Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Assistant Professor, Auburn University
Website URL
architecture, architectural design, architectural history, historic preservation, cultural heritage, sustainability, design research, museums, architectural photography, historical interpretation, women in architecture
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Dr Danielle S. Willkens, Associate AIA, FRSA, LEED AP BD+C, is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Auburn University’s School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture. As an architectural designer and historian, she has practice experiences in design/build and public installations in Virginia, North Carolina, and London. Between June 2016 and May 2017, she was the recipient of the Society of Architectural Historians’ H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship; here, she explored Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Cuba, and Japan to research the impact of tourism on cultural heritage sites.

Her interests in Jeffersonian architecture were inspired by her time as a student at the University of Virginia (BS and M.Arch) and tenure as an interpreter and researcher at Monticello. She will be returning to Jefferson’s mountaintop later this summer as a short-term fellow at the International Center for Jefferson Studies as she develops her manuscript for publication with the University of Virginia Press:The Transatlantic Design Network: Jefferson, Soane, and agents of architectural exchange, 1768-1838. Thus far her research has been supported by grants from Auburn University, Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation, the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, and, most recently, a Franklin Research Grant from APS. 

Since she arrived at Auburn, she has been working with Associate Professor Junshan Liu from the McWhorter School of Building Science on a series of projects that record and represent the built environment through the use of 3D LiDAR scans, UAV photogrammetry, and digital modeling. Their work documenting the Rural Studio was featured in the 2016 Auburn Talks. Currently, she is working with Professor Liu and an interdisciplinary team from the McWhorter School of Building Science and the Department of History on ‘Bringing History to Life’, an experimental survey and modeling project digitally reconstructing an area south of the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the ‘Bloody Sunday’ events of March 7, 1965.

Recent Publications
Willkens, Danielle. The Transatlantic Design Network: Jefferson, Soane, and agents of architectural exchange, 1768-1838. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2019. (forthcoming book under advanced contract)
Willkens, Danielle. “Bringing History to Life: LiDAR and digital modeling for the Spatial Reconstruction of Selma’s ‘Bloody Sunday’ on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.” Proceedings of BRIDGE: the Heritage of Connecting Places and Cultures, 2017.
Willkens, Danielle, Richard Burt, Junshan Liu, Keith Hebert, David Carter, and Heather Haley, “Bringing History to Life: a digital reconstruction of Selma’s ‘Bloody Sunday’.“ Auburn Research 2.
Willkens, Danielle. “Capital and Carbon: Testing the Limits of Tourism in Iceland.” Urban Transcripts 2: 1 (2018).
Willkens, Danielle. “Ruins and renewal in Cuba.” The Architectural Historian 6 (2018): 4-8.
Willkens, Danielle. “Of Time and Place [and Technology]: documenting Hale County.” Dialectic V: The Figure of Vernacular in Architectural Imagination (2017): 81-92.
Willkens, Danielle. “A Year as the SAH H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellow: Reflections on Travel, Time, and Technology.” Publications and Research (blog), Society of Architectural Historians (SAH), July 14, 2017.
Willkens, Danielle. “From Edo to 21st-Century Tokyo: A New ‘Floating World’.” Publications and Research (blog), SAH, June 19, 2017.
Willkens, Danielle. “Railroads and Reconstructions: Transportation as a Tourism Conduit in Central Honshu.” Publications and Research (blog), SAH, May 8, 2017.
Willkens, Danielle. ”Reclaimed: Sites of Conflict, Industry, and Population Change in Japan.” Publications and Research (blog), SAH, April 3, 2017.
Willkens, Danielle. ”Cities and Celebrations in Snow: an Introduction to Tourism in Japan.” Publications and Research (blog), SAH, March 8, 2017.
Willkens, Danielle. ”Prados and Plazas: Investigations into the Cultural Resources and Key Urban Elements of the Island.” Publications and Research (blog), Society of Architectural Historians, February 13, 2017.
Willkens, Danielle. “New Year Interlude: Two Architectural Pilgrimages.” Publications and Research (blog), SAH, January 12, 2017.
Willkens, Danielle. “Scaffolding and a City in Section: an Introduction to La Habana.” Publications and Research (blog), SAH, December 5, 2016.
Willkens, Danielle. “Connectivity and ‘Green’ Craft: Exploring the Infrastructure and Architecture of the Faroe Islands.Publications and Research (blog), SAH, October 25, 2016.
Willkens, Danielle. “Fjords and Repurposed Sites: Explorations around Iceland’s Ring Road.” Publications and Research (blog), SAH, October 4, 2016.
Willkens, Danielle. “Overcrowded Sites and Unexpected Voids: The Extremes of Tourism in Iceland and the Faroe Islands.” Publications and Research (blog), SAH, September 2, 2016.
Willkens, Danielle. “Museums In and Out of Doors: Curating Art, History, and Nature on the Island.” Publications and Research (blog), SAH, August 2, 2016.
Willkens, Danielle. “Concrete, Churches, and Cirrostratus in Reykjavík: An Introduction to Iceland.” Publications and Research (blog), SAH, July 6, 2016.
Willkens, Danielle. “Monuments in Mountains.” Lobby: Faith 5 (Autumn 2016).
Willkens, Danielle. “Reading Words and Images in the Description(s) of Sir John Soane’s Museum.” Architectural Histories 4 (1): 5, Building-Word-Image Special Collection (2016): 1-22, DOI:
Willkens, Danielle. “Epistolary Architecture: the Transatlantic Design Network, 1768-1838.” On Site review: on writing, or not 34 (2016): 4-11. Available online:
Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
Atlantic, England, Japan, United Kingdom, United States
Expertise by Chronology
18th century, 19th century, Early Modern, Modern, 20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
American Founding Era, Art & Architectural History, Environment, Material Culture, Museums, Urban History, Women