Rossana Hu has been selected as chair of the Department of Architecture for the School of Design.
Hu will join Penn as a tenured professor and chair on January 1, 2024, according to the announcement made on April 12. She is the co-founder of the architectural design practice Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, as well as the current professor and chair of the Department of Architecture at Tongji University.
Hu and her partner Lyndon Neri founded Neri&Hu in 2004. The Shanghai-based practice has projects in countries all over the world and aims to expand the geographic and artistic boundaries of the discipline.
“We see ourselves as mediators: between past and present, individual and collective, public and private, rural and urban,” Hu told PennDesign. “It’s clear that the faculty and students at Penn are equally committed to this vision.”
Hu earned her bachelor's in architecture from the University of California at Berkeley and her master's in architecture and urban planning from Princeton, where she has served on the President’s Advisory Committee on Architecture. She has also taught as a visiting professor at various institutions, including the Yale School of Architecture, the University of Hong Kong Graduate School of Architecture, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Hu and Neri are recipients of several accolades, including the Overall Winner of The PLAN Award 2018, EDIDA Designers of the Year 2017, and Interior Designers of the Year of ICONIC Awards 2017 by the German Design Council.
Hu will succeed Winka Dubbeldam, who has led the Department of Architecture since 2013. Professor of Architecture and director of the Master of Architecture Program, Andrew Saunders, will serve as acting chair in fall 2023.
Earlier this month, Catherine Seavitt Nordenson was elected as the next chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture in the School of Design. Both Nordenson and Hu will be the third female chairs of their respective departments.
“Rossana Hu has been an incredible champion for design and designers,” Weitzman Dean and Paley Professor Frederick Steiner told PennDesign. “Her work springs from a deep understanding of people and materials, and a thoughtful exploration of identity that is more important than ever to the practice of architecture.”