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The School of Architecture at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) has announced the appointment of Florencia Rodriguez as its new director. For two decades, Rodriguez has practiced as an editor, writer, and educator in both the United States and Argentina, creating bridges in architectural discourse between the Americas, as well as within the field. In her new role, Rodriguez will continue to facilitate dialogue across cultures and disciplines in advancement of the school’s strong intellectual vision and commitment to the intersection of practice and theory. Rodriguez comes to UIC from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she was also a Loeb Fellow in 2013. She will assume the directorship in August 2022, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.
Rodriguez, a multidisciplinary practitioner, brings to the School of Architecture a new viewpoint and a spirit of entrepreneurship. Rodriguez started PLOT, one of the top design magazines in Latin America, in 2010. NESS, a journal on architecture, life, and urban culture, was edited by Rodriguez and published by the American publishing house Lots of Architecture Publishers, which she founded in 2017. Rodriguez has also led programming for the dissemination of new narratives and the investigation of alternative forms of design criticism.
Rodriguez’s intellectual contributions and dedication to training the next generation of designers have helped shape and propel important conversations in the field. She recently edited the book MCHAP The Americas 2: Territory & Expeditions (Actar, 2022), which provides a set of lenses through which to examine the newest architecture of the Americas and promotes new understandings about the relationship between architecture and its environment, as well as singularities and genealogies of the region’s most prominent works. Rodriguez has received several awards for her editorial work, which has also appeared in publications such as Domus, Oris, summa+, Arquine, and Uncube.
As director, Rodriguez will work closely with the dean of the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts, as well as School of Architecture faculty, staff, and administration, on all aspects of the school’s operation. Rodriguez’s role will also include fostering and strengthening relationships both within and outside the field that promote the school’s pursuit to liberate and install new forms of collective association and material arrangement through all media of architectural design and research.
About the School of Architecture
The UIC School of Architecture is housed within the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts. The School of Architecture promotes architecture as a cultural practice of organizing information, of intelligently identifying and deploying patterns—conceptual, visual, structural, behavioral, and material—in the world. The program prepares its graduates to project all scales of these spatial and organizational patterns through the systematic development of an aesthetic attitude, a technical confidence, and a theoretical opportunism. The school’s primary mission is to prepare graduates to think across design disciplines; to direct diverse project teams; and to develop design artifacts and arguments that resonate with contemporary culture.
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