Cory Olsen

Faculty Fellow; Assistant Professor of Interior Architecture

What is your background and area of interest within architecture?

I have two degrees in interior design from the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. Professionally I have worked in a variety of design-related positions including commercial interiors, high-end European kitchens, boutique hotels, and as a custom cabinetmaker. I really enjoy the physical fabrication element of design work, so my primary research exploration centers around furniture design and prototyping. More specifically, my work combines traditional craft methods with digital fabrication technologies like CNC routing, 3D printing, lasers, and robotics.

What brought you to the UO?

Like many others, the allure of the Pacific Northwest was a huge draw! My dog Scout and I love getting outdoors, whether it’s a quick walk around Alton Baker or a few nights camping well out of cell phone coverage. Growing up in Texas, the idea of having four seasons of weather was also enticing.

I’m also very lucky to be part of a very small department of faculty within interior architecture here at the UO. There are just a few of us so the teamwork and camaraderie are really great, plus it is really easy for each of us to have our voices heard.

How did you get involved in architecture?

Somewhat unintentionally … as an incoming freshman at Texas I had intended to declare into the engineering school. During an open campus orientation session my parents actually encouraged me to check out the school of architecture. They saw the link between the problem solving engineering mindset and my creative artistic side. The scale and size of interiors appealed to me even further because I love to get down to the small details!

What’s the best advice you have for a college student?

Be more than just your major, even if you don’t think you have time! During my time(s) at Texas I was part of a community service organization, student government, architecture school council, intramural sports teams, a 4600(!) mile cross-country bike team … and many of my best friends came from those other activities. Campus is full of incredible people of all sorts of backgrounds—seek them out!

How can students contact you?

I can be reached at my email,, and I will also plan to do a weekly evening touchdown in Kalapuya Ilihi for informal chats and study hours! Please come say hi when you see me!