Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation is happy to announce that Emanuel Admassu will join its faculty as Assistant Professor in July 2021. Admassu (‘12 MSAAD, '13 AAR) is an architect and founding partner, with Jen Wood (‘12 MSAAD), of AD—WO, an art and architecture practice based in Providence, and by extension, between Melbourne and Addis Ababa. His design, teaching, and research practices operate at the intersection of design theory, spatial justice, contemporary African art, postcolonial theory, and critical theory. Admassu will be teaching in the MS in Architecture and Urban Design program, as well as the Master of Architecture and MS in Advanced Architectural Design programs.
Admassu teaches design studios and theory seminars at the Rhode Island School of Design and was the inaugural recipient of RISD Architecture’s Design Research Seed Fund, which supported him along with his firm and students to examine the constructed spatial and sociopolitical identities of urban marketplaces in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Through his unique work engaging market life in emerging cities, Admassu’s research contributes to undoing the false characterization of “formal vs. informal” that still prevails in the discourse on urbanization. Admassu and AD—WO were selected to be part of the upcoming exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America, which will examine the intersections of anti-Black racism and Blackness within urban spaces as sites of resistance and refusal.
Emanuel Admassu is a graduate of GSAPP’s Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design (MSAAD) and the Advanced Architectural Research programs, and he has previously taught several studios and workshops at GSAPP as an adjunct faculty member. His commitment to critical engagements with both design and theory as well as Africana Studies will considerably enrich the MS in Architecture and Urban Design (MSAUD) program and the larger architectural and urban conversations and investigations at GSAPP.