Pratt-ical Magic

Thomas Hanrahan to step down as Pratt School of Architecture dean

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The Pratt Institute School of Architecture at Higgins Hall (David Sundberg/Rogers Partners)
The Pratt Institute School of Architecture at Higgins Hall (David Sundberg/Rogers Partners)

After 22 years as the dean of the Pratt Institute School of Architecture in Brooklyn, New York, Thomas Hanrahan announced today that 2018 would be his last full year at the school’s helm. Under Hanrahan’s tenure, the architecture school grew dramatically from a combined six graduate and undergraduate programs to 17, and from 750 students to 1,050.

When reached by phone, Hanrahan discussed his reasons for leaving the post and what was next. After hitting the 20-year milestone, Hanrahan thought that it would be for the best if he stepped aside and let the next generation lead. What’s next? Hanrahan will return to teaching at Pratt and engaging in a more hands-on approach to interacting with students. He’ll also spend more time practicing at Hanrahan Meyers Architects (hMA), where Hanrahan is a founding partner.

Thomas Hanrahan

Thomas Hanrahan (Courtesy Pratt Institute)

“I think that I have fostered a design and research culture at Pratt where independent and creative faculty and students seek to transform their respective discipline,” said Hanrahan when asked about what he was most proud of during his tenure. “My hope is that this spirit of open inquiry into contemporary urban and ecological problems continues with the next generation of leadership. There is tremendous pressure right now pushing the design and planning fields toward sameness and formulaic methods, and Pratt has always stood apart for me as a place that strongly supports risk-taking, innovation, and truly diverse communities.”

Hanrahan will remain in his post until July 1, 2019, then take a leave of absence and return as a member of the teaching staff. Pratt will conduct the search for his replacement this year, and they except the new dean to begin next summer.

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