Foster Associates is a small design studio with a working process that engages the client, the consultants, and the craftsmen equally in a single collaborative act.  Michele S. Foster founded Foster Associates in 1996, with a vision for working simply, without constraints, to explore the ideas provoked by each project.  Separate from the distractions of a large office, the studio maintains focus on its clients, projects, and individual interests.  Two distinct voices develop the project; a single unified voice resounds in each final work.  The studio engages in theoretical discourse, while deriving projects from the needs and desires of its clients.  Refining this philosophy over time, Foster Associates continues to grow through repeated, intensive practice.

Philanthropy influences our practice. Our engagement in environmental and educational institutions from the classroom to the ocean and from local to global reminds us of the impact of our decisions on the world we live in.

Michele S. Foster, Principal

Architecture has always been a lifestyle for Michele.  Her studio, a place for dialogue, contemplation, and expression is the product of her belief that work and life, when united, nurture a richness in living.

Michele has an insatiable work ethic, frequently working well into the night in search of clarity and repose.  Surpassing her drive is her integrity: a virtue extending well beyond her practice, and into her relationships.  She works closely with her colleagues and clients, engaging them in an unpredictable process.  In trusting her intuitions, many of her clients have become lifelong friends, continuing discussions started years before.

In design, Michele’s strength is her ability to gain critical distance from her work.  Always at hand are the needs of the clients, balanced by her belief that people should live in harmony with nature.  Her love of all landscapes has motivated her to local activism.  Teaching keeps her mind flexible and reveals the clarity in the work.  Her interest in the small scale, the detail, and the intricacies of ‘the personal’ accompanies her always.  With sensitivity to habitation, Michele has traveled throughout the world, investigating architecture in response to its’ people and culture.

When not in the studio, Michele can usually be found sailing her Herreshoff Alerion “Skylark” on Narragansett Bay.

Parsons School of Design and The New School for Social Research, New York, 1977
   Bachelor of Fine Arts - Environmental Design
Bennett College, Millbrook NY, 1974
   A.A.S. Honors in Sculpture

Professional Experience
Principal, Foster Associates, Portsmouth RI, 1996 - Present
Adjunct Faculty, Roger William’s University School of Architecture, Art + Historic
   Preservation, Bristol RI, 1990 - 2008
Guest Critic, Roger William’s University School of Architecture, Art + Historic
   Preservation, Bristol RI, 2008 - Present
Guest Critic, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence RI, 1995 - Present
Guest Critic, Boston Architectural Center, Boston MA, 1996
Principal, Newport Collaborative Architects, Newport RI, 1983 - 1996
Peter Wooding Design Associates, Providence RI, 1981 - 1983
Dartmouth College, Hanover NH, 1978 - 1980
Environmental Planning, Inc., New York NY, 1977 - 1978
Donovan and Green, New York NY, 1977
Baldly, Balsley and Kuhl, Landscape Architects, New York NY, 1977
Teaching Assistant, Parsons School of Design, New York NY, 1976 - 1977

Boards + Memberships
Trustee, Friends of the Norman Bird Sanctuary, 2014 - Present
Trustee, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, 2002 - present
   Corporation Member, 1997- 2002
   Campus Planning Committee, 2000 - 2006
   Development Committee, 2010 - present
   Chair, Paul Fye Society, 2013 - present
Town of Portsmouth Planning Board, 1993 - 1995
Trustee, Aquidneck Land Trust, 1990 - 2007
   Chair, Board of Advisors, 2007 - 2016

Chris Cote, Architect, Associate Principal

Chris has always been a stabilizing force in the studio.  Since beginning his tenure he has been a driven, focused designer with an intensity that complements the ambitions exemplified by Michele.  As colleagues, the two exhibit a rare compatibility.  Michele trusts his insight; Chris intuitively understands the ideas she presents.  In the studio, he is a deft translator of ideas into architecture.

He brings commitment to his work, matched only by the pride he takes in precision. His details are clean, resolved.  Architecture by his hand becomes a finely crafted artifact. Diligent and talented, Chris has been recognized as an essential member of Foster Associates.

When away from the studio Chris spends time with his wife and two sons.

Roger Williams University, Bristol RI, 2000
   Bachelor of Architecture, Magna cum laude, Minor in Fine Arts - Sculpture
Vermont Technical College, Randolph Center VT, 1996
   Associate in Applied Science - Architecture and Building Engineering

Professional Experience
Associate Principal, Foster Associates, Portsmouth RI, 1999 - 2003, 2004 - Present
Guest Critic, Roger Williams University School of Architecture, Art + Historic
   Preservation, Bristol RI, 2001 - Present
Paulett Taggart Architects, San Francisco CA, 2003 - 2004
Pawlowski Associates, Providence RI, 1998
Volunteer, Habitat for Humanity 1998

Architect Licensure
Rhode Island

The following people have contributed
to the success of Foster Associates

Nathan Lynch
James Efstathiou
Kristen Goldsmith
Scott Galczynski
Jen Lyford
John Barker
Rachel Hampton
Michelle Hartwell
Josh Fogg
Colin Widdoes
Graham Clegg
Caleb Messier
David Burns
Kevin Valk

Awards + Publications

New England Design Hall of Fame. Speidel, Lisa H. (November-December 2017) New England Home
The Cool House. Morgan, William (May/June 2017) Design New England  |  Woods Hole Pool House
2016 Design Awards. Fulweiler, Megan (October 2016) Rhode Island Monthly | Gold, Residential Interior  |  Newport Greenhouse
2016 Design Awards. Fulweiler, Megan (October 2016) Rhode Island Monthly | Silver, Residential New Construction  |  Newport Greenhouse
An Outstanding Outbuilding. Connors, Jill (May/June 2016) Design New England  |  Newport Greenhouse
Barn Raising. Fulweiler, Megan (February 2016) Rhode Island Monthly  |  Middletown House
From Moonscape to Eden.  Connors, Jill (March/April 2014)  Design New England|  Newport House
Rooms: Redoing a Nest for Bird. The New York Times, Green, Penelope (Thursday, March 6, 2014)  |  Norman Bird Sanctuary
2013 Design Awards. Fulweiler, Megan (October 2013) Rhode Island Monthly  |  Gold, Residential Renovation |  Newport Renovation
2012 Design Awards. Fulweiler, Megan (October 2012) Rhode Island Monthly  |  Gold, Residential New Construction |  Newport House
Open House. Fulweiler, Megan (November 2011) Rhode Island Monthly  |   Little Compton Bunker House
2011 Design Awards. Fulweiler, Megan (October 2011) Rhode Island Monthly|  Gold, Residential New Construction  |  Little Compton Bunker House
Sanctuary Within.  Bernon, Bernadette (2007/2008) Newport Life Magazine's Home & Lifestyles
2007 Design Awards. Fulweiler, Megan (November 2007) Rhode Island Monthly  |  Silver, Res. Renovation; Gold Res. Int. Design  |  South Dartmouth Renovation
Modern-Gothic Romance. Levitt, Rachel (May/June 2007) Design New England  |  Westport Addition
Leaning Green:  An Eco-Remodel. Fulweiler, Megan (April 2007) Rhode Island Monthly  |  Westport Addition
Global Chic. Conners, Jill (March/April 2007) Design New England  |  Cambridge Renovation
2006 3form Design Contest, Honorable Mention  |  Westport Addition
People to Watch: 25 Movers & Shakers. Grady, Mary (January 2006) Rhode Island Monthly
2006 Design Awards. Fulweiler, Megan (October 2006) Rhode Island Monthly|  Gold, Residential Interior Design  |  Gansett Pool House + Guest House
2005 Design Awards. Fulweiler, Megan (October 2005) Rhode Island Monthly|  Gold, Commercial Interior Design  |  Lightolier
Built to Last: Life's Lessons Taught Here. Simone, Beth (Spring 2005) Newport Life Magazine  |  Walker Building
2003 Design Awards. Fulweiler, Megan (October 2003) Rhode Island Monthly  |  Silver, Residential Renovation |  Westport Renovation
Set in Stone. Byrd, Janice (April 2003) Boston Globe Magazine
Country Living: A Stunning Sakonnet River Retreat.  Fulweiler, Megan (March 2003) Rhode Island Monthly  |  Little Compton House
Fusion Garden. Stocker, Carol (April 2002) Boston Globe Magazine
2002 Design Awards. Fulweiler, Megan (October 2002) Rhode Island Monthly |  Gold, Residential Renovation
2001 Design Awards. Fulweiler, Megan (October 2001) Rhode Island Monthly |  Silver, Residential New Construction |  Briggs's Marsh House
Golden Trowel Awards: America's Best Backyards. Dooley, Susan (Dec 2000/Jan 2011) Garden Design
Boston Society of Landscape Architects Design Award, 2002
Runtal North America Design Award, 2000 |  Briggs's Marsh House
Newport Historical Society Merit Award, 1998 |  Walker Building
Newport Life Magazine (Fall 1996)
Color & Light: Luminous Atmospheres for Painted Rooms. Kaufman, Donald & Dahl, Terry (1999) NY, NY: Clarkson Potter/Publishers
Contemporary Interiors: Room by Room.  Meredith, Carol (1999) Gloucester, MA: Rockport Press
Preserving American Mansions and Estates. Shopsin, William C. (1994) NY, NY: McGraw-Hill