Andrea Simitch Named Chair of the Department of Architecture

Simitch sitting with other faculty and students discussing projects

Simitch, second from right in the foreground, comments on student projects at the 2016 Japan Studio exhibition and review in Bibliowicz Family Gallery. William Staffeld / AAP

April 26, 2017

Following an international search, Associate Professor Andrea Simitch has been appointed chair of Cornell University's Department of Architecture, effective July 1, 2017. Simitch has been a faculty member at Cornell since 1986.

"Andrea is an essential part of the department's rock-solid reputation as one of the best programs in the country," says Kent Kleinman, Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of Architecture, Art, and Planning. "Few if any individuals are more familiar with the many important dimensions of the architecture program than Andrea, and the department will be in excellent hands in the coming years."

Simitch served as director of the bachelor of architecture program from 2011–14, as director of undergraduate studies from 2007–08, and as associate dean of AAP from 2002–03. She was recently awarded the Stephan H. Weiss Presidential Fellowship, the highest award for undergraduate teaching excellence at Cornell. In 2015, she received a residency award for the Baer Art Center in Hofsós, Iceland, and was an Outstanding Educator for the Merrill Presidential Scholar Cornell in 1995, 2000, and 2013.

Along with Associate Professor Val Warke, Simitch is the author of Language of Architecture: 26 Principles Every Architect Should Know (Rockport Publishers, 2014), which is now available in six languages. She has been a panelist on the New York State Council on the Arts, a department representative for the Cornell Council for the Arts, and was a faculty collaborator with the Andrew Goldsworthy workshop at Storm King. Warke and Simitch partner in a collaborative architectural practice and recent projects include the Seneca House as featured in Architectural Record; Nalati National Park Resort and the Eco-Tourism Strategic Planning Proposal, both for Nalati, China; as well as numerous collaborative design competitions that include the Arbedo Castione school in Ticino, Switzerland; the Center for Promotion of Science of the Republic of Serbia Competition; Benetton Competition "Designing in Teheran"; and the Stockholm City Library Competition. She has taught extensively for Cornell in numerous international venues that include Europe and Central and South America; and serves on the advisory board of ARCHITECTEM, an architectural platform that serves the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa architectural communities.

In addition to receiving her B.Arch. from Cornell in 1979, Simitch also attended Occidental College and l'Ecole Special d'Architecture in Paris.

Mark Cruvellier, the current chair and Nathaniel and Margaret Owings Professor of Architecture, will step down from his position on June 30. He has served as chair for four terms, totaling 12 of the last 19 years. He will be on leave starting this summer, and will then return to teaching.

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