TED Fellows » TED Fellows Network » Veronica Reed

Veronica Reed

Architectural activist

Fellows Class:
Veronica Reed

Professional Role

Current Titles:

President, Founder, Environmental Consultant, Environmental Activist

Current Organizations:

Sustainable Design Studio, Andean Consulting, TEDxQuito, TED Fellows


Uploaded Photos

Flickr Photostream


Coca-Cola - Reutilicemos Verónica Reed

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Cada Botella Tiene Una Historia Proyecto de Reutilización Verónica Reed

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Environmental Shed Roof - MEDIA AGUA
06/27/2011 – 04/27/2012
The environmental shed roof, MEDIA AGUA in spanish, is a demonstrative environmental house developed as permanent exhibition for the YAKU Museum (YAKU water museum park) in Quito. Sustainable Design Studio was comissioned the project in 2011. It was developed from the studio’s expertise in environmental design and energy efficiency, climate responsive architecture and sustainable pratices, with collaboration from Evolution Engineering on the development of water systems. MEDIA AGUA showcases material and construction processes which are respectful of the environment and have a lower impact through resource selection. The house, through its educational bathroom and kitchen prototypes, teaches children and families to reduce water usage by allowing for interactive play, where kids learn how many flushes of a toilet can be done with a few minutes in the shower, or how sink gray water can be cleaned and used for irrigation purposes for plants and crops, closing in the water cycle. TED Fellow Dominic Muren is collaborating with Sustainable Design Studio in the design and development of replicable and self made furnishings that respond to environmental and social concerns.
Project Website »

Tree house - Casa del Arbol
01/10/2011 – 12/23/2011
Casa del Arbol (tree house) is a residential project. The house was developed on a suburban site in Quito, with green areas and views overlooking the valley. The site had 14 grown guava trees, which were protected during the design and construction process. The house shapes around the main tree, wrapping it and placing it as center point for the house and their occupants. The house includes green roofs on terraces and balconies and open paved systems on site to reduce the heat island effect. The structural columns for the houses main spaces are recycled pipes from oil extraction and exploration activities, recovered from the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador, and the main staircase of the house was created from a truck chassis, recovered from a local landfill, reducing the house’s need for new steel. The structural concrete slab was left bare as only floor finish and polished to reduce imperfections, resulting in a seamless surface and avoiding the use of 400m2 of floor tiles or terrazzo. The wall coverings in bathroom areas use an impermeable paint made from 100% grinded post-consumer tires. The house’s design responds to local climate conditions allowing for the house to be 100% naturally ventilated, and keeping a constant comfortable temperature. It opens itself to the gardens and views, integrating the house seamlessly to its surroundings. The highlights of the house are its water system and future PV production system onsite. The house’s water system recovers shower and sink water after use, cleans it in a 3-tank process, stores it, brining it back into the house through a separate water supply pipe for use in toilets. It is expected for the house to include a 12 PV panel production system on-site to generate and cover for 80% of the house’s energy demand.

Galapagos Balra Airport - environmental design
09/06/2011 – 12/26/2012
Sustainable Design Studio and Veronica Reed are working with Corporacion America and EKR in defining environmental design strategies for resource reuse and sustainable materials and practices for the new Galapagos Airport at Baltra, a project designed by Shiller&Evans in 2008. The airport situated in the Galapagos Islands, declared Natural World Heritage site and National Park., aims to be the first eco-friendly airport in the world, reducing its footprint on the islands and contributing to local development. The airport will recycle 100% of its grey water on site, reducing to the minimum the need for potable water provision, scarce in the island. It will produce 20% of its energy from green sources on site. Sustainable Design Studio has taken active part in the selection of materials, which include 50% reused steel piping as building structures and the use of local stones and recycled glass tiles for wall and floor coverings. Over 40% of the materials used on the entire project will be local materials, reused materials from demolitions on site or from waste treatment in the Galapagos islands. Sustainable Design Studio is working on the project's LEED certification application, aiming to achieve a LEED Gold certification for the building.

Reused material library
07/23/2012 – 09/23/2012
With the support from Coca Cola Ecuador, we are developing a library space made from reused material for the low-ncome community of Santa Marianita, located in the coast of Ecuador. The library space consists of 40m2 of reading space for children and youth of this artisan fishermen town in the province of Manabi. The town has only one public school which provides services to all the kids and youth in the community, lacking adequate infrastructure. With support from Coca Cola, SDS has been designing this library space to make use of reused PET bottles, old billboards, combining these with traditional materials such as bamboo and local harvested wood, restoring and providing value to the traditional craftsmanship of the area. The project has been designed in collaboration with the community and the process has been open to the public through social networks, where people can collaborate and provide their ideas for improving this project. There have been a series of introductory and explanatory videos as well as a series of twittcams where the community can have a live chat with me on the development of the project, ask questions and give ideas.
Project Website »


I consider myself a sustainable and social architect working on the development of healthy environments and communities. I completed my undergrad studies in Ecuador, my hometown, focusing on the development of architecture for low-income groups in the outskirts of Quito. In 2001 I moved abroad to complete my“professional” training, attending the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid from 2001 to 2001 at Madrid, Spain and later moved to Arizona. With a Fulbright scholarship I attended Arizona State University's Master of science program in climate responsive architecture and environmental design from 2002 to 2004. While studying at ASU, I came across University Initiatives and worked for ASU's Office of the President and University Initiatives in the development of the Stardust Center for Homes and the Family, a non-profit research center for affordable housing development and policy think tank. In 2005 when I returned to Ecuador, I started to develop an affordable housing pilot project for rural communities in collaboration with ASU's Stardust Center and local institutions. During my time abroad, I developed a passion for sustainable design, incorporating it into my social architecture. I currently live in Ecuador where I founded Sustainable Design Studio in 2005. Our work is focused on sustainable architecture and design, sustainable community development through low-income housing and environmental design and education. Sustainable Design Studio works in several areas on the inclusion of sustainable practices in its community through education and policy generation, aiming to encourage design professionals to move toward architecture as a tool for improving living conditions. I have three beautiful kids who have become my reason to pursue sustainable development and architecture, taking care of the interventions I make on my natural surroundings, so that they can enjoy them as well.

Fun facts

Favorite meal:
My favorite meal of the day during weekends is lunch, since I get to prepare it myself and enjoy it with my family. I love tomato soup, creamy, topped with basil and sour cream. For main dish I love to prepare and have grilled white fish marinated with lemon, sea salt and pepper. While on the grill I like to add vegetables such as onions, bell peppers, portobello mushrooms,until they are crunchy. To accompany fish nothing better than plain white ecuadorian rice and fried green bananas, ripe and sweet. For desert ice cream is my favorite, all types and flavors, particularly sorbets, fruity, fresh and tangy, made with local fruits. During weekdays my favorite meal of the day in dinner, the only time I get to sit at the table with my three kids and listen to their stories about how their day went by. For dinner we usually have a light, easy to prepare meal such as italian salad with ruccula, radichio & parmessan, along with a grilled cheese sandwich or a slice of cheese.

Vital Stats

Fellows Class
TEDGlobal 2010
Living in
Quito, Ecuador
Working in
Quito, Ecuador
Born in
Guayaquil, Ecuador


www.sds-arch.com www.andeanconsulting.com www.fundacionbienestar.org.ec/sitio/ www.tedxquito.net

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