Recipient known as distinguished educator
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Board of Directors and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) named AdÃ¨le NaudÃ© Santos, FAIA, as the 2009 recipient of the Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education. The AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion honors an individual who has made outstanding contributions to architecture education for at least 10 years, whose teaching has influenced a broad range of students and who has helped shape the minds of those who will shape our environment.
Santos, dean of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture + Planning, will be awarded the medallion at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Annual Meeting in Portland, Ore., March 26-29, 2009. The AIA will recognize her at the 2009 National Convention in San Francisco April 30-May 2.
Before her appointment as MIT School of Architecture + Planning dean in 2004, Santos was a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, College of Environmental Design, where her academic focus was on blending residential and environmental design. Her interdisciplinary courses encouraged architecture, landscape, and urban design students to collaborate and address unsolved problems in the urban environment.
Before Berkeley, she was the founding dean at the UC San Diego School of Architecture and professor of architecture and urban design at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was also chair of the architecture department for six years. She also taught at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and at Rice University. She has been a visiting professor at the University of Virginia, Miami University (Ohio), Harvard, Rice, and Columbia, as well as a studio master/critic at the University of Cape Town in her native nation, South Africa. In 2002, she was a resident at the American Academy in Rome.
â€œDuring my entire career, I have combined teaching and practice,â€ Santos says. â€œThere has always been a cross-fertilization between the two, and, at their best, both teaching and practice have been a form of research. The balance between the two has been an important stimulus to my creativity as a teacher and to my professional work and role as an administrator. Even now, as dean at MIT, I have a small practice, which I find an essential creative outlet, and I continue to teach.â€
â€œAs a citizen of the world, she has brought the world to her students, gathering people, disciplines, and cultures together in the endeavor of architect â€¦ As a woman professional and educator, she has been a pioneer, an inspirations, and a mentor to countless women students,â€ said Andrea Leers, FAIA, principal of the 2008 Firm Award recipient Leers Weinzapfel Associates.
Santos holds a diploma from the Architectural Association in London, a master of architecture in urban design from Harvard University, and a master of architecture and master of city planning from the University of Pennsylvania.
In addition to her academic work, Santos is principal architect in the San Francisco-based firm, Santos Prescott and Associates. Santos takes a holistic approach to architecture and pays close attention to the people affected by her design, whether it be community groups on the development of housing, faculty or administrative committees on institutional projects, or collaborations with artists and administrators on arts-related spaces.
Among her many awards and honors, Santos became a Fellow of the AIA in 1996. She has won numerous competitions for projects including the Perris Civic Center (Calif.), three facilities at Arts Park (Calif.), the Affordable Prototypical Multi-Family Housing for Franklin/LaBrea in Los Angeles, and Penn Children’s Center (Pa.). She often serves as a juror for national and international design competitions and award programs and has published extensively in journals and books. Her projects have been published in architecture journals worldwide and she has exhibited her work widely.
She holds NCARB certification, is a registered architect in Massachusetts, and is a member of the Architect’s Registration Council in the United Kingdom.
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