Cornell AAP appoints Jose Castillo as chair of Department of Architecture

Multidisciplinary Man

Cornell AAP appoints Jose Castillo as chair of Department of Architecture

Jose Castillo has been appointed chair of the Department of Architecture at Cornell AAP. (Yvonne Venegas)

The College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP) at Cornell University announced today Jose Castillo will lead the school’s Department of Architecture as its next chair. Castillo, a practicing architect and urban planner from hailing Mexico City will assume the role on July 1. His appointment follows the three-year term of Caroline O’Donnell.

In a statement, AAP Dean J. Meejin Yoon lauded Castillo and his “multidisciplinary approach” to design work.

“Connecting the many forces that shape our cities and built environments, Castillo’s multidisciplinary approach to real-world challenges from climate change to infrastructure to social housing brings a breadth of knowledge and experience, as well as a global, humanistic perspective, to the department and college,” Yoon shared.

In addition to his own education ventures at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Castillo has served in a number of teaching positions globally, including in Mexico, Spain, and in the U.S. at Tulane University, University of Pennsylvania, University of New Mexico, and Harvard.

Beyond the classroom Castillo leads the architecture and urban planning firm a|911 alongside Saidee Springall. Castillo’s breadth of knowledge and research-informed work is reflected in the projects of the Mexico City–based practice. The firm has designed multifamily housing, a number of cultural centers, and devised master plans for communities across Mexico.

“My approach to practicing architecture for the past 25 years has occupied a wide range of the cultural-academic-professional spectrum; teaching, curating, writing, designing, and building have been ways of reimagining the everyday relationship of architecture with the world at large,” Castillo said.

O’Donnell, Castillo’s predecessor, held the position of chair for three years guiding the school through the post-pandemic years. O’Donnell will stay on faculty at Cornell as the Edgar A. Tafel Professor of Architecture and director of the Ecological Action Lab.

In other recent Cornell faculty news, Billie Faircloth, a former partner and research director at KieranTimberlake, will join the school as an associate professor, a Cornell Atkinson Scholar, and senior faculty fellow at the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability.