His first book, Earth Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008) is a history of building with earth in the modern era to exemplify new, creative uses of the oldest building material on the planet. A forthcoming book, Borderwall as Architecture (University of California Press 2017), advocates for a reconsideration of the barrier dividing the U.S. and Mexico through design proposals that are hyperboles of actual scenarios that occur as a consequence of the wall. Emerging Objects, a company co-founded by Rael, is an independent, creatively driven, 3D Printing MAKE-tank specializing in innovations in 3D printing architecture, building components, environments and products.
As an associate professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, he is the Director of the printFARM Laboratory (print Facility for Architecture, Research and Materials), holds a joint appointment in the Department of Architecture, in the College of Environmental Design, and the Department of Art Practice and is both a Bakar and Hellman Fellow. He often teaches graduate design thesis, undergraduate courses on Design & Activism, and has twice directed the one year post-professional Master of Architecture program, Studio One.
Rael earned his Master of Architecture degree at Columbia University in the City of New York, where he was the recipient of the William Kinne Memorial Fellowship. Previous academic and professional appointments include positions at the Southern California Institute for Architecture (SCI_arc), Clemson University, the University of Arizona, and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam.