Letter from the Dean

Columbia GSAPP Dean Amale Andraos
Design, Create, Engage

We live in a time of great uncertainty and change. Meeting its unprecedented challenges will be a urgent imperative for architecture in the coming years—but this moment might also inspire us to recognize and fulfill new potentials for a more equitable, sustainable, and creative world.

As global urbanization invites us to think relationally across cultures and contexts, climate change urges us to re-imagine how we live, move, and share. New types of housing, new forms of infrastructure, new possibilities for urban ecology, and new preservation technologies can all converge to foster more just societies. This work also moves freely between the virtual and the physical. Visualizing data is fundamental to re-presenting what we know—and how we know it—while rendering the future more tangible and participatory. A culture of making, meanwhile, is enabling new forms of collectivity and collaboration towards new experiences and material realities.

At the heart of many of today’s challenges and opportunities are the disciplines and practices of the built environment—all of which are represented at Columbia GSAPP, and which together are moving the field in new directions. Fueled by the density and diversity of its encounters and perspectives, and combining creative experimentation and unbridled imagination with disciplinary practice and incisive critical thinking, the school has built its long legacy of excellence as an urban condenser of ideas.

In this time that demands new concepts around which to assemble and empower the next generation of architects, planners, urban designers, and real estate developers, Columbia GSAPP represents a unique environment that fosters the design of new modes of living and sharing, creates new forms of knowledge and practice, and renews our commitment to engagement with the world and the urgent issues of our time.

At GSAPP, we are inspired to nurture the bold creative thinkers, original designers and engaged idea makers of the next generation.

—Dean Amale Andraos