Columbia Names a New Dean for Its Architecture School

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The architect Andrés Jaque, 51, the founder and principal of the Office for Political Innovation, based in New York and Madrid, will be the new dean for Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. The university’s president, Lee Bollinger, announced the appointment on Thursday.

Jaque has taught at the graduate school since 2013 and leads the Master of Science program in Advanced Architectural Design. He succeeds Amale Andraos, who was appointed to advise Bollinger on the recently formed Columbia Climate School.

Jaque’s firm, founded in 2003, has developed works with an expansiveness and exuberance of form and color that address social inclusiveness and environmental responsibility, such as in an early project converting a Catholic seminary into a home for older priests, and a nearly complete school in Madrid.

In a house on Ibiza, he choreographed pavilions on stilts of glass with chartreuse-painted trim to preserve local species of plants and pathways used by animals. “Architecture now needs to be about inclusion and messiness rather than exclusion and purity,” he said in an interview.

He has acted as a curator and designed several immersive installations for museums, including MoMA’s Young Architects Program in 2015. His work has been widely published and exhibited. A research project and installation in Barcelona addressed the plight of students, migrants and laborers who move from country to country seeking work, education or a stable home.

He will lead programs in architecture, urban design and urban planning, as well as historic preservation and real-estate development. Architectural education is at a crossroads, he said, and the field has only belatedly begun to deal with “inclusivity, inequalities and the fundamental climate crisis.”

He plans to advance initiatives at the architecture school to increase the number of students and faculty from underrepresented groups.

Though he has high aspirations, Jaque said he hopes to be a dean who “helps grow the agendas important to faculty and students, rather than imposing one of my own,” he said. He begins his tenure on Sept. 1.

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