Monica Ponce de Leon has been named as the next Dean of Princeton's School of Architecture. Ponce de Leon, who co-founded Office dA in 1991, and then founded her own firm MPdL Studio in 2011, is the current Dean of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She also previously taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design for 12 years, and is a recipient of the National Design Award in Architecture from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Museum.
Ponce de Leon's appointment follows the sudden departure of previous Princeton School of Architecture Dean Alejandro Zaera-Polo, following rumors of plagiarism in his work for the 2014 Venice Biennale, which - with support from the Biennale's Chief Curator Rem Koolhaas - he has strongly denied.
"I am deeply honored by the trust that Princeton is placing upon me and I look forward to working with students and faculty in writing the next chapter in the history of the school," said Ponce de Leon, who is known for her work in the application of robotic technology to construction. "Given that architecture plays a unique role in the construction of culture, at the intersection of the humanities, the sciences and the arts, the opportunities are enormous. I am excited to work with the School of Architecture and the leadership at Princeton to expand and deepen architecture's role in understanding and speculating on the challenges of our time."
"I am thrilled that Monica Ponce de Leon has agreed to become the next dean of Princeton's School of Architecture," added Princeton President Christopher L Eisgruber. "Monica clearly appreciates the special scholarly role and mission of the Princeton University School of Architecture, and I expect that she will enable the school to build upon its legacy in new and exciting ways."
Ponce de Leon's appointment will be effective from January the 1st, 2016. More information about Ponce de Leon and her appointment can be found at Princeton's website.