December 14, 2022

College of Distinguished Professors December Newsletter

This month we have asked past chancellor, Francisco Rodriguez-Suarez, to reflect on the passing of a member of the College, a reminder of how important a community of colleagues is.


My dear friend and ACSA Distinguished Professor Andrés Mignucci, FAIA, passed away on Monday, November 21, 2022 in Puerto Rico. Andrés had just returned to San Juan after spending the semester as César Pelli Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Illinois School of Architecture, where in a brief period of time he became a beloved colleague and mentor to both students and faculty.
Aside from being an inspiring educator, Andrés was also a gifted musician, an influential architect and a committed urbanist. His impressive work received recognition for its consummate integration of architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture in the creation of buildings and spaces with a sense of place, human scale, and environmental responsibility.
The Colegio de Arquitectos in Puerto Rico awarded him their lifetime achievement award: Premio Henry Klumb, as well as the National Architecture Prize in Architecture on two different occasions. In 2005 Mignucci was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and in 2019 as Rockefeller Foundation Arts and Literary Arts Scholar-in-Residence at the Bellagio Center in Italy.
Andrés loved to spend time in studios and classrooms, teaching design and architectural history and theory at the University of Puerto Rico, the Arkitektskölen Aarhus in Denmark, and the Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya in Barcelona. He also enjoyed writing. His publications include Conversations with Form: A Workbook for Students of Architecture, Supports: Housing and City, and Bruno Stagno: An Architecture for the Tropics.
Andrés studied architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was a classmate of fellow Distinguished Professor Marilys Nepomechie. Upon graduation, he trained as an urban designer with Kevin A. Lynch in Boston and as an architect with Erich Schneider-Wessling in Germany, before establishing his own studio in San Juan.
Mignucci’s work has been recognized with over twenty-five local, national, and international design awards and has been published and exhibited worldwide, including the American Institute of Architects Design Awards Program, the Puerto Rico Architecture Biennale, the Miami Beach Architecture Biennale, and the IV Iberoamerican Architecture Biennale. In 2016, his projects formed part of the Demopolis: The Right to Public Space exhibit at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.
Andrés was truly special, and I was lucky to collaborate with him both at the University of Puerto Rico and recently at the University of Illinois. In almost three decades dedicated to architectural pedagogy, I have encountered many members of our discipline who excel in practice, as well as others who do so in academia, research, or service to the profession. Few of them are equally gifted in two of the categories, and rarely does one encounter someone who can successfully traverse all four with proven results. Such was the case of Andrés Mignucci, who was also a respected leader and a wonderful human being. He made a profound difference in our studios and classrooms, but also in the city that he loved so much.
Francisco J. Rodríguez-Suárez, FAIA
2020 Chancellor of the ACSA College of Distinguished Professors