Strauch Gift Brings Focus to Environmental and Sustainable Design

March 20, 2014

For the past several years, Hans (B.Arch. '80) and Roger '78 Strauch have provided a yearly gift to AAP to fund a visiting critic who focuses on issues of environmental and sustainable design in the Department of Architecture. Now, thanks to a $750,000 gift from the brothers, the position will exist in perpetuity.

"Sustainability is so important to the future of design that it needs to become part of the vocabulary — threaded into the normal course of all design work and not a specialization," says Hans Strauch. "Roger and I know this will take time, but we believe that Cornell is the place to push for this new future. Here, sustainability will be brought to a much higher level than it would be elsewhere."

"We are putting our money where our mouths are," adds Roger Strauch. "By funding this visiting critic, we are supporting a value system that is consistent with what Cornell is all about — harnessing talent, vision, resources, and determination to positively effect our community."

Sustainability is an issue that both brothers are passionate about and have integrated into their careers. Hans Strauch is the president of HDS Architecture, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based firm. He first became interested in sustainable design in 1996, while working on the Moss-Palais building at Leipziger Platz in Berlin's former DMZ. It was during the design and construction of this project that he saw how a sustainable approach could be infused into building technology and design principals.

Roger Strauch is the chairman of the Roda Group, a seed-stage venture capital group based in Berkeley, California, that invests in businesses that address the consequences of climate change or promote clean technology. Currently funded companies are in a variety of sectors, including water treatment, sports medicine, and energy storage.

Starting in fall 2014, the endowed Strauch Visiting Critic in Sustainable Design will be at AAP for one semester per academic year. The critic will focus on issues of environmental impact, conservation, and sustainability within the field of design.

Previous Strauch critics include Greg Keeffe, Claudia Pasquero, Marco Poletto, and Christiane Sauer. The Strauch Visiting Critic joins the Gensler Visiting Critic as the second such endowed position in the department.

By Rebecca Bowes

Close overlay