Acclaimed educator, designer, and author Dagmar Richter has been named chair of Pratt Institute’s Undergraduate Architecture Department. Richter, who has been a teaching professor and chair of the Department of Architecture at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, will begin her appointment on January 2, 2012.

“I am confident that Dagmar’s leadership experience in architecture education and in the design and architecture fields will reinforce and build upon the school’s emphasis on innovation, professional knowledge, and in finding creative interdisciplinary solutions to challenges in today’s changing society,” said Pratt School of Architecture Dean Thomas Hanrahan.

At Cornell, Richter has overseen the accreditation for both Cornell’s bachelor’s of architecture program and its master’s of architecture program and developed a new vision for the department. A leading figure in contemporary architecture who was previously a professor of architecture and urban design at UCLA, Richter has taught and lectured at top architectural programs around the world and held professorships at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design, Cooper Union, Columbia University, and the Art Academy in Berlin and in Stuttgart.

Richter is the principal of DR_D, a design research practice in Berlin and Los Angeles, known for its inventive design approach and research-oriented experiments. Her work focuses on rethinking methods of architectural design in a global economy and a high-speed cultural forum, produced with rapidly evolving computerized technology. Her design work has garnered numerous prestigious competition prizes and awards, including second prize for the design of the National Library of Denmark in Copenhagen and a first prize for an office-park design for the Shinkenshiku Membrane competition in Japan.

Her work is the subject of two monographs: XYZ: The Architecture of Dagmar Richter (Princeton Architectural Press, 2001) and Armed Surfaces: Architecture and Urbanisms 5 (Black Dog Press, 2003). Her writings have appeared in many publications in Norway, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Japan, and the United States. Her work has been exhibited internationally including shows at the Louisiana Art Museum in Copenhagen, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

As chair, Richter will be responsible for leading Pratt’s Undergraduate Architecture Department, which is part of the Institute’s School of Architecture and is ranked ninth in the nation by monthly architecture and design journal DesignIntelligence. The department, which is a five-year bachelor’s of architecture degree program, offers a thorough foundation in architecture that integrates critical thinking, design, technology, building, representation, and social responsibility. Students at Pratt learn that architecture is a meaningful cultural contribution that requires both imagination and material realization within a larger social and ethical context.

Richter was educated at the University of Stuttgart, the Royal Art Academy in Copenhagen (where she received a master’s degree in architecture) and the Städel School in Frankfurt, and has practiced and taught throughout Europe and the United States. She is a resident of Ithaca, N.Y.; Santa Monica, Calif.; and Berlin.

Photo Credit: Zachary Tyler