In the second significant departure this week from the Syracuse University School of Architecture, professor Jonathan Massey has been named the Director of Architecture at California College of the Arts (CCA). Massey, who chaired the Bachelor of Architecture program at Syracuse from 2007 to 2011, succeeds Ila Berman in the position.
Although he spent four years in Los Angeles, Massey is new to San Francisco, and admitted, “I still have a lot to learn.” So far he said he’s impressed with the school’s focus on digital craft, its ability to “tap into a broader Bay Area culture of innovation,” its diversity of offerings, and its commitment to social justice.
While it’s too early to set out an agenda, Massey is interested in plugging faculty and students’ digital skills into a larger framework, through municipal data, social media, and other means. He wants to connect a strength in formalism with political and social issues—what he called “socially engaged formalism—and he would like to expand the school’s regional and global partnerships. Many of these initiatives, he posited, are likely already there, but may be “ready to be developed further.”
Massey holds a doctorate in the history of theory and architecture from Princeton, a master of architecture from UCLA, and a bachelor of arts from Princeton.