Woodbury University School of Architecture's Jeanine Centuori and Annie Chu Named to AIA Fellowship Program

Reflecting Achievement of Excellence and Women Leadership, Longtime Faculty Members Now Carry Professional Designation 'FAIA'

Feb 29, 2016, 06:00 ET from Woodbury University

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Underscoring their "significant contribution to architecture and society,"Woodbury University's School of Architecture faculty Jeanine Centuori and Annie Chu have been elevated into the American Institute of ArchitectsFellowship program, the university announced today.  

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According to the AIA, "election to Fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of the architect as an individual, but also honors before the public and the profession a model architect who has made a significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level."Both professors now carry the professional designation "FAIA." 

Jeanine Centuori: Civic Engagement and Public Environments

Prof. Centuori is Director of Agency for Civic Engagement (ACE) and Professor of Architecture at Woodbury University. Under Centuori's direction, ACE has implemented built projects with architecture students for communities and nonprofit organizations. ACE was recently re-branded to better reflect its expanded mission of providing every Woodbury University student with the opportunity to learn while serving the needs of nonprofit and community groups. 

Through academic programs and alternative practice, Jeanine Centuori's work in the public realm with stakeholders, nonprofits, and municipalities has inspired over five hundred architecture students and impacted over thirty communities with built projects, programs, and visions for their growth.

Prof. Centuori's teaching, community work, and professional practice are inextricably linked and committed to serving communities with the celebration of subtlety, connection to place, and altered perceptions. As principal and founder of UrbanRock Design, an art, architecture, and design studio, she has completed built projects in several U.S. urban centers, and published creative research that has been grounded on immersive community analysis. Internationally and nationally competitive commissions have been secured that enhance the quality of public spaces. Current and recent projects include a Public Art Master Plan for the City of Calgary, a public art façade for the Nebraska History Museum, and Public Art for three transit stations in San Bernardino.  These placemaking projects bring cultural footprints to the forefront and help to sustain identity, history, and pride of place.

"This recognition makes me happy. Personally, it serves as a moment of celebration and reflection for my own practice," said Prof. Centuori. "Professionally, it represents an expanded vision of the AIA to be more inclusive of different ways of practicing, and contributing to the field of architecture and to society."

Annie Chu: A Champion of Interior Architecture Across Practice, Teaching, and Service

Interior Architecture Prof. Chu champions the discipline, advancing design excellence and elevating interior architecture as an essential and distinct component of architecture through the design of award-wining environments, education, and professional and civic leadership. Prof. Chu received the International Interior Design Association's Leadership Award of Excellence from IIDA's Southern California chapter in 2014. Her firm, Chu + Gooding Architects,is part of the primary design team that has been awarded the $350 million Los Angeles Convention Center renovation project.

Prof. Chu served as a Cultural Affairs Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles from 2010 to 2013, focusing on the re-launch of the Mayor's Design Advisory Panel and engaging government, community and arts and design organizations to elevate the quality of public art and the built environment within Los Angeles. Current and recent design work includes exhibit design for the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Hammer Museum and the Huntington Museum and Gardens; USC Marshall School of Business – Hoffman Hall, UCLA Tiverton House, Autry Resource Center, La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, LA County+USC Wellness Center, Southern California Public Radio (KPCC 89.3) and UCR Culver Center of the Arts.

Advocating the value of interior architecture across the platforms of practice, teaching,and service, Chu has pursued a diversified career that weaves across the many sectors that shape the architectural enterprise: the AIA, allied professional organizations, academia, and the general public and government.

At Woodbury University School of Architecture, Chu is one of four key faculty members who launched the new Master of Interior Architecture program to advance the definition and status of the discipline. "I'm honored and humbled by this recognition. It inspires me to continue to evolve a critical teaching practice and to help define the value of the interior architecture discipline," commented Prof. Chu. "At the same time, I hope that my elevation to Fellowship will inspire young women architects and architects from different backgrounds who are still in the minority in our profession. The architecture community can only benefit from diversity." 

Promoting the Rise of Women Architects

At a time when only 15% of licensed AIA members are women (according to the 2014 Foresight Report) and fewer than 1 in 5 deans at U.S. architecture schools are women (based on ACSA data from 2014), Woodbury School of Architecture makes a conscious effort to promote women architects. In this regard, Centuori's and Chu's elevation to the AIA Fellowship serves as a reminder that the pursuit of greater diversity in the profession starts within the nation's schools of architecture.

"The AIA Fellowship program showcases the very best in our profession," said Norman Millar, AIA, Dean of the School of Architecture. "Jeanine and Annie have done exemplary work throughout their careers, and have consistently gone above and beyond, to make their mark on society as a whole. I join with the architecture community at Woodbury University in extending our congratulations and deep appreciation to both."

About Woodbury University
Founded in 1884, Woodbury University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Southern California. With campuses in Burbank/Los Angeles and San Diego, the university offers bachelor's degrees from the School of Architecture, School of Business, School of Media, Culture & Design, and College of Transdisciplinarity, along with a Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Media for Social Justice, Master of Architecture (MArch), Master of Interior Architecture (MIA), Master of Science in Architecture (MSArch), Master of Leadership, and Master of Arts in Media for Social Justice. The San Diego campus offers Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture, Master of Interior Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture degrees, as well as an MSArch degree with a concentration in Real Estate Development and Landscape + Urbanism. Woodbury ranks 15th among the nation's "25 Colleges That Add the Most Value," according to Money Magazine and is a 2014-2015 College of Distinction. Visit woodbury.edu for more information.

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