Aja Bulla-Richards


BA, Architecture, UC Berkeley M.Arch and MLA, University of Virginia MS, Architecture, Drylands Design, Arid Lands Institute, Woodbury University

Aja Bulla-Richards is an architectural and landscape architectural designer, public artist, educator and watershed planner. She works at the intersection between vast social, ecological and conceptual systems and everyday experience. 

Aja is the Associate Creative Director of Watershed Progressive. She holds three masters degrees in design and has received numerous awards. Aja has worked for architecture, landscape and urban design firms in Los Angeles CA, Berlin Germany, Oakland CA, Sonoma CA, and Charlottesville VA. She has taught design studios at UVA, USC and Woodbury University. Aja is also the founder of SEEP, a design inquiry collective that utilizes multiple learning modalities to catalyze renewed relationships with natural systems, generating resilient cultural ecologies. Her interests as an educator explore questioning the mindset behind existing constructed landscapes and proposals for intensifying ecological and social narratives that reveal invaluable knowledge already inherent in the places we inhabit. Integrating ecological performance with social practice is critical to redefining urban water infrastructure in relationship to everyday experience, and questioning the divide between nature and culture. 

Selected Grants, Awards & Honors

  • 2015 Great Streets Challenge Grant with Arid Lands Institute awarded by The Los Angeles Mayor’s Office
  • 2014-2015 AC Martin Fellowship Arid Lands Institute
  • 2014-2015 Deans Prize Woodbury University
  • 2013 ASLA Certificate of Honor presented by the American Association of Landscape Architects
  • 2013 Design and Health Research Grant with professor Jorg Sieweke awarded by University of Virginia
  • 2011 Awards for design excellence and community service presented by the Architecture Faculty UVA 
  • 2010 ASLA Honor Award in Student Collaboration
  • 2010 - 2011 1st place ARCHIVE Health + Housing in Haiti design competition with Initiative reCOVER 
  • 2010 - 2011 Jefferson Public Citizens Grant with Initiative reCOVER
  • 2010 UVA Germany Travel fellowship 10 day research + design focused on water infrastructure
  • 2010-2011 Joseph Norwood Bosserman Student Fellowship University of Virginia
  • 2008-2010 Charles L. Brown Fellowship University of Virginia
  • 1998-2003 Dean’s List every semester UC Berkeley
  • 1999 Rosanna E Luis Scholarship Presented by UC Berkeley
  • 1998 Edward Frank Scholarship Prize Presented by UC Berkeley

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