Blaine Brownell is an architect, author, educator, and former Fulbright scholar. He earned a B.A. in Architecture with a Certificate in East Asian Studies at Princeton University in 1992, and a Master in Architecture from Rice University in 1998. 

Brownell is considered one of the preeminent scholars of advanced materials for architecture and design, having authored the Transmaterial series with Princeton Architectural Press (2006-2010), in addition to an online material catalog that has been likened to “a 21st Century version of The Grammar of Ornament.” Brownell has been published in over forty design, business, and science journals, and has lectured widely in North America, Europe, and Asia. 

Brownell was a visiting research fellow at the Tokyo University of Science as a Fulbright recipient (2006-07), and the visiting professor of sustainable design at the University of Michigan (2007-08). He is currently an associate professor and co-director of the Master of Science program in Sustainable Design at the University of Minnesota (2008-present). 

His most recent books, Matter in the Floating World: Conversations with Leading Japanese Architects and Designers (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011) and Material Strategies: Innovative Applications in Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012), seek to elucidate the fundamental connections between material use and design innovation.