The Dean's Letter

May 30, 2023

Practicing the Future Together

Dear AAP Community —

Each year, spring at Cornell and AAP provides us opportunities to reflect, celebrate, and see our graduates off to their bright futures. This weekend, we celebrated the remarkable class of 2023. To our newest alums, congratulations again. I would like to thank all of our faculty and staff for your tireless dedication to our students and the college, and your constant commitment to cultivating a community grounded in care, rigor, and creative and academic excellence. 

Regardless of how cyclic or anticipated, the close of each year is always striking as the talent and commitment of our community energizes the college. Our walls, galleries, classrooms, and studios fill with ideas that never fail to intrigue and astound. Students and faculty from across our programs and departments bring bold imagination and deep critical engagement to conceive the possible worlds we strive to build every day. 

At this weekend's commencement ceremony, I noted how world-building, not so long ago relegated primarily to the realm of science fiction, has become a far more common, and critical, form of creative practice — sharing author-activist Adrienne Maree Brown's thoughts on modes of practice. 

"Science fiction is simply a way to practice the future together," writes Brown in her first book, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds. "I suspect that is what many of you are up to, practicing futures together, practicing justice together, living into new stories. It is our right and responsibility to create a new world." 

At AAP, we teach practice as a foundational value. As a basis for engaging with the world as it is, for pursuing critical inquiry, for translating imagination, and for setting agency into motion toward the future we want and need, practice unites our disciplines and our community.

And so, as this academic year ends, I would like to share my gratitude for our community, our common values, and our common practices that empower us to imagine and enact change — collectively and individually, now and for the future. With this, I wish you a restful and restorative summer ahead.



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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