The Architectural League of New York announced today that Mario Gooden, director of Mario Gooden Studio: Architecture + Design, will be its 63rd president. Gooden was elected at the League’s 141st Annual Meeting at the Harlem School of Arts. He will succeed Paul Lewis, who has served as the nonprofit organization’s president since 2018. Gooden currently serves as The Architectural League’s Vice-President of Architecture.
In addition to working as the director of Mario Gooden Studio: Architecture + Design, Gooden currently holds several teaching positions at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), where he is interim director of the Master of Architecture program, co-director of the Global Africa Lab (GAL), and Professor of Practice. As a cultural practice architect, Gooden’s work in both application and pedagogy is largely an exploration of the relationship between the built environment and culture and history.
Gooden is also the author of Dark Space: Architecture, Representation, Black Identity, a collection of essays published by Columbia University Press investigating the construction of African American identity and representation through architecture. In the book, Gooden uses history, theory, and criticism to develop a discourse on the reshaping of the African Diaspora.
Gooden’s election marks the end of Paul Lewis’s reign as League president, which spanned from 2018 to 2022. Highlights of Lewis’s tenure include the publication of nine reports from the new American Roundtable project, which examines selected small city and rural areas around the county to analyze the interactions between the built environment and related economic, health, and societal issues. The latter half of Lewis’s time as president coincided with the pandemic; in response, the League developed Reimagine, in which 119 graduates from the class of 2020 representing 44 different design schools responded to the uncertainties in the profession and education in a series of workshops and conversations.
“Lewis played a catalytic role in the creation of the US chapter of the international movement Architects Declare, on climate change, biodiversity, and justice,” stated the League in a press release.
The Annual Meeting also included a tour of recently renovated Herb Alpert Center of the Harlem School of the Arts by Celia Imrey and The Henry N. Cobb Annual Meeting Address, a commissioned lecture that addresses the current pressing issues in architecture– this year the address was titled “What’s the Matter” and was given by J. Meejin Yoon, dean of Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP). In addition to Gooden’s election, the meeting also saw the appointment of its several vice president officer positions: Assistant Dean of Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture Quilian Riano as Vice-President for Architecture; Kris Graves, who formerly served as Vice-President for Photography, now holds the position for Visual Arts along with Torkwase Dyson; Mabel O. Wilson, a colleague of Gooden’s at GSAPP, was elected as Vice-President for History, Theory, and Criticism.
In order to be eligible for the role of president the individual must be an architect. Officers elected to the organization’s board serve two-year terms and may be re-elected.