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Margarette Leite
Margarette Leite

Associate Professor, School of Architecture
Shattuck Hall 235

Master of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania, 1990
Bachelor of Science, College of William & Mary, 1985

Margarette Leite is a licensed architect with many years of practice in residential and institutional architecture in the US and abroad. She has a bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary and a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. Her firm, PLDP Architecture (, focuses on the design of sustainable buildings and communities with particular emphasis on disaster relief. The firm’s Nomikos residence was featured on The Discovery Channel’s "World’s Greenest Homes" series and the firm was the subject of a cover article in Residential Architect, January 2011.

Margarette is a Fulbright grant winner and has taught architectural design at both the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Washington before coming to PSU, where she currently teaches architectural design, building tectonics and material sustainability. This teaching is combined with the creation of opportunities for students to engage in design processes and design/build activities that serve communities in need. These initiatives have garnered awards for civic engagement and have been the subjects of numerous publications and documentaries, including “Lessons from the Real World” by Robert Gliner, featured on national public television. She has been a featured speaker at various forums nationally on public interest design, including interviews on OPB. Following the Haiti earthquake, she and her students received media attention when they partnered with local company, Pacific Green Innovations, to build a demonstration "Home for Haiti," made from recycled paper panels on the Portland State University campus. She has included her students on projects with local school districts for the design of sustainable learning spaces as well as a current statewide initiative to build and distribute a greener, affordable modular classroom across Oregon and the nation. The SAGE Green Modular Classroom was awarded an international SEED award in 2013 for “social, economic and environmentally responsible design” and was designated an Oregon Solutions project in 2011 by Governor John Kitzhaber. The classroom is currently under contract with several distributors across the US and parts of Canada and serves as a model for how the profession and the academy can engage communities in solving critical social issues. 

Her tectonics and materials classes focus on the responsible use of sustainable and reusable materials as well as the promotion of hands-on making as a life-long habit for students of architecture. Her practical experience as an architect as well as her early experience with metalworking fuel her passion for teaching students the value of craft through the full scale construction of various projects throughout the School of Architecture. Current works include a collaboration with local partner Rebright Industries to match large scale waste streams with potentially marketable product designs.