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Die Architektin und Designerin Rossana Hu
Rossana Ju-Shan Hu © Jiaxi Yang Zhu Zhe

According to the department’s advertises, students can immerse themselves in next-generation design research supported by visionary architects and thinkers from around the world. The Department of Architecture at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) in Philadelphia has selected architect and designer Rossana Hu as full professor and department chair, effective January 1, 2024. Hu is a co-founder of the Shanghai-based interdisciplinary architecture company “Neri&Hu Design and Research Office” and Professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture at Tongji University’s College of Architecture & Urban Planning. Taiwan-born Rosanna Hu will be the third woman to head Penn University’s Department of Architecture. She will replace the current chair, Dutch-American architect and Architectonics founder Winka Dubbelda, who has led the department since 2013. Adèle Naudé Santos was chair from 1981 to 1987.

“We see ourselves as intermediaries: between past and present, individual and collective, public and private, rural and urban,” Hu said of her office’s approach to architecture. Faculty and students at Penn University, Hu said, are equally committed to this vision. “Rossana Hu has made an incredible commitment to design and designers,” Weitzman Dean and Paley Professor Fritz Steiner said. “Her work springs from a deep understanding of people and materials and a thoughtful exploration of identity that is more important than ever in architectural practice.”

Hu started her career in San Francisco at the Architects Collaborative before moving on to work for Ralph Lerner and Michael Graves. In 2004, she co-founded the design and research firm Neri&Hu with her husband Lyndon Neri, which has revitalised historic buildings and completed commissions in the fields of master planning, architecture, product and interior design, and branding. Hu has had a significant impact on China’s design scene over the last 20 years, including co-founding the Festival of Design in 2016. Hu is also the creative director of Stellar Works, a Shanghai-based furniture company. Neri and Hu have received a number of important international awards; in 2017, Lyndon Neri and Rosanna Hu were selected Interior Designers of the Year by the German Design Council in the Iconic Awards.

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