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Milagros Zingoni Phielipp, director of the School of Interior Architecture

Milagros Zingoni Phielipp began her appointment as the new director of the School of Interior Architecture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on January 1.

Most recently an associate professor of interior design at Arizona State University, Zingoni brings to UT’s College of Architecture and Design 16 years of experience as an award-winning teacher and researcher as well as an architect, community collaborator, leader, and mentor.

She is the recipient of the 2019 Interior Design Educators Council Teaching Excellence Award and the 2019 American Institute of Architects Arizona Chapter Educator of the Year Award—the first time the award was given to a professor in interior design. She also was named a 2019 Most Admired Educator by DesignIntelligence and a 2020 Outstanding Faculty Mentor by ASU’s Faculty Women Association.

“The college will greatly benefit from Milagros Zingoni joining our team to lead the School of Interior Architecture,” said College of Architecture and Design Dean Scott Poole. “Through her impressive experience in teaching, scholarship, outreach, and leadership, she brings an integral sense of partnership and community engagement that will broaden the college’s impact in our region while elevating our students’ educational experiences.”

Through a belief that design should encourage people to act responsibly for the good of society, Zingoni actively partners with community organizations to enhance students’ learning experiences through civic engagement. In her role as director of the School of Interior Architecture, she will strengthen the relationship between the school and the community in creative and meaningful ways.

“Innovation comes from diverse perspectives and transdisciplinary communication and collaboration between scholars, professionals, and their local communities,” Zingoni said. “I am excited to incorporate those core values as I serve the school, college, and university at this extraordinary juncture of growth and opportunity for the field of design.”

During her time at ASU, Zingoni partnered with the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, city government agencies including the City of Mesa, Mesa Arts Center, Scottsdale Arts, IDEA Museum, Phoenix, Mesa school districts, Boys and Girls Clubs, Retail Industry Leaders Association, and multiple cross-university disciplines and private sponsors.

Community engagement has included public art installations, public play spaces, the first ADA planters in Arizona, a library redesign, and other projects. Additionally, she developed a summer course for high school students designed to address diversity and inclusion in the field.

For this work, she was recognized as a nominee for both the 2019 Governor’s Arts Award for Arts in Education and the 2018 IIDA Foundation Diversity Award.

Her scholarship has been widely featured in peer-reviewed journals and conferences and has received grants from national, regional, and local organizations.

A registered architect in her native Argentina, Zingoni has a master’s degree in urban and environmental planning from ASU; an architecture degree (a six-year degree equivalent to a bachelor’s and master’s combined) from Universidad de Flores in Rio Negro, Argentina; and a Bachelor of Habitat Design from Escuela de Diseño en el Habitat in Neuquén, Argentina. She is a member of the American Society of Interior Design, International Interior Design Association, Interior Design Educators Council, and American Institute of Architects.

Zingoni has volunteered in many public projects and served until her departure on the City of Mesa Historic Preservation Board, on boards of directors for nonprofit organizations Everlasting Marks and Mesa Montessori, and on numerous committees in Mesa including downtown revitalization and downtown façade improvements. Zingoni also serves as an ideologist for the IDEA Museum, a position she will continue to hold remotely. She was the faculty advisor for the Interiors Student Alliance for the past six years.

Zingoni succeeds David Matthews as director of the School of Interior Architecture. Matthews led the school through significant growth for 10 years and is stepping down from the role to return to teaching.

The School of Interior Architecture facilitates learning that produces interior architecture professionals skilled as lifelong learners. Its Council of Interior Design–accredited undergraduate interior architecture program offers a Bachelor of Science in interior architecture and a dual degree in interior architecture and architecture. Enrollment in the school has grown by more than 50 percent since 2015, and all of its 2018 graduates were employed in the industry within a month of graduation. In the 2019 DesignIntelligence “Most Hired From” rankings by size of program, the school was listed as ninth in the country—moving up two spaces from 2018.


Amanda Johnson (865-974-6401,​