Architect Toshiko Mori Awarded 2019 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education
WASHINGTON – Dec. 6, 2018 - The Board of Directors and the Strategic Council of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) along with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) award Toshiko Mori, FAIA, with the 2019 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education.
The AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion honors an individual who has been intensely involved in architecture education for more than a decade and whose teaching has influenced a broad range of students.
Mori has been dedicated to both academia and practice. She challenges her students to become educator-practitioners themselves and harnesses academic inquiry and professional rigor to reshape the practice of architecture. She embarked on her teaching career at the Cooper Union School of Architecture in 1983 at the invitation of then-dean John Hejduk. In 1995, Mori became the first female faculty member to receive tenure at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where she still teaches today. She is also the first and only woman to serve as chair of the school’s architecture department.
Mori’s teaching philosophy is one rooted in respect for individual talent, sensitive guidance, and productive dialogue. At Harvard, she has coordinated core studios, served as thesis director and led courses on textiles and fabrication methods. In her current role as professor in the practice of architecture, she leads advanced seminars and travels with students around the world—from Finland to Senegal—encouraging the consideration of local contexts and community interests in their work.
Her achievements parallel her stellar record as a professor and a practitioner. Since 1981, Mori has maintained her own New York-based practice, Toshiko Mori Architect PLLC.
AIA will honor Mori at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2019 in Las Vegas. Complete award information is available on AIA’s website.
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