• The University of Western Australia (M433), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile

Research interests


  • Bio-Based Materials for development 
  • Development of processes, methods, products and constructive systems using Bio-based Masterials in Architecture and Product Design 
  • Traditional art and vernacular architecture of Timor Leste & CPLP (Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries)
  • Development of self-sufficient design for schools using sustainable resources and materials
  • Influence of educational theories and creative thinking on the design of school buildings
  • Passive Cooling Design in warm/hot climates
  • Cool Roofs: thermal comfort and mitigation Urban Heat Island (UHI)


Current projects

  • Green Infrastructure, University of Western Australia
  • Timor Leste Architecture, U Applied Sciences and Arts Coburg (GER) 
  • Circular Ecological Economies in the context of Bamboo design for development, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Japan



Rosangela Tenorio is an Associate Professor at the UWA School of Design, and has over 20 years of experience as an academic and as a practicing architect. Born in the northeast of Brazil, she was trained in Recife as an architect  where she started  working in affordable housing and slum upgrading projects. Her training continued as she undertook internships and work/research experience in Japan, USA and Italy. It was in Australia that she officially started her academic career, when under the guidance of Dr Steven V Szokolay (UQ), one of the world’s leading experts and pioneers on environmental science, she completed her PhD. Throughout her professional career, Rosangela has been always committed to affordability of resources  (environmental and financial) and how these two aspects can have a substantial purpose in the way we provide better living conditions, culturally, socially and economically.

Her original research work (PhD) focused on building energy simulation and thermal comfort studies of housing in tropical regions – Darwin (AUS)-Salvador (Brazil). Passive cooling design in hot regions has been at the core of her research interests as a way towards tackling bigger urban environmental issues (e.g. Urban Heat Island (UHI).  She has expanded her research interests also towards remote communities (design for education and development/use of bio-based materials/traditional architecture monitoring and mapping in developing countries).


Since joining academia, Rosangela has led various research projects having attracted funding as PI or CI from a number of funding agencies. Her work on environmental design has been widely published (please refer to publications list). She has served as an associate editor and reviewer of scientific journals and conferences, such as Architectural Science Review, Journal of Housing & The Built Environment, amongst others, as well as contributing as a member of international panels and Scientific Research committees, such as: (NZCLAS- New Zealand Centre for Latin American Studies (NZCLAS), Institute of Asia Pacific Studies (IAPS – China, Malaysia, UK), INTA-SEGA (International Network for Tropical Architecture), ANZASCA (Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Conference Association), ENCAC (Brazilian National Conference on Thermal Comfort and CNPq/CAPES(Brazil).

Rosangela’s recent co-edited book “Beyond the Market: Building Sino-Latin American Relations” has been the result of a two year collaboration with academics from over 30 countries, looking at cross-cultural and transdisciplinary relationships in Sino-Latin American contexts. Acknowledging that the forces of trade and business in a globalized economy has pushed its way towards connectivity, mostly through business and financial grounds, the book looked into the state of the cultural transformations undergone by Sino and Latin American societies in the last 40 years, when the current trade connections started to take place. Attention to these changes are meant to shed light into old as well as new points of cultural connectivity between these two major regions, both of which have significantly increased their economic and cultural influence in the global scene. Through a focus on culture, arts, society and spaces, the collection of essays aimed towards providing a dialogue between these two regions, searching for the creative links between the two continents beyond the market logic that presently dominates their mutual interaction.

Previous positions

  • Associate Professor, University of Nottingham Ningbo, China (UNNC)
  • Senior Lecturer, University of Auckland, NZ (UoA)
  • Senior Lecturer, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador Brazil (UFBA)
  • Research Fellow, Brazilian Centre for Wind Energy, Recife, Brazil (UFPE)
  • Postgraduate Research Fellow, Tokyo,Japan (Nihon Daigaku)
  • Equatorial NZ Ltd, Director, Auckland NZ
  • Atrio Arquitetura & Design, Associate Partner, Recife, Brazil
  • Borsoi Architects & Associates, Arch Graduate, Recife, Brazil
  • Piero Lissoni Arquitettura & Disegno, Arch Graduate, Milan, Italy
  • Peter Eisenman Architects, Arch Graduate, New York, USA
  • Sistema Aotearoa NZ, Music Tutor, South Auckland, NZ

Community engagement

Rosangela has been equally highly committed to academic education and creative design pedagogy, contributing towards balancing design curriculum where The Arts and Sciences are to be considered and related. As a result, she has been awarded with two other colleagues at the University of Auckland-NZ, a Teaching Excellence Award for Collaboration in Teaching sustained over a period of 3 years. A short film documentary ‘Ocean Studio’ has been produced highlighting the principles and design pedagogies considered at the time. At the University of Nottingham-China, Rosangela led the first of its kind - Life-Cycle 5 Nottingham Campaign, in China, with two colleagues from Product Design and Engineering. This was an initiative that focused on improving the quality of education through design in rural Western provinces of China. A student centred project and research led, it involved community members, staff (industry and academics), and students from 5 different disciplines based in China and the UK. Her teaching has been based on the needs of creative thinking being integrated with practical, real contexts, informed by research on environmental, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary studies.

She has served in various administrative capacities, and has been consistently committed to leadership on equity and diversity. Most recently, 2015-17 she was the vice-chair of the WINSET China UNNC (Women in Science and Engineering and Technology), a tri-campus organization, including Malaysia, China and UK. In New Zealand she was actively engaged on equity and diversity initiatives and was one of the leading academics behind the establishment of the UN-HABITAT Partnership-UoA. At UWA, she has been appointed Deputy Head Interantional and Engagement at the School of Design, since August 2018.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Music), PG DIp Edu, Posgraduate Diploma in Education (Orff), University of Waikato

Award Date: 1 Apr 2014

PhD Environmental Design, Architecture, Dual Mode Cooling House in the Warm-Humid Tropics, University of Queensland

Award Date: 8 May 2002

BArch (Hons) Architecture, Architecture & Urbanism, Benfica: A musica de um lugar, Federal University of Pernambuco Recife

Award Date: 4 Apr 1994

Research expertise keywords

  • Remote CommunitiesRemote Communities Design 4 Development Remote Communities Design 4 Development
  • Bio-Based Construction Materials & Design Applications
  • Self-sufficient design of schools
  • TImor Leste & CPLP Architecture
  • Sustainable Design
  • Passive Cooling Design


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • ARLA 1010

    Rosangela Tenorio (Supervisor), Santiago Perez (Supervisor) & Marcus Brett (Coordinator)


    Activity: Teaching and learningCourse or unit development