Julia Czerniak Named Associate Dean at Syracuse Architecture

Julia Czerniak

Julia Czerniak

Professor Julia Czerniak has been appointed associate dean at the School of Architecture by Dean Michael Speaks, effective Aug. 1. In her new role, Czerniak will work with the dean to develop and implement the mission of the school and help to define its strategic academic vision.

In addition, she will develop new academic initiatives to achieve greater integration of research, teaching and global programming within the increasingly interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial milieu of the University, while sustaining the excellence and diversity of its programs, faculty and students.

“Julia’s breadth of experience in urban landscape research and design and her ability to work successfully with a wide range of constituencies will be a tremendous asset to the future of the school,” says Speaks.

Czerniak teaches architectural design studios as well as seminars on landscape theory and criticism. She is educated both as an architect (Princeton University, M.Arch., 1992) and landscape architect (Pennsylvania State University, B.A., 1984). Through her design practice, CLEAR, and most recently as the former inaugural director of UPSTATE, the school’s Center for Design, Research and Real-Estate, her research and practice draw on the intersection of these disciplines.

Czerniak’s work focuses on the physical and cultural potentials of urban landscapes. Recent projects advance landscape in the remaking of formerly urban cities, from a series of public space interventions along a derelict creek in downtown Syracuse to ecologically and spatially rich streetscapes for a newly planned campus at Syracuse University.

Her collaborations on complex urban projects include the winning competition schemes for the Syracuse Connective Corridor, artNET Public Art in Toledo, Ohio, and the Pittsburgh Charm Bracelet. As professional advisor for Movement on Main: Designing a Healthy Main Street, Czerniak foregrounded the potential alignment of public health and new forms of public space.

Czerniak’s publications, which include "Large Parks" (Princeton Architectural Press, 2007) and "Case: Downsview Park Toronto" (Prestel and Harvard Design School, 2001), focus on contemporary design approaches to public parks and the relationship between landscape and cities. "Formerly Urban: Projecting Rust Belt Futures" (Princeton Architectural Press, 2013) examines potential futures for shrinking cities.

“I am thrilled to be working with Dean Michael Speaks to lead the School of Architecture toward its next level of distinction and achievement. We have such a remarkable faculty and staff, as well as a legacy of excellence to build on,” Czerniak says.

Czerniak will also co-lead, with Dean Speaks, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD) regional session to be held in Syracuse this coming fall. MICD is a National Endowment of the Arts leadership initiative designed to foster an understanding of and appreciation for the role of design in creating vibrant, livable cities, and the importance of mayors as advocates for good design. As part of this event, Syracuse Architecture will host a two-day design discussion and conversation with eight mayors from around the country.

Czerniak follows Jonathan Solomon, associate dean since 2012, who has accepted a position as director of architecture, interior architecture and designed objects at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


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