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Umberto Napolitano

Umberto Napolitano is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia GSAPP. Following a stint as a literature student he studied architecture at the Università Federico II in Naples and then at the Ecole d’Architecture de Paris-La Villette.

Napolitano is inspired by many things: the visual arts, esthetics, literature, and music are all longstanding interests, while cities and travel remain veritable obsessions. All these concerns have conspired to internationalize his personal and professional trajectory, and enabled him to open himself to other cultures and ways of seeing, thinking and doing.

During his studies Napolitano met and became friends with Benoit Jallon, with whom he began working together on projects. He and Benoit both graduated with a French architecture degree (or “DPLG”) in 2001. Their thesis focused on changes in habitat and proposed a new narrative centered on cities, or perhaps on one sole, large city, especially one made up of both men and women.

After spending a year in Rome, Jallon and Napolitano returned to Paris in 2002 and founded LAN. Since then, Umberto has given himself wholeheartedly to the firm while also maintaining extensive teaching, writing, and lecturing engagements.

GSAPP Conversations

Dean Amale Andraos speaks with Umberto Napolitano about his teaching at Columbia GSAPP and his work with LAN Architects. They discuss the title of his Advanced Studio course “The Form of Density” and Napolitano’s interpretation of density with a specific look at Paris. He also speaks about the process of designing his office and the role of the work space in the creative process.


Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
A4106‑16 Spring 2018
Advanced Studio VI
Arch napolitano ranitri weerasuriya yongwoo park sp01 street view(1)web
Arch napolitano ranitri weerasuriya yongwoo park sp01 street viewweb
Arch napolitano ranitri weerasuriya yongwoo park sp02 courtyard view(1)web
Umberto Napolitano Syllabus Studio Section Via Lottery - Required for M. Arch and AAD 3rd Year
600/700 Avery
Full Semester
0 Points
A4106‑16 Spring 2017
Advanced Studio VI
Arch napolitano aleksandr poltkin sp17 01
Arch napolitano anthony zampolin sp17 01
Arch napolitano chunhui (cheryl) liu sp17 01
Umberto Napolitano Syllabus Studio Section Via Lottery - Required 3rd Yr M.Arch & AAD
600/700 Avery Hall
MTH 1:30 PM - 6:30 PM,F 3 PM - 5 PM
Full Semester
0 Points