The University of California, Berkeley, has named Vishaan Chakrabarti, founder of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), as the next dean of its College of Environmental Design (CED). A 1996 graduate of CED’s architecture program and member of the college’s Dean’s Advisory Council, Chakrabarti has dedicated his long career as an architect and urban planner to social impact through the improvement of cities’ public spaces, most recently as the founder of PAU, the studio he established in 2015 and will continue to lead.
“Much as law schools were essential to the civil and equal rights movements 50 years ago, the CED is poised to confront the three existential challenges of our era, which include climate change, social inequity, and technological dislocation, by advancing design and research excellence in the nation’s premier public educational institution,” said Chakrabarti. “The CED has a renowned interdisciplinary legacy grounded in equitable urban ecologies and trailblazing humanist architecture that illuminates our path forward. I am deeply humbled and beyond ecstatic to be returning to my alma mater as its next dean, and am equally thrilled to share that PAU will expand its presence to the West Coast to help address its urban challenges in a manner that is fully mission consistent with the CED.”
In addition to his Master of Architecture Degree from UC Berkeley, he holds a Master of City Planning Degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as a Bachelor of Arts Degree in art history and a Bachelor of Science Degree in engineering, both from Cornell University. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and was recently named a 2019 Honorary Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. Chakrabarti authored A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America, which argues that a more urban United States would result in a more prosperous, sustainable, joyous, and socially mobile nation.