We founded Design and Energy Laboratory ("dandelab") in 2011 as a venue to pursue our mutual interests in architectural research and design. In our practice, we are concerned about efficiency (budget, energy, resources) and we maintain this focus throughout our projects. In every home we design, we hope for that visceral reaction where our clients fall in love with their home and daily living is enhanced in ways that are hard to predict. We strive towards this in every project we take on.
Our work as practicing architects aligns with -- and reinforces -- our work in the academy. As professors of architecture at the University of Minnesota (and previously at North Dakota State University), we are engaged in research and teaching connected with energy efficiency, resiliency, and advanced techniques of architectural representation. Our students and graduates are our frequent creative and intellectual collaborators.
Please contact us with your questions. We look forward to hearing from you.
Malini Srivastava, AIA, DDes, is a licensed architect in the state of Minnesota. She is an Associate Professor in Resilient and Regenerative Design, and serves as the Director of the Masters of Science in Research Practices program and as the Associate Dean for Research, Creative Scholarship and Engagement, in the University of Minnesota's College of Design.
Malini completed her doctoral defense at Carnegie Mellon University (2020), titled Purposeful Play. She is a 2018 recipient of the American Institute of Architects’ Young Architect Award and a 2014 recipient of the Archibald and Edyth Bush Fellowship. In 2017, Malini received the Outstanding Educator Award from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at NDSU.
Her work spans research, teaching, and practice in urban-scale pervasive play frameworks, high-performance architecture, responsive building skins and other interventions to address energy use in the built environment. To support her practice, she maintains certification as a Passive House Consultant.
She is the Project Lead of efargo, a University-City-Utility partnership aimed at reducing city-wide energy use. Under her direction, the partnership developed pervasive energy games as a fundamental intervention method to impact largescale energy use in buildings. The efargo project resulted in the City of Fargo winning the national Georgetown University Energy Prize in 2017.
Malini is the Co-Principal of the award-winning firm, Dandelab. Prior to that, she served as Senior Project Architect at Salmela Architect. Her formative years were spent at other Minnesota Practices such as MSR Design, VJAA, Snow Kreilich Architects and LEAD Inc. Her extensive involvement with projects has led to national and regional awards for design, preservation and efficiency, LEED certification, Passive House pre-certification and a Committee on the Environment National Top Ten Environmental building award.
Mike Christenson is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Minnesota. He has published extensively in the areas of architectural representation, design technology, and the production and dissemination of architectural knowledge. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture (www.acadia.org), and he serves as the Associate Editor for Architectural Computing for the journal Architectural Science Review.
Christenson's professional work includes experience at Minneapolis-based Alliiance on teams in collaboration with Jean Nouvel on the design of the Guthrie Theater on the River and in collaboration with Cesar Pelli on the design of the Minneapolis Central Library.
Together with Malini Srivastava, he is a Principal Architect in the award-winning architectural firm, Dandelab. Christenson's ongoing research in representation, and his experience in the professional practice of architecture, continually inform his teaching in areas of digital technologies, building construction, and comprehensive design.
Thanks to all of our past dandelab collaborators!
Peter Atwood, Dan Badilla, Gabriela Baierle, Malcolm Brom, Darin Duch, Ingrid Fullerton, Noah Harvey, Madeline Juve, Ritah Kagezi, Nick Lippert, Leigh Anne Mehs, Tyler Pritchard, Liz Rae, Troy Raisanen, and Martin Smith.