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Alex Bitterman

Alex Bitterman

Alex Bitterman
Position Title
Professor and Department Chair
Architecture and Design
Office Location
Engineering Technology Bldg.
Office Phone

Dr. Bitterman is a proud alumnus of the SUNY system. He graduated from SUNY Buffalo State with a B.S. in Business and a minor in English. Subsequently, he earned his M.Arch. at the University at Buffalo and later earned his Ph.D. in American Studies also at the University at Buffalo.

Teaching Overview

Dr. Bitterman is currently chair of the Department of Architecture & Design at Alfred State College. When asked about his teaching, he says, "I believe no subject or design discipline is isolated. Design, whether it is urban design, graphic design, or product design is an interdisciplinary profession that influences every facet of daily life. It's this complexity and interdisciplinary that makes any problem interesting." Dr. Bitterman feels that students should be encouraged to recognize the value of any design problem not as a product but as an iterative, holistic process, and with curiosity to develop the confidence necessary to influence the profession and the perceptual significance of their role in our society. Students in this way, are responsible for creating success in the classroom and studio. He says, "My role as educator is to formulate and sustain an innovative, interactive, and interdisciplinary pedagogy that ensures each student the opportunity to discover personal success, ethical accountability, and shared understanding for the collective good."


Dr. Bitterman is an internationally recognized expert in place branding and place-based identity systems. After several years of research Dr. Bitterman has developed a taxonomy of place brands which identifies the five main types of place brands but also provides a basis for testing the efficacy of place brands. This research forms the basis of many presentations and consulting relationships around the world. 

Dr. Bitterman also investigates the effectiveness, typology, and functional usability of identity and wayfinding systems for public transit systems along with his research partner, Daniel Baldwin Hess who is a member of the faculty at the University at Buffalo. His work with Dr. Hess on the identity of Bus Rapid Transit systems was recognized with honors in 2005. The team has presented highlights of their innovative research around North America, Europe, and Japan. Scholarly articles stemming from their research have been published in Disability & Society and the Journal of Public Transportation. Drs. Bitterman and Hess work with various public transit agencies across North America to develop responsible and effective public transit brands.

Publications and Events

Dr. Bitterman is an active author and editor. He currently serves at the associate editor for the academic journal Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion, and is the founding editor of Multi: The Journal of Responsible Architecture & Design. An up-to-date listing of his scholarly publications can be found at Google Scholar


Dr. Bitterman is currently the chair of the Department of Architecture & Design and the co-chair of the Strategic Planning Committee at Alfred State College. He serves as faculty advisor for the Little Angels of Honduras student club.

Honors and Awards

Dr. Bitterman is the proud recipient of the Buffalo State College President’s Award for Equity and Diversity in Teaching.

Dr. Bitterman is proud to be part of the Alfred State College community. Go Pioneers!