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Virginia Tech

August 18, 2014

Professor Henri T. de Hahn, S.I.A., has been named director of the School of Architecture + Design. A Canadian-Swiss dual citizen, de Hahn was educated as an architect at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology located in the city of Lausanne. Henri de Hahn completed additional studies at The Cooper Union and the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York. He has practiced architecture with Atelier Cube and Musy et Vallotton in Lausanne. Prior to his most recent role as Provost at the NewSchool of Architecture + Design in San Diego, Calif., de Hahn was the Department Head at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California from 2006 to 2012. Previously, de Hahn was a professor at the University of Kentucky. Henri de Hahn also taught for several years at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zürich and the Aayojan School of Architecture in Jaipur, India. De Hahn is a registered architect in Switzerland, a member of the Swiss Institute of Architects (S.I.A.) and numerous professional societies both in America and Europe.

Associate Professor Vance Hunter Pittman, R.A., has been named the chair of the graduate programs in architecture at the School of Architecture + Design. He oversees the two-year and three-and-a-half-year Master of Architecture programs, the Master of Science in Architecture program, and the Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture and Design Research degree program.

Professor Susan Piedmont-Palladino, R.A., has been named director of the School of Architecture + Design’s new graduate concentration in urban design, a stream within the Master of Science in Architecture program. The Urban Design concentration enrolls its first class in Fall 2014. Based at the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC), the new program builds on the interdisciplinary structure of the WAAC and draws on current graduate programs in architecture, landscape architecture, planning, and public policy. In addition, Piedmont-Palladino, who is a curator at the National Building Museum, has been awarded the 2014 John ‘Wieb’ Wiebenson Award for Architecture in the Public interest by the Washington Architecture Foundation and the AIA/DC. The award is given to an architect who has spent a career championing design in the public interest. 

Visiting Assistant Professor Dr. Laura McGuire, Ph.D., has been appointed to teach lecture courses in history and theory of architecture. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in History and Theory of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin and her B.A. in Anthropology from Brandeis University. McGuire joins the architecture program from Vienna, Austria, where she has been a curator at the Kiesler Foundation.

Virginia Tech’s Board of Visitors has approved the following promotions of architecture faculty members:

Professor Kathryn Clarke Albright, A.I.A., has been promoted from the rank of Associate Professor to Full Professor.

Dr. Markus Breitschmid, Ph.D., S.I.A., has been promoted from the rank of Associate Professor to Full Professor.

Professor Joseph Wheeler, A.I.A., has been promoted from the rank of Associate Professor to Full Professor.

Associate Professor
James Bassett has been promoted from the rank of Assistant Professor without Tenure to Associate Professor with Tenure.

Associate Professor Dr. Hilary Bryon, Ph.D., has been promoted from the rank of Assistant Professor without Tenure to Associate Professor with Tenure. 
Professor Dr. Mehdi Setareh, Ph.D., P.E., a structural engineer, was a team member, led by Zaha Hadid Architects, London, UK, that designed the Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. The building won the 2014 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel (IDEAS2) award from the American Institute of Steel Construction. Mehdi Setareh, principal investigator, and undergraduate architecture students Kelly McCarthy and Sarah Spanski, were awarded a grant from the Research Experience for Undergraduate program of the National Science Foundation to study vibration serviceability of buildings. The on-going project is the recipient of NSF grants in the total amount of $213,000.

Smith Creek Park (the Masonic Amphitheatre and Smith Creek Pedestrian Bridge Projects) in Clifton Forge, VA, designed and built by 3rd-year architecture students in the design/buildLAB, led by Assistant Professors of Practice Keith Zawistowski, A.I.A., and Marie Zawistowski, has been named the winner of the A+ Award in the fourth annual AZ Awards program. The award program is an international competition honoring excellence in design and architecture, sponsored by AZURE, Canada’s leading contemporary architecture and design magazine.

Assistant Professor
Aki Ishida, A.I.A., and Lynnette Widder were awarded a Professional Runner-Up in the Strategy & Research category for the Core77 Design Awards 2014 program. The Project Making the Giraffe Path created workshop events and artifacts for the not-for-profit CLIMB (City Life is for Moving Bodies) to explore, record, and enhance the relationship between five parks along Northern Manhattan’s major escarpment and the communities along their edges.

Instructor Rengin Holt, longtime professor of the architecture program’s printing laboratory, had her print entitled “Secret Gardens” selected from over 600 entries and exhibited in First Street Gallery of New York City’s 2014 National Juried Exhibition. The print will be included in her forthcoming book “Constructive Geometry.”

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