Elgin Cleckley, NOMA, is the principal of _mpathic design, an award-winning pedagogy, initiative, and design practice established in Charlottesville, VA, created in response to the Unite the Right Rally in 2017. _mpathic design was recently exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, demonstrating its approaches and methods to a broad public.
He has developed empathy-driven designs throughout North America, co-creating with communities, including acting as design coordinator on the world's first architectural space dedicated to design thinking, the Weston Family Innovation Centre in Toronto, Ontario. He was recently awarded a Loghaven Artist Residency and the University of Virginia's Distinguished Public Scholar Award.
He is an assistant professor of architecture and design thinking at the University of Virginia and a recipient of the Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award, the highest teaching award an assistant professor can receive at the university. Elgin is the design justice director at UVa's equity center and is active in community projects such as the Charlottesville Memorial for Peace and Justice.
While at MacDowell, Elgin created an exhibition revisiting an iconic visual through models, drawings, and large-scale interactives. This work follows approaches and methods of his _mpathic design practice, displayed in a spring 2022 exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and the University of Virginia Equity Center.