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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Rensselaer Announces New Dean of Architecture

May 19, 2009

Rensselaer Announces New Dean of Architecture

Critically acclaimed architect and design scholar Evan Douglis joins the Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute announced May19 that Evan Douglis, chair of the Undergraduate Department in the School of Architecture at Pratt Institute and principal of the contemporary architecture and design firm Evan Douglis Studio, will join Rensselaer as dean of the School of Architecture. The appointment is effective August 1.

“As architecture students and faculty at Rensselaer continue to move into forward-looking areas of sustainable building, digital design, materials creation, and artistic expression in the 21st century, we will look to the innovative leadership of Mr. Douglis to guide the School of Architecture into a new era of national and international prominence,” said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. “Mr. Douglis is widely known for his computer-aided design and interdisciplinary approach to contemporary design. His scholarship, research methodologies, and professional experience combine design, function, computation, aesthetics, and an interest in new materials and technology in bold new ways.” 

As the dean of architecture at Rensselaer, Douglis will be responsible for leading the undergraduate and graduate educational programs and research of the School of Architecture.  Douglis will continue the development of interdisciplinary initiatives, as well as the appointment, promotion, and development of faculty and staff.

Evan Douglis Studio is an internationally renowned architecture and interdisciplinary design firm committed to a culture of beautiful and benevolent design. The research of the firm into computer-aided digital design and fabrication technology, new materials and multimedia installations as applied to a range of diverse gallery installations, commercial projects, urban redevelopment schemes, and more recently a new generation of building components has elicited international acclaim. Douglis’ work offers unique insight into the role of smart materials in sustainable design, mass-customization for prefab construction, and the next generation of architectural skins integrating structure and ornament.

Prior to his appointment at Pratt, Douglis served as assistant associate professor at Columbia University, the director of Columbia University’s Architecture Galleries, and as a visiting professor at The Cooper Union. Douglis also has taught at various programs both nationally and internationally, including the International University at Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain; Hubei Fine Arts Institute in Wuhan, China; SCI-Arc Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles; and the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. More recently, in 2008 he was awarded a Distinguished Professorship from the City College of New York.

Douglis’ awards include: a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, a Design Vanguard profile by Architectural Record, an I.D. Magazine Honorable Mention, a FEIDAD Design Merit Award, a finalist nomination for the North American James Beard Foundation Restaurant Design Awards, a fellowship in the European Ceramic Work Centre’s Brick Project Residency Program, and an ACADIA Award for Emerging Digital Practice. In May 2009 he will receive the Presidents’ Citation Award in Architecture from The Cooper Union.

His work has been included in the publications Sign as Surface; INDEX Architecture; The State of Architecture at the Beginning of the 21st Century; the 2004 ARCHILAB Exhibition Catalog titled Naked City; and the 2005 Phaidon publication titled 10 x10_2.  His work has also been showcased in the competition catalog Distinguishing Digital Architecture; the SAM catalog Re-Sampling Ornament; the book Protoarchitecture: Analogue and Digital Hybrids; and the book Programming Cultures: Design, Science and Software. His work has also appeared in the books FURNISH: Furniture and Interior Design for the 21st Century; Digital Architecture Now: A Global Survey of Emerging Talent; and Architecture Now 5. His book Autogenic Structures was released in December 2008.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union and his master of architecture degree from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

He will succeed Mark Mistur, who has served this year as acting dean of the School of Architecture. Mistur will return to his academic position as an associate professor in the School of Architecture.

Contact: Gabrielle DeMarco
Phone: (518) 276-6542