Leslie Van Duzer appointed Director of the University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

The University of British Columbia Faculty of Applied Science announced Professor Leslie Van Duzer as the new Director of the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA). Her five-year appointment commences July 19, 2010.

“On behalf of the search committee and Applied Science, we are thrilled to have Professor Van Duzer lead the school in achieving its ambitious goals and aspirations,” says Dean Tyseer Aboulnasr. “Her academic and professional experience, coupled with her interest in student learning and outreach in both local and global communities demonstrates that she will be a driving force, guiding and encouraging all involved with designing our built environment to make a positive difference in our world.”

Professor Van Duzer will be leading the school as it launches a fundraising campaign for a new building to house SALA and the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning. The estimated $25-million facility will support integrated education and research in planning and design.

Professor Van Duzer comes to UBC from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis where she served as Director of Undergraduate Studies. She has taught at numerous schools in the United States, Canada and Europe and is currently serving a five-year term as an external examiner for Dalhousie University in Halifax. She completed her graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley and practiced architecture in San Francisco and Vienna prior to her academic career.

An expert in early-modern European architecture, Van Duzer is co-author of four books: Adolf Loos: Works in the Czech Lands; Mies van der Rohe: Krefeld Villas; Rudolf Arnheim: Revealing Vision; and Villa Müller: A Work of Adolf Loos. The two building monographs were awarded the architects’ journal Top Ten Books of the Year award in London. Van Duzer has published extensively in international journals and lectured throughout Europe and North America.

Her forthcoming book, The Art of Deception (co-authored with professor of education, magician, illusion designer and brother Eric Van Duzer), investigates the psychological and physiological underpinnings of misperception.

Among her varied academic accomplishments, Van Duzer developed a freshmen design seminar connecting underrepresented minority students with faculty mentors, a large university-wide introduction to architecture course, several interdisciplinary design workshops, and a study abroad program in Malawi. Just prior to her departure from Minnesota, she will formalize a partnership between the College of Design and the American Refugee Committee to provide the NGO with expert support for their work in Haiti.

Van Duzer currently serves on the boards of two non-profits: Mill City Commons, a riverfront neighbourhood organization exploring ways to age in place, and The Trust for Public Land, an organization dedicated to preserving public open space.

SALA was formed in July 2005 by the consolidation of UBC’s School of Architecture and the Landscape Architecture Program. The school includes graduate level professional and post-professional programs in architecture and landscape architecture, along with an undergraduate program in environmental design. The school has 23 full-time faculty, 10 staff and 260 students.