Andrea Simitch named new chair of Cornell University’s architecture department

Effective This Month

Andrea Simitch named new chair of Cornell University’s architecture department

Cornell University’s Department of Architecture has a new chair effective this month: architect, author, and associate professor Andrea Simitch. She succeeded Mark Cruvellier, who served as chair for four terms, totaling 12 of the last 19 years.

Highly respected by students and colleagues, Simitch received her bachelor of architecture from Cornell in 1979 and has been a faculty member since 1986. She teaches classes in architectural design, architectural representation, and furniture design, and was appointed department chair following an international search.

“Andrea is an essential part of the department’s rock-solid reputation as one of the best programs in the country,” said Kent Kleinman, Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of Architecture, Art, and Planning, in a statement. “Few if any individuals are more familiar with the many important dimensions of the architecture program than Andrea, and the department will be in excellent hands in the coming years.”

Simitch served as director of the bachelor of architecture program from 2011–2014, as director of undergraduate studies from 2007–08, and as associate dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning from 2002–03. She was recently awarded the Stephan H. Weiss Presidential Fellowship, the highest award for undergraduate teaching excellence at Cornell. In 2015, she received a residency award for the Baer Art Center in Hofsós, Iceland, and was an Outstanding Educator for the Merrill Presidential Scholar Program in 1995, 2000, and 2013.

Simitch has taught extensively for Cornell in numerous countries, including in regions such as Europe and Central and South America. She is regularly invited to lecture and participate in diploma juries and symposia at peer institutions, most recently in Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. She is on the advisory board of ARCHITECTEM, an architectural platform that serves the Middle Eastern, South Asian, and North African architectural communities.

Simitch has been a panelist on the New York State Council on the Arts, a department representative for the Cornell Council for the Arts, and a faculty collaborator with the Andy Goldsworthy workshop at Storm King Art Center. Student work from her furniture design class has been exhibited at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York City.

Along with associate professor Val Warke, Simitch is the author of a 2014 book, The Language of Architecture: 26 Principles Every Architect Should Know, which is available in six languages.

Warke and Simitch are partners in an architectural practice, Simitch and Warke Architecture. Recent projects include the Seneca House in Lodi, New York; Nalati National Park Resort and the Eco-Tourism Strategic Planning Proposal, both for Nalati, China; and design competition entries for sites in Switzerland, the Republic of Serbia, Teheran, and Stockholm.

In addition to receiving her B.Arch. from Cornell, Simitch attended Occidental College and L’École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris.

Cruvellier, the previous chair and Nathaniel and Margaret Owings Professor of Architecture, stepped down as chair on June 30. He is on leave starting this summer and will then return to teaching.