Mary Guzowski

Professor, Architecture

"Let the beauty we love, be what we do." –Rumi

Mary Guzowski is a Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota. She teaches and conducts research related to daylighting, biophilic, and sustainable design. Her recent research has focused on aesthetic and ecological innovations in daylighting and biophilic design, including a recent book entitled the Art of Architectural Daylighting: Design and Technology (London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd., 2018). She is currently collaborating on a three-year grant with Emilie Snell Rood (PI) and a team of faculty from the College of Biological Sciences and Landscape Architecture on a new grant entitled A Framework for Function in Biology and Bio-Inspired Design, funded by the John Templeton Foundation. The project brings together faculty from the College of Biological Sciences and College of Design to develop, test, and apply a conceptual framework for function in biology and bio-inspired design to support engineers and designers with conceptual tools to navigate biological space. As a recent recipient of a new Nuckolls Grant for Lighting Education, she and Abimbola Asojo (Interior Design) are revising the Lighting Design Minor to integrate issues of health and wellbeing. Mary recently coordinated the Biophilic Net-Positive Design Project with a team of architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design faculty in the College of Design to explore biophilic net-positive design across scales and disciplines. The project is continuing under the title of the Bio-Design Network.

Mary has a Master of Architecture from the University of Washington in Seattle and a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her continued fascination with daylighting, the natural environment, and ecology has shaped her architectural research and teaching. Interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to education, research, and practice are essential to her work. She has been involved with a broad community of design educators and practitioners, including the Society of Building Science Educators, the American Solar Energy Society, the Associate Collegiate Schools of Architecture, and the AIA Committee on the Environment.

Her research publications include the books Art of Architectural Daylighting (Laurence King), Towards Zero Energy Architecture: New Solar Design (Laurence King) and Daylighting for Sustainable Design (McGraw Hill); web-based design resources including the Zero+ Campus Design Project, Carbon Neutral Design Project, Minnesota Sustainable Design Guide, the Minnesota Green Housing Design Guide, the Initiative for Renewable Energy in Architecture; and scholarly and professional articles.  During the past decade she has received a variety of funded research projects related to ecological design education and practice. Mary has received awards from the AIA COTE and AIA Minnesota for her contributions to ecological design education. She recently received the Distinguished Professors' ACSA "Best Paper Award" for an article on "Biophilic Net-Positive Design".

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Master of Architecture, University of Washington

Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts, Kalamazoo College

Selected Scholarship

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Published Books & Chapters

Visionary Challenge 2020 by Mary Guzowski Book Cover

Visionary Challenge 2020

Guzowski, M. (2021). “Daylight as a Design Driver for Biophilic Lighting: Integrating Health and Net-Positive Energy”. IES Visionary Challenge, Beyond 2030: What Do You See?, New York: Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, 160–171, 2021, book chapter, national publication.


The Art of Architectural Daylighting book cover

Art of Architectural Daylighting

Guzowski, M. Art of Architectural Daylighting. London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd., 2018. (Published in English, Chinese, and Spanish; international distribution.)





Towards Zero Energy Architecture book cover

Towards Zero Energy Architecture: New Solar Design

Guzowski, M. Towards Zero Energy Architecture: New Solar Design. London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd., 2010. (Published in English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Italian; international distribution.)



Daylighting for Sustainable Design book cover

Daylighting for Sustainable Design 

Guzowski, M. Daylighting for Sustainable Design. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000. (Published in English in 2000, Chinese 2002, and Japanese in 2004; international distribution.)



Sustainable Energy Landscapes book cover

Sustainable Energy Landscapes: Designing, Planning and Development

Lehrman, B. and L. Abraham, M. Guzowski, and L. Neckar.  “Chapter 21: Towards the Zero+ Campus: multi-disciplinary design pedagogy and the energy-water nexus,” for the book Sustainable Energy Landscapes: Designing, Planning and Development; editors: A. van den Dobbelsteen and S. Stremke; London: CRC/Taylor & Francis Group. (Peer review chapter, 2012.) 

Select Articles and Papers in Academic and Professional Publications

Select Grants Received

  • Snell-Rood, E. (PI); Borrello, M.; Guzowski, M.; Shaw, R.; Roehrig, G.; Travisano, M. (Co-PIs); Rossi-Mastracci, J. and Weber, W. (Senior Personnel), "Agency, Directionality, and Function: Foundations for a Science of Purpose," John Templeton Foundation, 2021-2024. 
  • Abimbola, A. and M. Guzowski, "Sustainable Design Expansion to the Lighting Minor," Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education, 2021-2022 (Co-PI).
  • Guzowski, M. and Abi Asojo, Genell Ebbini, Joe Favour, Richard Graves, Jessica Rossi-Mastracci, "A Biophilic Approach to Net-Positive Design, College of Design, University of Minnesota, 2020-2021 (P.I.). Website: Biophilic Net-Positive Design Project.
  • Asojo, A., and M. Guzowski, Lighting Design Minor, Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education, 2018-2020 (Co-P.I.).
  • Graves, R. and B. Keeler (Co-P.I.); M. Guzowski, S. Polasky, S. Hobbie, J. Hellman, and R. Strong. “Sustainable Development: Architecture and Planning within the Ecological Footprint of One Planet,” Grand Challenges Research Grant, University of Minnesota, 2016-2018 (Research Team Member).
  • Guzowski, M. "Art of Architectural Daylighting," Imagine Fund, University of Minnesota, 2015-16 (P.I.).
  • Strong, R. and M. Guzowski (2010-12: L. Neckar, L. Abraham, B. Lehrman, et al). “Zero+ Campus Design Project,” Office of the Provost, University of Minnesota, 2010-2015 (Co-P.I.).
  • Wasley, J., T. Meyer Boake, M. Guzowski, and J. Quale.  “Carbon Neutral Design Project,” American Institute of Architects (AIA), 2008-2009 with the educational initiative on-going, AIA and Oak Hill Foundation (Co-P.I.).
  • Guzowski M. and J. Carmody.  “Initiative for Renewable Energy in Architecture (reARCH),” Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), 2006-2008 (P.I.). 
  • Carmody. J, M. Guzowski, and R. Strong. “Minnesota Zero Energy Design Protocol (mnZED Protocol),” MPCA, 2007-2009 (Co-P.I.).
  • Carmody, J., F. Forsyth, M. Guzowski, P. Huelman, and L. Lavine.  “Affordable Housing Initiative,” U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs; 2004-2007 (Co-P.I.). 
  • Guzowski, M., L. Lavine, and P. Huelman. “Phase One:  The Single Family Pilot House Demonstration Project,” Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, 2002-2004 (P.I.). 
  • Carmody, J. and M. Guzowski.  “Integrating Sustainable Design and Affordable Housing in Minnesota (Minnesota Green Housing Design Guide),” Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance (MnOEA), State of Minnesota, 2002-2004 (Co-P.I.).

Select Paintings


Seasonal Meditations
Cold Wax & Oil

Painting is an opportunity to witness and engage the changing qualities and moods of the seasons. It is a type of meditation that draws on direct experience and observations of nature.  The paintings are developed “in season” and throughout the year. They are intended to capture an ever-changing spirit and quality of time and place. These imagined landscapes communicate impressions of time as experienced in my day-to-day life. Painting keeps me connected with the beauty and ever-changing cycles of nature.

View More of Mary's Paintings

Six selected paintings by Mary Guzowski

Mary Guzowski

Mary Guzowski

Specialties & Expertise:

Daylighting, Solar Design, Biophilic and Sustainable Design


151B Rapson Hall
89 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
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