The University of New Mexico (UNM) has announced that Chris Cornelius will be its new chair of the architecture department. A strong advocate for the awareness of architecture’s connection to culture, especially Native American culture, Cornelius is expected to take office on November 1, 2021.
A registered member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, Cornelius is also the founding director of studio: indigenous, a design firm that serves Native American clients. In 2017, to mark Indigenous Peoples Day, Archinect included Cornelius’ cabinet in a list of our favorite contemporary practices led by Indigenous architects.
His work has received numerous honors, including an Artist-in-Residence Fellowship from the Smithsonian Institution at the National Museum of the American Indian in 2003, and the 2017 Miller Prize from the Columbus Exhibition. He was also part of a group of Indigenous architects who represented Canada at the 2018 Venice Biennale.
Cornelius has been a faculty member in the Department of Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since 2004, and was appointed Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor of Architectural Design at Yale University in 2021. He has also taught at the University of Virginia, from where he holds a master’s degree in architecture. Along with his college degrees, Cornelius also gained international fame for this design work, including his Radio Free Alcatraz drawings exploring the 1969-1971 occupation of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.
Cornelius’ appointment is the latest in a series of recent reports from the University of New Mexico. In July, we broke the news that Studio Ma had been selected to lead the design for the expansion of the University’s College of Fine Arts. Also in July, UNM’s dean of architecture and planning, Robert Alexander González, was announced as the new president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).
Meanwhile, in June, at an event hosted by the UNM School of Architecture and Planning to celebrate Antonie Predock’s 85th birthday, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said the June 24, 2021 “Antoine Predock Day” to honor the work of the internationally renowned architect.