U.Va.’s Tanzer Wins Distinguished Architecture Professor Award

February 23, 2014

Kim Tanzer, dean of the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture, has received a national 2014 Distinguished Professor Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

The award recognizes sustained creative achievement in the advancement of architectural education through teaching, design, scholarship, research or service. Up to five professors are chosen each year.

Tanzer, Edward E. Elson Professor of Architecture, joins a select group of architectural educators nationwide who have been recognized for having a profound impact upon their students and distinguished themselves as leaders in architectural education.

The award is one of the highest recognitions the architecture profession gives. At U.Va., Tanzer joins Robin Dripps, T. David Fitz-Gibbon Professor of Architecture, and Peter Waldman, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Architecture, who received the honor in 1992 and 1996, respectively.  

Tanzer, an architecture professor at the University of Florida for more than 20 years, came to U.Va. as dean of the Architecture School in 2009. Her term as dean will conclude in June; she plans to return to teaching after a sabbatical.

During her deanship, she has worked to enhance the school’s design research culture. With faculty, she developed school-wide interdisciplinary research themes, which she describes as “six ways to sustainability.” Two of these themes have been formalized as research centers: the Center for Design and Health and the Community Design and Research Center.

She also led the effort to create an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the constructed environment, approved in May 2013. At the undergraduate level, the school developed and hosts the University’s first multi-school minor in global sustainability.

Much of Tanzer’s teaching and research focuses on the relationship between the human body and large shared spaces, such as the city and the landscape, with an emphasis on creating sustainable environments. She has worked extensively with Gainesville, Fla.’s historically African-American Fifth Avenue/Pleasant Street neighborhood.

Tanzer co-edited “The Green Braid: Towards an Architecture of Ecology, Economy and Equity,” along with publishing many scholarly and popular articles. She served as president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and founding president of the National Academy of Environmental Design.

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture has grown from 10 charter members when it was founded in 1912 to more than 250 schools in several membership categories.

The award medallion and certificate will be presented at an awards ceremony during the association’s annual meeting in Miami Beach, to be held April 10 to 12.

More information about the award and her body of work can be found here.

Media Contact

Anne E. Bromley

University News Associate Office of University Communications