 (currently dormant)


  • 04/27/2006 "Archaeology: Digital digs" Nature.
  • 06-2005 Hamilton, Ohio, local media coverage of adaptive-reuse studio: The Miami Woolen Mill..
  • 05-2005 "Unlocking the Power of Myth" Humanities -- the Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  • 05-2005 "Troy on the Internet" Anthropology News, Volume 46, no. 5.
  • 05-2004 The Real Trojan War The History Channel.
  • 08-2002 The Columbus Dispatch.

Courses Taught

  • MS Arch Teaching Colloquium
    Level: Graduate

  • Techniques of Historic Preservation
    Comments: (Mixed, interdisciplinary with Planning)
  • Thesis Year Studio
    Level: Graduate

  • Thesis Research Methods
    Level: Graduate

  • Introduction to Historic Preservation
    Comments: (Vertical, interdisciplinary)
  • Urban Housing Studio
    Level: Undergraduate

  • Immersion Design Studio -- a Library
    Level: Undergraduate

  • Immersion History Segment: Precedent in Design
    Level: Undergraduate

  • Comprehensive Studio -- a Spa
    Level: Undergraduate

  • Historic Preservation Capstone
    Comments: (team-taught each year, under former quarter calendar)
  • Independent Studies
    Comments: Taught Numerous study-abroad topics, computer visualization in archaeology, writing about architecture, history of ideas in 19th C. Architecture.
  • Seminar/Workshop: Interactives for the Cincinnati Art Museum reinstallation of the Greek, Roman and Egyptian permanent collection.

  • Design Studio: the Culinary Center of Cincinnati
    Comments: (Team-developed 3rd year required studio)
  • Design Studio: Rome & Alexandria Interrota: a Coptic Christian Village in Cincinnati
    Comments: (Required 4th year UG urban focus studio)
  • Seminar: the Many International Styles in Architecture.

  • Design Studio: The Bertoia Museum
    Comments: (Graduate Elective Studio)
  • Introduction to Architectural History for New Master of Architecture Students from other disciplines
    Comments: (Graduate Level Seminar- required curriculum-- developed in 2006)
  • Design Studio: A New Museum for Troy
    Comments: (Graduate Elective Studio)
  • Adaptive Re-use: the Miami Woolen Mills
    Comments: (Vertically integrated studio for Architecture and Interior Design developed in 2005)
  • Design Studio: the Former Slaughterhouse Site on the Tiber, Rome
    Comments: (Junior quarter abroad “paperless” studio- students could choose whether to do a new plan or adaptive re-use- developed 2004)
  • Seminar: the City of Rome
    Comments: (Junior quarter abroad, using Rome and environs as a lab for weekly themed investigations- developed 2004)
  • Lecture In Rome at the foreign academies
    Comments: (Junior quarter abroad, developed 2004)
  • Lecture: Arts & Society—Monuments and Innovation
    Comments: (Ancient and Medieval up to Renaissance, survey in architectural history for First Year students, developed in 2004)
  • Design Studio: An Enclosing Building for Rome’s Ara Pacis
    Comments: (Graduate Elective Studio developed in 2003)
  • Lab/Seminar in Historic Preservation: Anastylosis
    Comments: (Graduate Elective Seminar developed in 2003)
  • Seminar: Archaeology and Architecture
    Comments: (Graduate Elective Seminar developed in 2002)
  • Urban-focus Design Studio: Thinking Big and Different in NYC Post-Sandy.
    Comments: 2013 in development. Topic of studio development, as paper abstract, accepted by the Wessex Institute for their conference “Coastal Cities 2015” (could not attend). This studio (to be given Spring 2016) will be an offering of the pending Certificate in Urban Design proposed by the School of Planning, and School of Architecture and Interior Design at the University of Cincinnati.

Additional Information

Curriculum Development

Chaired ad-hoc committee in 2010 & 2006, of the faculty teaching History/Theory/Criticism (HTC) throughout the School programs: in 2010 to convert the HTC curriculum to semesters; in 2006 to improve the delivery of HTC content for the various tracks of the new MArch degree.