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Jorge Otero-Pailos

Director and Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Jorge Otero-Pailos is an architect, artist, and theorist specializing in experimental forms of preservation. He is the founder and editor of the journal Future Anterior, co-editor of Experimental Preservation (2016) author of Architecture’s Historical Turn (2010) as well as a contributor to scholarly journals and books including the Oxford Encyclopedia of Aesthetics and Rem Koolhaas’ Preservation Is Overtaking Us (2014). Jorge Otero-Pailos is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Puerto Rico, and has received awards from major art, architecture, and preservation organizations, including the Kress Foundation, the Graham Foundation, the Fitch Foundation, the Canadian Center for Architecture, UNESCO, and the American Institute of Architects. He studied architecture at Cornell University and earned a doctorate in architecture at M.I.T.

Jorge Otero-Pailos’s work as an artist has been commissioned by and exhibited at major heritage sites, museums, foundations, and biennials, including Artangel’s public art commission at the UK Parliament, the Venice Art Biennial, Victoria and Albert Museum, Louis Vuitton Galerie Museum, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, SFMoMA, Hong Kong’s Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts, Frieze London, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. He is the recipient of a 2021-22 American Academy in Rome Residency in the visual arts.

GSAPP Conversations

Jorge Otero-Pailos speaks with Carlos Bayod Lucini and Adam Lowe of Factum Arte. Lowe and Bayod Lucini jointly taught an advanced studio in Historic Preservation at Columbia GSAPP in the Fall of 2016, which involved the documentation of the medieval church of San Baudelio de Berlanga in Spain, as well as some of its paintings in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Cloisters.

Jorge Otero-Pailos speaks with Francine Houben of Mecanoo. They focus on her firm’s ongoing renovation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington DC, originally designed by Mies van der Rohe.

Houben delivered the annual Paul S. Byard Memorial Lecture on April 17, 2017. This was the sixth annual lecture to celebrate the lasting legacy of Byard, who was the director of Historic Preservation at GSAPP from 2000 to 2008.

Jorge Otero-Pailos, director of Columbia GSAPP’s Historic Preservation Program, speaks with British cultural historian Robert Hewison during the Spring 2017 Semester, when Hewison taught the course “John Ruskin and the 19th Century” at Columbia GSAPP. They discuss Hewison’s life-long fascination and study of John Ruskin, teaching students to draw as means of exploring truth, and the influence of Ruskin’s thinking on the field of preservation in particular through his study of Venice. The conversation took place in advance of Hewison’s lecture “John Ruskin: The Argument of the Eye”, held at the School on February 16, 2017.


Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
A4105‑17 Fall 2024
Advanced Studio V
Jorge Otero-Pailos, Mark Rakatansky
600 + 700 AVERY
A6305‑1 Fall 2024
Advanced Studio III-Joint Historic Preservation/Architecture Studio
Jorge Otero-Pailos, Mark Rakatansky
M 1:30- 6:30 PM
6 Points
A6740‑1 Fall 2024
Historic Preservation Theory & Practice
Jorge Otero-Pailos
M 11 AM - 1 PM
3 Points
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