Monica Ponce de Leon has been named the new dean of the Princeton School of Architecture, following the sudden departure of Alejandro Zaera-Polo in October 2014.

Ponce de Leon will turn into head of the Ivy League university’s architecture college on 1 January 2016.

A pioneer of digital style and the use of robotics in fabrication, Ponce de Leon is the principal of MPdL Studio with offices in Boston, New York and Michigan, and was previously the co-principal of Office dA.

She is at the moment the dean of the Taubman College of Architecture at the University of Michigan and was formerly a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

“I am deeply honoured by the trust that Princeton is putting on me and I seem forward to operating with students and faculty in creating the next chapter in the historical past of the school,” explained Ponce de Leon in a statement.

Related story: Alejandro Zaera-Polo actions down as dean of Princeton Architecture School

“Provided that architecture plays a special function in the development of culture, at the intersection of the humanities, the sciences and the arts, the opportunities are tremendous. I am excited to operate with the School of Architecture and the leadership at Princeton to broaden and deepen architecture’s role in knowing and speculating on the challenges of our time.”

Princeton is one particular of the most prestigious architecture schools in the US, regardless of currently being considerably smaller sized than most of its peers.

Its former architecture dean, Spanish architect Alejandro Zaera-Polo, had a rocky tenure at the university. He stepped down as deanship just two many years after taking up the post, amid conflicting expenses and counter expenses of plagiarism – and failure to stick to academic requirements for his and the school’s contributions to Rem Koolhaas’s Elements of Architecture exhibition and guide at the 2014 Venice Biennale.

Koolhaas defended Zaera-Polo in a letter to the university, creating: “Princeton’s expectations for Alejandro’s text — which was conceived, with us, as a polemical tale of full of speculation – seems a class error.” Zaera-Polo also published his very own defence, but Princeton explained his statement was “inaccurate and incomplete”.

Ponce de Leon is one of a growing number of girls deans at America’s prime architecture schools, including Amale Andraos at Columbia, Marilyn Jordan Taylor at the University of Pennsylvania, and Elizabeth Meyer at the University of Virginia.



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