Kim Tanzer FAIA completed her five-year term as the Dean and Edward E. Elson Professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture at University of Virginia in June 2014. Prior to beginning her tenure at the University of Virginia in 2009 she served as a professor of architecture at the University of Florida for more than two decades. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Duke University and her Master of Architecture from North Carolina State University. She was elected to the American Institute College of Fellows in 2011, and named a Distinguished Professor of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture in 2014.
Much of Dean 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, Florida’s Fifth Avenue/Pleasant Street historically African-American neighborhood. In part to further this work she was co-founder and founding Executive Director of the Florida Community Design Center, Inc. in 2001 and remained on the Board of Directors until 2008. She is co-editor of The Green Braid: Towards an Architecture of Ecology, Economy, and Equity, and author of the A-School Monograph After the Deluge: Reimagining Leonardo’s Legacy, along with 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.
Deans of architecture are a unique breed. Elegant and well spoken, they steer the ships we know affectionately as the A-school, archi-torture school, or just Studio. During the last days of her Deanship, Kim sits with Section Cut’s own Kyle Sturgeon to reflect on an incredible five-year tenure at the University of Virginia. Unfortunately Kim and Kyle’s conversation was cut short by a rogue guest lecture commitment, but the conversation is a fascinating glimpse into Dean Tanzer’s experiences, teaching philosophy, and leadership capabilities. Enjoy!