Stephen Slaughter has been named the new chair of undergraduate architecture in Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture. He will assume the role on July 1, 2022. Through the spring semester, Acting Chair Jason Lee, Acting Associate Chair Farzam Yazdanseta, and Acting Assistant Chair Alicia Imperiale will continue their leadership of the program.
“Stephen’s appointment concludes an all-school nomination and selection process,” said Dr. Harriet Harriss, dean of the School of Architecture. “It is a reflection of the faculty and students’ many talents, strengths, and future ambitions. Within his role as chair of undergraduate architecture, Stephen’s established expertise will serve to strengthen and advance our commitment to social justice and climate crisis curriculum and ensure that our graduates are best positioned to powerfully advance pedagogy, public policy, and professional practice.”
As chair of undergraduate architecture, Slaughter will oversee a department that includes around 700 students and 180 faculty. Since 2000, the Bachelor of Architecture program has been ranked among the top ten programs in the United States by DesignIntelligence. It engages students in professional knowledge that prioritizes creativity, critical thinking, ethical judgment, and technological expertise. Supporting these core goals, undergraduate architecture includes a minor in construction management and a concentration in morphology.
Slaughter is currently a visiting associate professor in Pratt’s Graduate Architecture and Urban Design (GAUD) program, as well as an associate professor of architecture at the University of Kentucky and a visiting associate professor in the School of Architecture and Interior Design (SAID) at the University of Cincinnati. A longtime educator, he previously was an associate professor in the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning and has held teaching roles at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, Woodbury University, University of Houston, and University of California, Los Angeles. He is also GAUD’s former diversity, equity, and inclusion coordinator and is an active participant on the DEI Task Force.
“I am thrilled to step into this role at Pratt and look forward to engaging with the community to push forward critical conversations about inclusivity in the fields of architecture and design,” Slaughter said. “Architecture is for everyone and in educating the next generation of architects, I hope to instill this idea. Exuberance, joy, and beauty in design are what I care most deeply about—and that it can be for all.”
An accomplished architect, urban designer, and academic, Slaughter began his career at Morphosis Architects, founded by Thom Mayne. As a first-generation college student, he earned both his Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Architecture from The Ohio State University. His portfolio includes collaborations with practices around the world involving retail boutiques, residences, restaurants, and large-scale institutional projects. An ongoing emphasis of his work is to challenge conventional architectural orthodoxy, leading to his co-founding of PHAT, a four-person, multi-disciplinary design collaborative that has exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Center for Architecture in New York, and the Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain’s Young Architects Exhibition in Orléans, France.
Working with and for nonprofits like Watts House Project, Findlay Market, Youth Hope Cincinnati, and Elementz Hip Hop Cultural Art Center, he has foregrounded projects that champion diverse communities and improve the built environment through sustainable and conscientious design.
In his position as chair, he plans to concentrate on cross-disciplinary collaboration, community engagement, and the promotion of a nurturing space where all students can feel both challenged and empowered to pursue their personal and intellectual goals.