Stephen Ellis


Stephen Ellis
Faculty, School of Architecture


Stephen is a registered architect practicing with the firm Van Meter Williams Pollack, LLP in San Francisco. He began his professional experience in the Bay Area with Solomon Cordwell Buenz. There, he developed an expertise in multi-family housing, primarily with high-rise and large scale projects sized over 200,000 sq ft. Lessons learned from developing a variety of projects fed his passion for user-oriented design at the community scale, supporting some of the grassroots stakeholders in San Francisco. This work consisted of pro bono services for United Playaz and West Bay Filipino Center in SoMa and advising on a STEAM program for Rosa Parks Elementary School. As a member of several design committees at SCB, he sought opportunities to bridge emerging talents with both the design community and the larger local community in need.

It is the connection between architecture and community that inspires him as an architect. As faculty at the Academy of Art University, he aspires to build in his students an awareness of community needs, emotional connections to underserved users of design, and to develop their own architectural styles rooted deeply in positivity, thoughtfulness, and sensitivity.

Stephen is from Jamaica and attained his Bachelors in Architectural Studies at the University of Technology’s Caribbean School of Architecture. He continued on to the University of Pennsylvania to earn his Masters of Architecture degree. As a graduate student, he spent a semester at the Architectural Association in London. Throughout his years of formal studies, he drew influences from constructibility, sustainability, generative design, and other artistic disciplines such as fashion and illustration. Several of his academic projects have been published in multiple editions of Pressing Matters, UPenn’s official design school journal, and the online forums PitCrit and ArchOutLoud. Additionally, he has earned awards for his underlying appreciation of construction, including the Charles Merrick Gay Scholarship and the Harry E Parker Prize, among others.

Courses Taught