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Brett Steele to leave AA for Los Angeles

AA director, Brett Steele
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Architectural Association (AA) director Brett Steele has accepted a new job at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ending an 11-year stint at the London school

The American architect and naturalised British citizen will become dean of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture on 15 August next year.

Steele succeeded Iranian-American architect Mohsen Mostafavi as head of the AA in May 2005.

In his new role Steele will oversee the school’s teaching programmes in art; architecture and urban design; design and media arts; and world arts and cultures and dance; as well as the school’s Fowler and Hammer museums and the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA. 

Commenting on his appointment, Steele said: ‘I am honoured and excited to be appointed dean and to join the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture. I look forward to working with everyone across all four of the brilliant departments in the school and with the inspiring directors and their teams at each of the incredible public arts units.

‘My thanks go especially to executive vice chancellor and Provost Waugh and Chancellor Block for this wonderful opportunity to lead an inspiring and unique school forward as part of the university’s larger mission.’

Steele will replace David Roussève, who has served as UCLA’s interim dean since July 2015. Roussève commented: ‘I am absolutely thrilled to pass the leadership baton on to Brett Steele as the next dean of the School of the Arts and Architecture.’

‘I cannot imagine anyone better qualified and more uniquely suited to move our dynamic school forward at this critical juncture in its evolution. As our newly reformed school continues to build community and momentum around a reinvigorated vision and commitment to creative excellence and collaboration across disciplines, I look forward to working closely with Brett on what I am confident will be a smooth transition.’

Appointment of Brett Steele as Dean of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture

UCLA Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

To: Administrative Officers, Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, Faculty and Staff in the School of the Arts and Architecture, Vice Chancellors and Vice Provosts

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Brett Steele as dean of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, effective August 15, 2017.

Professor Steele has served as director of the Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture in London since 2005. The academic leader and chief executive of the school, he also oversees the school’s two subsidiary companies: AA Publications and the Hooke Park Educational Trust. In January 2008, Professor Steele launched the AA Visiting School, which enrolls visiting students in short courses and design workshops held in more than 50 cities and territories across five continents. In 1996, he co-founded the AA Design Research Lab, an innovative team-based master of architecture program, which he directed for eight years. Prior to his tenure at the AA School of Architecture, he was a project architect at Zaha Hadid Architects and desArchLab in London.

Professor Steele is an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. His scholarly interests focus on architecture and art education and culture. He frequently lectures at universities, cultural centers and offices worldwide on architecture, design and the arts within larger public, political and professional fields. Professor Steele is the founder and series editor of ‘Architecture Words,’ which has published the writings of many of the world’s leading architects, designers and scholars. He is the author of more than 200 publications and the editor of six books, including ‘Supercritical: Peter Eisenman & Rem Koolhaas,’ ‘First Works: Emerging Architectural Experimentation of the 1960s and 1970s,’ and ‘O-14: Projection and Reception.’ Professor Steele received his diploma in architecture from the Architectural Association School of Architecture.

I want to thank search/advisory committee members for assembling an outstanding pool of candidates and for their roles in recruiting Brett. Patricia A. Turner – dean and vice provost for undergraduate education; professor, Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance; professor, Department of African American Studies – was chair of the committee. Other members were:

  • Dana Cuff – professor, Department of Architecture and Urban Design; director, cityLAB-UCLA
  • Kristy Edmunds – executive and artistic director, Centre for the Art of Performance at UCLA
  • Andrea Fraser – professor, Department of Art
  • David H. Gere – professor, Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance; director, UCLA Art and Global Health Centre
  • Ioanna Kakoulli – professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering; professor and chair, Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials Interdepartmental Program
  • Peter Lunenfeld – professor, Department of Design Media Arts
  • Victoria Marks – professor, Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance; chair, Disability Studies Minor
  • Rebeca Méndez – professor, Department of Design Media Arts
  • Cindy Miscikowski – member, Arts and Architecture Board of Visitors
  • Steven Nelson – professor, Department of Art History; director, UCLA African Studies Centre
  • Chon A. Noriega – professor, Department of Film, Television and Digital Media; director, UCLA Chicano Studies Research Centre
  • Catherine Opie – professor, Department of Art
  • Heather Roberge – associate professor and interim vice chair, Department of Architecture and Urban Design

Chancellor Block and I are confident that Brett will provide outstanding leadership as dean of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture. Please join me in congratulating him and welcoming him to UCLA.

Sincerely,

Scott L. Waugh

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

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