Swan, Simone

Simone Swan

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  • Institut Marie-Jose
  • Baldwin School
  • Yale University


  • Withers Swan, Founder (New York)
  • Menil Foundation, Founding Director (Houston, 1972-1977)
  • Adobe Alliance, Inc., Owner/Founder (1993-present)

Related websites


New Mexico, New York, Texas, building systems, residential


Career in Architecture

Simone Swan is the founding director of Adobe Alliance Inc., an organization based in the Southwest dedicated to innovation in construction through the use of adobe in desert communities.  Globally educated in art and architecture in Africa and Belgium before receiving a degree at Yale, Swan established Withers Swan where she helped develop public relations for cultural and environmental institutions.  Swan then served as Founding Director of the Menil Foundation in Houston where she advocated energy conservation and alternative use.  In 1977, Swan traveled to Cairo as the apprentice of renowned environmental architect Hassan Fathay for whom she curated his archives, translated his publications, and co-authored the memorandum on the International Institute for Appropriate Technology.  From her experiences, Simone Swan has become an important figure in and lecturer on the field of earth architecture, and continues her legacy through her work in the Southwest on low-cost and environmentally compatible housing in the regions around the U.S.-Mexico border.  Swan anticipates expanding her building program in desert climates abroad.