Danielle Willkens headshot

Danielle Willkens

Associate Professor

Danielle Willkens

Associate Professor


Ph.D. in Architectural History & Theory, The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (2015)
Savannah College of Art & Design, Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation (2011)
M. Arch, University of Virginia (2008)
M. Phil in the History of Art and Architecture, University of Cambridge, St. John’s College (2006)
B.S. in Architecture and Architectural History University of Virginia (2004)


Architectural History, 3D Scanning, UAVs (drones), Spatial Visualization


Danielle S. Willkens, Assoc. AIA, FRSA, LEED AP BD+C is a practicing designer, researcher, and FAA Certified Remote Pilot who is particularly interested in bringing architectural engagement to diverse audiences through interactive projects. Her experiences in practice and research include design/build projects, public installations, and on-site investigations as well as extensive archival work in several countries.

She was an inaugural Mellon History Teaching Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks, exploring the project “From Plantation to Protest: Visualizing Cultural Landscapes of Conflict in the American South.” She currently has several research, documentation, and visualization projects in Selma, AL and Atlanta, GA supported by National Park Service’s African American Civil Rights Grants. She is also leading efforts on heritage documentation and sustainable tourism, alongside a number of collaborators, at the Penn Center, SC, Valencia, Spain, and Petra, Jordan.

As an avid photographer and illustrator, her work has been recognized numerous times in the American Institute of Architects’ National Photography Competition and she has contributed graphics to several exhibitions and publications.  She was the 2015 recipient of the Society of Architectural Historians' H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship and her research into transatlantic design exchange has been supported by the Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation, the International Center for Jefferson Studies, and an American Philosophical Society Franklin Research Grant. She is a member of the Executive Committee within the Board of Trustees for the Atlanta Preservation Center, a member of the Board of Trustees for the Penn Center, the Georgia State Representative for the Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians, and a member of the Education Committee for the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art’s Southeast chapter.  

“Tools and Frameworks for Community-Based Preservation Technology on Atlanta’s Westside” funded by a 2023 Arnold W. Brunner Grant from the Center for Architecture and New York Chapter American Institute of Architects

“Heritage BIM and Sustainable Tourism” funded by a 2023 Sustainability Next Seed Grant from Georgia Tech’s Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems,

“Sustainable Tourism in Petra, Jordan” funded by a 2022-2023 Call for New Initiatives in Climate and Sustainability from Georgia Tech’s Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems

“Digitally Decoding Vernacular Construction: Sellman Tenant House” funded by a 2022 National Center for Preservation Training and Technology (NCPTT) Grant

“Historic Structures Report on Tankersley Rosenwald School” funded by a 2022 National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grant  

“Walking in the Footsteps of History” at the 2022 ACCelerate Creativity + Innovation Festival at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

“Historic Structures Report for the Edmund Pettus Bridge” funded by a 2019 National Park Service African American Civil Rights (AACR) Grant Program, Co-PI with Auburn University Associate Professor Junshan Liu

“Archival Layers and Public Interpretation for Heritage BIM: Two Atlanta Case Studies" funded by a 2021 National Center for Preservation Training and Technology (NCPTT) Grant

(2021-2026)  National Park Service CESU Preserving our Historic Structures: NPS Southeast Region (SER) Parks Cultural Resources Research and Inventory

Digital documentation and accessible interpretation for the USS Drum at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park

(forthcoming) Willkens, Danielle. The Transatlantic Design Network: Thomas Jefferson, John Soane, and Agents of Architectural Exchange. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, expected early 2024.

(forthcoming) Willkens, Danielle. “Domestic Architecture in Diagram: Fiske Kimball as Architect-Historian and the Case for Spatial Analysis.” In Fiske and Marie Kimball: Shaping Our Experience of Buildings and Objects, edited by Marie Frank. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, exp. 2024.

Liu, Junshan, Salman Azhar, Danielle Willkens, and Botao Li. “Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) for Heritage Building Information Modeling (HBIM): A Systematic Review.” Virtual Worlds: Digital Twins in Cultural Heritage vol. 2, no. 2 (2023): 90-114.  DOI: 10.3390/virtualworlds2020006

Willkens, Danielle. “The Craft and Care of Reality Capture” Buildings and Landscapes 29.2: Special Issue on Field Work (Fall 2022): 2-14. DOI: 10.1353/bdl.2022.0009 

Willkens, Danielle. “Sir John Soane.” Oxford Bibliographies in "Architecture, Planning, & Preservation." Ed. Kevin D. Murphy. New York: Oxford University Press, March 23, 2022. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780190922467-0071

Willkens, Danielle. Architecture for Teens: A Beginner’s Book for Aspiring Architects. New York, NY: Rockridge Press, 2021.

Willkens, Danielle. “The Epistolary Polygraph.” In Extinct: A Compendium of Obsolete Objects, edited by Barbara Penner, Adrian Forty, Miranda Critchley, and Olivia Horsfall Turner, 181-184. London: Reaktion, 2021.

Willkens, Danielle, Heather Haley, and Junshan Liu. “Race, Space, and the Digital Interpretation at Selma’s Old Depot Museum.” ARRIS 31 (2021): 108-118.  

Willkens, Danielle. “Design by ‘considerable degree’: Jefferson’s architecture as applied science.” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society v.110 p.2 (2021): 167-194. 

Willkens, Danielle. “Clouds and Cataracts: atmospheric experiments at Sir John Soane’s Museum.” TAD: Open 3:2 (2019): 211-220. DOI: 10.1080/24751448.2019.1640539

Willkens, Danielle. “Capital and Carbon: Testing the Limits of Tourism in Iceland.” Urban Transcripts 2: 1 (2019).

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. “Monuments in Mountains.” Lobby: Faith 5 (Autumn 2016): 104-109.

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: 10.5334/ah.204

ARCH 1017 Studio I 

ARCH 2111/6105 History of Architecture I

ARCH 3115 Modern Art & Architecture Workshop

ARCH 4823/6160 Race, Space, and Architecture in the United States 

ARCH 4016/4017 Architecture Design Studio 6 & 7

ARCH 3009 + ARCH 4921 Architectonics in Greece and Italy, study abroad program 

ID2242 History of Art and Architecture in Europe, First Year Semester Abroad Oxford traveling program