The Dean's Letter

January 23, 2023

New and Renewed

Dear AAP community —

Welcome back, everyone. As celebrated poet Rainer Maria Rilke once shared with a certain optimism about the unknown, "And now we enter the new year, full of things that have never been." This spring semester and year ahead bring together new departments, centers, collaborations, and initiatives around the collective ideas and imaginaries that shape our creative practices, research, and scholarship at AAP.

Incisive philosopher Hannah Arendt aptly underscores the importance of conviction and drawing direct and deeply human connections between education, expertise, processes of imagination and ideation, and our agency to shape the future. "Education is the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it," says Arendt. "And by the same token save it from that ruin which, except for renewal, except for the coming of the new and young, would be inevitable." Renewal is perhaps the operative word both in this context and for our community, as we enter 2023 with a renewed sense of humanity and collective responsibility that inform and inspire all we do.

This year, we will continue to see expanding opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration across the college, university, and well beyond. The excellence of our faculty, staff, and students is evident in the actions and palpable impact of partnerships that cross and transform disciplines. This semester, new classes, events, and programming across the departments further in-depth discussions around the challenges that bring our disciplines together to share actionable knowledge. Additionally, the Cornell Mui Ho Center for Cities will host the college's first Urban Change Agent-in-Residence, further developing a Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation partnership with Slum Dwellers International (SDI). The spring 2023 Mellon Urban Justice Lab will be co-taught by Art Professor Keith Obadike and Associate Professor of Literatures in English Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon who will lead Seeing to Be in the Aftermath, an inquiry into the ways poems and songs help people develop theories of place.

I am also excited to share that our art and architecture departments announced two new graduate programs that grow our faculty and student communities and widen the scope of our disciplines. In the last few months, we announced the New York City-based Advanced Urban Design (M.S. AUD) and Image Text (M.F.A. Image Text) programs. Associate Professor of Architecture Jesse LeCavalier will direct the M.S. AUD, and new art faculty Nicholas Muellner and Catherine Taylor will codirect the low-residency M.F.A. in Image Text. Both of these programs respond to increased calls for interdisciplinarity in spaces for education and action in our cities and communities. As we build out these programs, we also advance the college's new multicollege department of Design Tech and the joint Paul Rubacha Department of Real Estate this semester.

These are but a few of the many things we have to look forward to this spring — among a slate of much-anticipated guest speakers, symposia, new classes across the departments, and capital projects underway in Ithaca and New York City. Please read more about these and other spring 2023 highlights collected here.

Across the college, there is a sense of renewal and the energy of the new all around us as we see the culmination of a tremendous collective effort at many scales and in many forms. Thank you all for your collective commitment and tireless dedication that ground us in our shared values and enable us to begin the spring semester renewed and with a shared optimism for a year and future "full of things that have never been."



J. Meejin Yoon
Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of Architecture, Art, and Planning


Contact Office of the Dean

129 Sibley Dome
Phone: (607) 255-9110
Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Previous Letters from the Dean

"Knowledge at its best"

January 22, 2024

Sharing Gratitude

December 14, 2023

Hope for the Possible

August 21, 2023
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