Keith Zawistowski was born in New Jersey, and studied architecture at Virginia Tech. Marie Zawistowski was born in Paris, France and studied architecture at the Ecole d’Architecture Paris Malaquais. They met at Auburn University’s Rural Studio while both working as students with Architect Sambo Mockbee to design and build a charity house for Lucy Harris and her family. In 2005, Keith and Marie received a Graham Foundation Grant for “Traditions of Today and Tomorrow” their study of traditional building practices in Ghana, West Africa. They have since married and established OnSite Architecture to continue their collaboration, making buildings, which are deeply rooted in the unique identity of people and place. By working from within the context of their projects, Keith and Marie strive to make buildings which are economically, culturally, and environmentally sensitive.
Together, they co-founded and co-direct the design/buildLAB, a project-based experiential learning program focused on the research, development and implementation of innovative construction methods and architectural designs. design/buildLAB students collaborate with local communities and industry experts to conceive and realize built works of architecture that are both educational and charitable in nature. The aspirations of the program are simultaneously to reinforce the knowledge and skills necessary to the students' successful and meaningful practice of architecture and to support development efforts in distressed communities by enriching the quality of their built environment.
In practice, OnSite is a laureate of the 2014 AJAP “young architects award” and has received multiple design awards including an Excellence Award from the Virginia Society American Institute of Architects and the prestigious “Prix Françoise Abella” from the French Beaux Arts Academy. In teaching, design/buildLAB and Designing Practice have been recognized with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ Grand Prize for the Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s inaugural Design/Build Education Award for “best practices in design/build education”. Keith and Marie have been listed among “the top 100 individuals and teams working at the intersection of design and service” by Public Interest Design. The Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects recently recognized Keith with the Award for Distinguished Achievement and Marie with Society Honors “for their extraordinary joint efforts to advance the art and science of architecture”. In addition to OnSite and design/buildLAB being widely published, Keith and Marie have co-authored numerous articles and lecture widely.