Amale Andraos named dean of Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation


Amale Andraos.

Amale Andraos, principal of New York–based architecture firm WORKac, has been named dean of Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), succeeding Mark Wigley. Currently on faculty at GSAPP, she has also taught at Princeton, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and the American University in Beirut.

“Columbia is just an incredibly exciting place that’s always been on the forefront of the profession,” Andraos told AN. “It’s an incredibly diverse and experimental place. I want to maintain and expand its role as a think tank for global practice.”

“An inspiring teacher, a respected colleague, and a pioneering practitioner whose innovative commissions in cities around the world have earned widespread admiration, Amale is a new leader among a rising generation of creative architects and designers of our physical environment,” said Columbia president Lee Bollinger in a statement. “She is just the kind of person who can further expand the role of the School as a center of interdisciplinary thinking across Columbia about how to develop a more just and sustainable society.”

While Wigley was best known as a theorist, Andraos has balanced both teaching and practice. “We think of ourselves as a design research firm. For us teaching and practice inform one another,” she said.

WORKac has completed numerous projects including the Blaffer Museum in Houston, the Children’s Museum of Arts in Manhattan, and the Edible School Yard project at P.S. 216 in Brooklyn. They won the MoMA P.S. 1 Young Architects Program in 2008. The firm is currently working on a conference center in Libreville, Gabon and they recently completed a master plan for seven new university campuses in China.

In a profession that is still plagued by diversity issues and gender disparities, Andraos is one of an increasing number of women deans and directors. Running a school as prominent as Columbia, though, she will arguably be one of the most influential women in American architecture.

3 Responses to “Amale Andraos named dean of Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation”

  1. ghostoftschumi says:

    Im laughing at all the people in Venice who acted like they knew who the shortlist was, but who really had no clue lolololololol

    people in and around columbia are such tools

  2. Angela Renquist says:

    Great. Just what the profession needs … another pretentious, pseudo intellectual “theorist” with little or no experience of actual building at the helm of an architectural school. Is it any wonders the building environment is becoming so exceedingly ugly when academia is polluted with this type of half-assed “thinking”?

  3. Corey KH says:

    @ ghostoftschumi Too right. I’m still laughing at the people in Venice who wasted their time visiting Daniel Libeskind’s schlockfest drawing exhibit and pretended to be impressed with his imbecilic scribbling.

    Oh, and It’s not just Columbia … most of architectural academia are such tools! This profession needs to get its head out of its butt and take a close look at the crap that is being generated by the buffoons running our schools.

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