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Rossana Hu named Chair of Architecture Department at the University of Pennsylvania

United States Architecture News - Apr 17, 2023 - 13:38   2287 views

Rossana Hu named Chair of Architecture Department at the University of Pennsylvania

Neri&Hu's Founding Partner, Rossana Hu has been named as a tenured professor and chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, United States.

Announced by the Stuart Weitzman School of Design, Hu was selected by the school to join the faculty as a tenured professor and chair of the Department of Architecture.

Her role will be effective on January 1, 2024 at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn).

Hu is co-founder of Neri&Hu, the widely-acclaimed interdisciplinary architecture practice based in Shanghai, and she is professor and chair of the Department of Architecture in the College of Architecture & Urban Planning at Tongji University.

"We see ourselves as mediators: between past and present, individual and collective, public and private, rural and urban,” said Rossana Hu. 

"It’s clear that the faculty and students at Penn are equally committed to this vision," she added.

When her role is effective, Hu will be the third woman to lead the Department of Architecture, after Winka Dubbeldam, professor and director of the Advanced Research & Innovation Lab (ARI), and founder and principal at the New York-based firm Archi-Tectonics, has led the department as chair since 2013. 

South African born American architect and urban designer Adèle Naudé Santos served as the department chair between 1981–1987.

The Stuart Weitzman School of Design stated that Andrew Saunders, associate professor of architecture and director of the Master of Architecture program at Weitzman, will serve as acting chair of the Department of Architecture in the fall of 2023.

"Rossana Hu has been an incredible champion for design and designers," said Weitzman Dean and Paley Professor Fritz Steiner. 

"Her work springs from a deep understanding of people and materials, and a thoughtful exploration of identity that is more important than ever to the practice of architecture," Steiner added.

Rossana Hu's prolific career began at the Architects Collaborative in San Francisco before working for Ralph Lerner and Michael Graves. In 2004, she co-founded Neri&Hu Design and Research Office with her husband Lyndon Neri.

Being a role model for the creative world, Hu has "profoundly transformed Shanghai’s design culture over the past 20 years", by designing significant projects in China, including the Waterhouse at South Bund in Shanghai, the Junshan Cultural Center in Beijing and the Fuzhou Teahouse in Fuzhou. 

The firm's portfolio spans numerous commissions starting from master planning, architecture, product and interior design to branding.

In 2015, Hu was appointed as the creative director of Stellar Works and she has served on the International Advisory Board of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra since 2018.

In 2016, Hu co-founded the Festival of Design in Shanghai, invigorating the city with a wide variety of design-oriented lectures and other public programs. She is also a founding partner of Design Republic, a design platform incorporating retail concept, design and cultural exhibitions, and education.

She has previously lectured at many universities and professional forums throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States. She has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Yale School of Architecture; University of Hong Kong,  and others. 

Neri&Hu opened a new exhibition, titled Reflective Nostalgia, at Aedes Architecture Forum, Berlin, Germany in 2022. The exhibition showcased the office's 30 projects - both completed and in the planning stage, from the fields of architecture, interior design, product design and graphics. 

Top image: Rossana Hu. Photography © Thierry Coulon

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