May 29, 2018 | Atlanta, GA
Débora Mesa, partner with Ensamble Studio, has been appointed by the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Architecture to the Thomas W. Ventulett III Distinguished Chair in Architectural Design (Ventulett Chair).
The Ventulett Chair is made possible by a generous endowment created in honor of Georgia Tech alumnus Tom Ventulett, founding partner of tvsdesign in Atlanta. The intention of the Ventulett Chair is to engage an exceptional practitioner with a record of international leadership and excellence in architecture. As Ventulett Chair, Mesa will teach in the School and develop significant initiatives to heighten the critical importance of design in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry, nationally and internationally.
Mesa will also develop academic initiatives to advance architectural design and construction methodologies in her design studios and seminars. Her vision of research and practice is one in which, as Mesa says, “enthusiasm meets perseverance, imagination meets rigor and leadership meets teamwork.” Mesa aims to cultivate synergies between academy and practice and empower students to have a voice in the making of our cities.
Mesa joined Ensamble Studio in 2003 and became a partner of the firm in 2010. As a European Licensed Architect with a studio based in both Madrid and Boston, Mesa has made her mark as a leader in international practice. Ensamble Studio is a cross-functional team that balances education, research and practice and transcends methodical, technological and disciplinary conventions to address issues as diverse as construction of the landscape to the prefabrication of the house.
Prior to the appointment, Mesa served as visiting professor for the Pratt Institute and in 2017 served as the Benjamin Menschel visiting professor at The Cooper Union. Since 2011, Mesa has been part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, first as visiting professor and later as a research scientist, after co-founding the Prototypes of Prefabrication Research Laboratory (POPlab) in 2012.
In early 2018, an impressive shortlist of Ventulett candidates visited the Georgia Tech campus to meet with current students and faculty and present a lecture about their current work to the School of Architecture. Joining Mesa on the shortlist were Susannah C. Drake, founding principal of DLANDstudio, and Rozana Montiel, founder and director of Estudio de Arquitectura.
Previous Ventulett Chairs include Marc Simmons, founding partner of the international design and façade consulting practice Front, Monica Ponce de Leon, current dean of the Princeton University School of Architecture, Nader Tehrani, founder of architectural firm NADAAA and dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union, and Lars Spuybroek, founder of art and architecture design firm Nox, and currently a professor in the School of Architecture at Georgia Tech.
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Debora Mesa Ventulett Chair