California-Bound

Brett Steele, Architectural Association director, named new dean of UCLA School of Arts and Architecture

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UCLA School of Arts and Architecture has selected Brett Steele as its new dean. (Courtesy Wikimedia Images / Flickr: Brent)
UCLA School of Arts and Architecture has selected Brett Steele as its new dean. (Courtesy Wikimedia Images / Flickr: Brent)

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has named Brett Steele, current director of the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London (AA), as the new dean of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Steele will assume the new role in Los Angeles starting in August 2017. Steele will replace interim dean David Roussève who was managing the school’s transition after the departure of the prior dean, Christopher Waterman, who served in the role for a dozen years.

Steele is American-born but also has a naturalized British citizen status. He received a diploma in architecture from the AA and also studied at the University of Oregon and the San Francisco Art Institute. During his tenure at the AA, Steele launched, among other programs, a digital prototyping lab; a campus expansion to the rural community of Dorset, Britain; the creation of new, full-time Master of Science and Master of Philosophy graduate courses; and a new doctorate program in design. Steele also worked as a project architect at Zaha Hadid Architects over two stints, between 1986 and 1987 and once again between 1992 and 1993.

Regarding his new appointment, the L.A. Times quotes Steele as saying, “What got my attention and interested me is the nature of the role at UCLA and the composition of the school. I think we live in a time when the ability to assemble and invent audiences is as crucial to schools as all of the attention that most of them give to individual artists and performers and architects and designers. It’s in my view two sides of the same coin. There are a few very special places in the world where that’s built into the DNA and UCLA is simply one of those places.”

As part of his new position, Steele will be in charge not only of the educational components of the arts and architecture schools at UCLA, but also several aspects of the institution’s public arms, including the Hammer Museum, Fowler Museum, and Center for the Art of Performance. 

For more information on Steele’s appointment, see the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design’s website.

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