Andrés Jaque Is the Next Dean of Columbia GSAPP

John Hill
19. August 2022
Andrés Jaque (Photo via Columbia University)

The announcement was made yesterday by Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger, who pointed out that Jaque has been a member of the Columbia community since 2013 and has been directing the Advanced Architectural Design Program since 2018. Jaque succeeds Amale Andraos, who served as dean at GSAPP from 2014 to 2021; Weiping Wu served as interim dean. Jaque takes over his new role on September 1.

In a press release from GSAPP, Jaque is described as a "distinguished architect, curator, and artist" who has "championed ways to bring inclusivity to the built environment." It continues: "This appointment confirms Columbia GSAPP’s commitment to steward the evolution of bodies, technologies, and ecosystems ... [and] to empower the next generations of architects, critical thinkers, urban designers, planners, preservationists, and real estate developers to critically engage with the present and to shape the future of the built environment."

"The world is radically evolving, and GSAPP is known for leading change and for mobilizing our disciplines to reinvent societies, environments, politics, and technologies in order to address the challenges of our times. Building on the School’s strong legacy established by my predecessors and the faculty at large, I look forward to further intensifying GSAPP’s role in pushing the disciplinary boundaries of our fields to challenge structural forms of domain, and to redefine the demands of the future."

Andrés Jaque

Worth a watch: Past Present Future II: Andrés Jaque, a series of interviews with Jaque as part of Itinerant Office's second edition of its "Past, Present, Future: about being an architect yesterday, today and beyond" project, from 2019.

Jaque's aptly named Office for Political Innovation, founded in 2003, addresses topics that fall well outside of the typical purview of most architects; the studio produces buildings and installations but also performances, films, and exhibitions, among other things. Jaque and OFFPOLINN (as the studio abbreviates itself) first came to this writer's attention through Superpowers of Ten, an elaborate performance first staged at the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennial 2013 and then at the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial in 2015, where I saw it. The reinterpretation of the 1977 short film Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames touched on subjects as diverse as meat distribution, gender discrimination, and space trash, anchoring architecture's role within each of them.

Other memorable projects by Jaque and OFFPOLINN include: PHANTOM. Mies as Rendered Society (2012-13), which put the otherwise hidden maintenance equipment stored in the Barcelona Pavilion on display; COSMO, the studio's installation in the courtyard of MoMA PSA in 2015; and The Transscalar Architecture of COVID-19, a 14-minute film, made with Iván López Munuera in April 2020, about the "massive architectural transformation that COVID-19 mobilized around the world." Related to GSAPP, the school's imprint, Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, published Superpowers of Scale, a monograph on the studio, in 2020.

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