February 5, 2021 - Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at University of Toronto - Juan Du named dean
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February 5, 2021
February 5, 2021

Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at University of Toronto

Juan Du, incoming dean of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.

Juan Du named dean

Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at University of Toronto
1 Spadina Crescent
Toronto ON M5S 2J5
Canada

www.daniels.utoronto.ca
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / YouTube

Juan Du named dean

Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at University of Toronto
1 Spadina Crescent
Toronto ON M5S 2J5
Canada

www.daniels.utoronto.ca
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / YouTube

Juan Du has been named dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, effective July 2021. Du is an internationally recognized architectural scholar whose creative practice, teaching, and research explore urban theories and architectural designs that examine the social and environmental impacts of rapid urbanization. 

“The appointment is a great honour, and I am energized by the University of Toronto’s direction to be not only an institution for intellectual pursuit but also one of societal pursuit," said Du. “With architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, forestry, and visual studies programs under one roof, here is an opportunity for us to combine the studies of the natural environment with the built environment—and view the city as one environment.” 

Du joins the University of Toronto from the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong where she is currently associate dean (International and Mainland China Affairs). During her 15 years of tenure at the university, Du has led significant curriculum development in the undergraduate and graduate architecture programs, including master’s thesis reforms, experiential learning projects, international collaborations, and the establishment of the Urban Ecologies Design Lab. In her work, Du combines scholarly research with architectural practice and community engagement. Du has previously taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and practiced extensively in the US, Europe, and China. Du established her own office IDU in 2006, with projects that range from the extent of human-scale built forms to the social and ecological processes of the city.    

“Through her years of innovative architectural practice and scholarship, Du has consistently advocated for communities on the margins and demonstrated her dedication to using knowledge to improve society,” said Cheryl Regehr, University of Toronto’s vice president and provost. “I am confident the Daniels Faculty will continue to flourish under her leadership, given her passion for interdisciplinary design philosophies and investment in student success in all aspects of her work.” 

Du will succeed interim dean Robert Wright, who assumed leadership of the Daniels Faculty on July 1, 2020. “I'm thrilled to welcome Juan Du to the Daniels Faculty,” said Wright. “Her socially conscious outlook, global network, and demonstrated skill at research and administration, make her the ideal person to lead our school into the future.”

A former Fulbright Fellow, Du received her Bachelor of Design at the University of Florida, Master of Architecture at Princeton University, and Doctorate of Science in Architecture from ETH Zurich. Du’s award-winning book The Shenzhen Experiment: The Story of China’s Instant City  (Harvard University Press, 2020) challenged established misconceptions of top-down planning as the key to the city’s success, and provided humanistic narratives of history, ecology, politics, culture, and people.  

Her research and writings have also been published in Asia, Europe, and the United States, including The Architectural Review, Volume, Domus, e-flux, and the Journal of Architectural Education. Her works have been featured by international journals and public media, including Architectural Record, ICONForeign Affairs, The Journal of Asian StudiesNature, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Wired Magazine, and CNN.   

Du has frequently contributed to international exhibitions as exhibitor as well as curator. She was the chief curator of Hong Kong’s participation in the 2010 Venice Biennale of Architecture—and was instrumental in assisting the city government to establish the inaugural Shenzhen Hong Kong Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism in 2005, and has continued to exhibit and advise in the ensuing decades. 

About the John H. Daniels Faculty of Landscape, Architecture, and Design at the University of Toronto 
The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto offers graduate programs in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, forestry, and visual studies—as well as unique undergraduate programs that use architectural studies and visual studies as a lens through which students may pursue a broad, liberal arts-based education. Its mission is to educate students, prepare professionals, and cultivate scholars who will play a leading role in creating more culturally engaged, ecologically sustainable, socially just, and artfully conceived environments. 

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