Virginia Ellyn Melnik

Foundations Fellow, Virginia Tech

Virginia Ellyn Melnyk is a computational architectural designer and researcher with a passion for textiles and craft, specializing in material design, textiles, and deployable structures. She is currently pursuing a PhD in the DigitalFUTURES International PhD program at Tongji University, focusing on the development of soft and flexible structures that incorporate non-traditional material techniques with modern computational methods.

Virginia draws inspiration from her roots to work with traditional textile techniques and design processes. Using materials that can transform and stretch like knit, and emphasizing instability and movement as desired features of the design. She believes that the ability of structures to adapt and transform is essential for creating sustainable and innovative future architectural solutions.

Virginia earned her Master of Architecture from the Weitzmann School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania and her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University at Buffalo. She has worked on large-scale architectural projects at Studio Pei Zhu in Beijing and volunteers at DigitalFUTURES and at Architecture is Free.

Currently, as the Inaugural Foundations Fellow at Virginia Tech, where Virginia continues to explore the potential of deployable structures and soft materials, seeking to create designs that are both performative and aesthetically compelling.