Joel Sanders, FAIA, is Principal of MIXdesign, a think tank and design consultancy with a team of recognized experts in different aspects of diversity that is dedicated to creating design solutions that make public building types like art museums, restrooms, and university campuses accessible and welcoming to people of different ages, genders, races, religions and abilities. MIXdesign projects include Stalled!, an AIA award-winning project for inclusive public restrooms that responds to national controversies surrounding transgender access to public toilets, as well as MIXmuseum, an initiative conducted with partner museums in NYC, New Haven, London, Stockholm, and Helsinki to generate a Toolkit of Design Recommendations and Prototypes that make the public spaces of museums accessible to diverse audiences.
MIXdesign is a division of JSA (Joel Sanders Architect), where Sanders also serves as Principal. JSA is an award-winning, LGBTBE-certified, full-service architecture and interior design firm specializing in arts, academic, and residential design. JSA brings more than 20 years of experience designing award-winning museum, gallery, and exhibition design projects, which have explored the relationship between embodied experience and social justice. JSA projects have been featured in international exhibitions and the permanent collections of MoMA, SF MoMA, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. The firm has received numerous awards, including six New York Chapter AIA Design Awards, three New York State AIA Design Awards, three Interior Design Best of Year Awards, and two ALA / IIDA Library Interior Design Awards.
Sanders is Professor-in-Practice at Yale School of Architecture where he is the Director of the M.Arch II Program. Prior to joining Yale, he was an Assistant Professor at Princeton University and the Director of the Graduate Program at Parsons School of Design. Sanders received both a B.A. and an M.Arch. from Columbia University. Editor of STUD: Architectures of Masculinity and Groundwork: Between Landscape and Architecture, Sanders’s writings and practice have explored the complex relationship between culture and social space, looking at the impact that evolving cultural forces (such as gender identity and the body, technology and new media, and the nature/culture dualism) have on the designed environment.