Architect, scholar Kent Kleinman named dean of College of Architecture, Art, and Planning

June 26, 2008

CORNELL CHRONICLE — Kent Kleinman, an architect and chair of the Department of Architecture, Interior Design, and Lighting at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City, has been named the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of Cornell's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP). He will begin his five-year term Sept. 1.

"I am delighted to announce Kent Kleinman's appointment as dean of the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning," said Provost Biddy Martin. "He will be a creative and effective leader of the college, and his strong interdisciplinary perspective will help create new bridges between the college and related units across the university. He has played a transformative role in his previous leadership roles, and I have great confidence in what will be achieved at Cornell under his deanship."

President David J. Skorton added: "Kent Kleinman has accepted our offer to serve as dean of the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning at a pivotal time in the college's history. Under his leadership, we look forward to strengthening the college's distinguished academic programs, expanding interdisciplinary connections, and moving forward with plans for the college's new facility, Milstein Hall."

Kleinman succeeds Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of AAP from 2004 to 2007, who is now the dean of Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. W. Stanley Taft, associate professor of art and associate dean at AAP, currently serves as the college's interim dean.

"The College of Architecture, Art, and Planning is quite simply one of the best places on Earth to study the art and science of giving material expression to the human condition," Kleinman said. "The faculty are renowned, the students remarkable, and the college and university are home to world-class research in virtually every field that affects the constructed and imagined environment. AAP is a collective work, produced by extraordinary individuals over many years. It is a great honor — exhilarating and daunting — to be invited to join this team as dean."

Kleinman will lead a college with about 500 undergraduates and 200 graduate students. Despite its size, AAP has a global reach, with instruction, architecture studios, and planning and outreach efforts in several countries. The college's programs include Cornell in Rome, a center in New York City, and numerous teaching, research, and outreach efforts, such as the New Orleans Planning Initiative, Art Beyond Cornell, and the Cornell Urban Scholars Program.

In addition to undergraduate studies in art, architecture, and urban studies/city and regional planning, AAP offers academic programs in real estate, historic preservation planning, and international studies in planning. Graduate studies in the college's core disciplines include 14 advanced degree programs.

Kleinman earned his B.A. and M.Arch. degrees from the University of California (UC)-Berkeley. His scholarly work focuses on 20th-century European modernism, and he has published numerous articles in The Architects' Journal, Archis, and other national and international journals. He is coauthor of the books Villa Müller: A Work of Adolf Loos (1994) and Mies van der Rohe: The Krefeld Villas (2005) and coedited Rudolf Arnheim: Revealing Vision (1998). The Loos and van der Rohe books were both named Top 10 Books of the Year by Architects' Journal.

Prior to Parsons, Kleinman was a professor and department chair in the School of Architecture and Planning at the State University of New York at Buffalo from 1999 to 2005 and was an associate professor at the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor from 1991 to 1997. He has been a visiting lecturer at UC-Berkeley and a visiting professor at schools in Berlin, Copenhagen, Vienna, and Zurich; he also was at Cornell in 1995–96 as a visiting critic in architecture.

In his professional career, he has worked as a designer for architectural firms in Berkeley and Oakland, Calif., and Zurich and Lucerne, Switzerland. He has received three Graham Foundation grants, the Arnold W. Brunner Award, and a Progressive Architecture Design Award. He was a fellow of the Canadian Center for Architecture and a senior fellow of the Public Goods Fellowship Program at the University of Michigan. His design work has been exhibited in Germany, Denmark, Prague, at Yale University, and at the University of Michigan.

By Dan Aloi

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