Peter Russell_
the guy beyond ‘try’

Peter Russell, Charter Member of the SDE Council of Experts, is an architect and academic in the field of architecture and the built environment.

Born in Canada, Peter studied engineering & architecture, completing his Master’s degree of Architecture at Dalhousie University. He subsequently worked in Switzerland and Germany & is a registered architect in Europe. His expertise in computers in the planning & construction process led to posts in Berlin, Karlsruhe, and a professorship at the RWTH Aachen University. In his research, Peter focuses on building information modelling (BIM), ambient assisted living, interactive architecture & the extension of architectural pedagogy through blended-learning practices. This has led to leadership positions as dean at RWTH Aachen, TU Delft and now the Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School.

His passion to create relevant pedagogy is evident in a series of student design-build projects where learning-by-doing has evolved into learning-by-building. Initial projects to design “follies” for public events grew in scope, resulting in the 2012 RWTH Aachen entry in the Solar Decathlon Europe in Madrid. The Counter-Entropy-House met self-imposed criteria for resource answerability in addition to the SDE competition criteria. His appointment as Observer within the organising committee of the SDE 2014 allowed Peter to garner best-practices from previous editions of the Solar Decathlon. Now, Peter’s position as Dean of the Institute for Future Human Habitat Studies (iFHHs) at the Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School helps to strengthen the SDE Council of Experts where he is a Charter Member.

His passion for precision, answerability & courage are common threads in his professional & academic undertakings. By incorporating his pedigree in research & practice into education, Peter seeks to inspire & empower those accepting the responsibility for the built environment through initiatives such as the Solar Decathlon Europe. The transposition of these tenets to create 21st-century bespoke architectural education and to steer policy on the built environment are Peter’s most welcome new challenges.


Peter Russell, Charter Member, SDE Council of Experts

Energy Endeavour Foundation – 28 May 2017