After over 20 years at Texas Tech University’s College of Architecture–including one year as interim dean and over 20 as a professor–Urs Peter “Upe” Flueckiger has been appointed as new dean, the Lubbock-based university announced today.
“I am humbled and honored to be selected as the next dean of the College of Architecture at Texas Tech,” said Flueckiger in a press announcement, adding: “I am excited to continue collaborating with faculty, staff and alumni to build a vibrant educational environment where we all can thrive and reach new academic and professional heights.”
Flueckiger first arrived at Texas Tech in 1998 as a lecturer. Throughout his time, he has taught 100 undergraduate and graduate courses, been inducted into the Texas Tech University Teaching Academy, and served as chair of the College of Architecture. His teaching accolades include the Texas Tech Alumni Association New Faculty Award, the Professing Excellence Award, and the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
“Upe brings an excellent knowledge of the Texas Tech College of Architecture to this role,” said Provost and Senior Vice President Ron Hendrick.
Outside of teaching, Flueckiger has worked professionally in Europe and North America. The Switzerland native holds a Swiss Federal Certificate of Construction Design and is registered as a member of the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects; he also completed his M. Arch at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Flueckiger has worked for several architectural firms in the United States and abroad, including the office of Mario Botta in Lugano, Switzerland, and the office of David Rockwell in New York City.
Much of Flueckiger’s professional practice and research interests focus on modular and small housing, architectural minimalism, and modernism in the 20th century to the present. His work, including his own home and studio, has been featured in Texas Architect Magazine and The New York Times, which noted the “startlingly low price” of his personal abode.
In 2010, Flueckiger and a project team comprising mainly Texas Tech students completed the “Sustainable Cabin,” converting a discarded double-wide mobile home into an experimental research station in an off-the-grid site on the American High Planes. In the project, Flueckiger and his students drew on prior examples, including Henry David Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts, and Le Corbusier’s “Cabanon” Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in France–both examples also examined in his 2016 book, How Much House? Thoreau, Le Corbusier, and the Sustainable Cabin.
Flueckiger will begin his new role on July 1, 2022. “I look forward to leading the college to the next level and actualizing a more ecologically built environment using innovative technologies while teaching students how to think critically and creatively,” he said.