Lebanon's Andraos: first female dean of Columbia architecture school

Amale Andraos (right) is the first woman appointed dean of the Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning at Columbia University. (Photo courtesy of: Twitter)

Amale Andraos, a Lebanese architect, has been named the new dean of the Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning at Columbia University in New York City, the New York Times reported.

Born in Beirut, Andrao is the first woman to be assigned the deanship of the school.

Before teaching at Columbia, Andrao taught at Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania and the American University in Beirut.

“The university is very focused on global questions and global issues, and Amale’s background sort of bespeaks globalization,” Lee Bollinger, the university president, said in an interview.

Andraos' appointment was accidental as she was never on a short list of candidates.

“We realized our next dean was sitting right in front of us,” Bollinger said in reference to Andraos' work while on the committee tasked to find a new dean.

“It’s not a theory or buzz word, it’s who she is, and that’s very important,” he said.

Andraos met her husband, Dan Wood, while working in Rotterdam. Together, they have designed projects in New York City, Lagos, Nigeria and Shenzhen, China.

The couple opened their own business in New York in 2002.

Andraos plans to underline sustainability in the school's curriculum, blending it with the already existing progressive and experimental approach to architecture and urban planning.

“How do we build, at what scale do we build, does it even make sense to build? These are the questions I want every student to be asking,” Andraos told the New York Times.

“We must be thinking about what the impacts will be,” she explained.


Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43