Rich believes a design education teaches the student the power of ESP: The student develops the ability to imagine increasingly intricate visions of a future world, while building the skills to represent it clearly enough to persuade others to join in the realization of their 'visions' as tangible built fact.
As Associate Vice President and Dean of Students at the Boston Architectural College, Rich uses his architecture training and his teaching experience to build campus culture and student life. Through this work, Rich facilitates the BAC’s core mission of providing a pathway into the design professions for people from diverse backgrounds.
He created and supervises the BAC Office of Student Life, and he upholds the standards of the BAC learning environment as described in the BAC Campus Compact. Rich works daily with individual students and faculty in various roles: advisor, tutor, professional mentor, community activist, and advocate. He has a particular passion for introducing design fundamentals to beginners.
Rich teaches design studios, lecture courses, visual studies courses, historic preservation and history/theory workshops, and he has also been a thesis advisor and lead lecturer for the BAC's Summer Academy high school program. For eleven years Rich directed the BAC’s month-long summer travel programs to Paris, Florence, Madrid, and Rome.
Rich holds a Master in Architecture from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design where he received the Alpha Rho Chi Medal for leadership. His Bachelor of Arts is from Bennington College. He has twice been a MacDowell Fellow in Architecture and he has presented papers at forums as diverse as the Beginning Design conference, the Frank Lloyd Building Conservancy conference, and the Comparative Literature Department at the University of Oregon.
Alongside this work, often as an antidote to it, Rich is an artist, exploring drawing, watercolor painting, photography, and their possible intersections with designed space. We Talk in Pictures, his collaborative smartphone project with Liz Linder, explores 21st Century intersections of phones and cameras, messages and images.