Ron Witte appointed professor in residence of architecture

Ron Witte.

Courtesy of the Graduate School of Art and Design

3 min read

Ron Witte has been appointed as professor in residence of architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) effective July 1.

Witte is currently a visiting professor at GSD and was most recently professor of architecture and Baker Institute Scholar at Rice University.  He has held previous faculty appointments at Princeton, GSD, the University of Kentucky, Illinois Institute of Technology, and the University of Florida. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and his Master of Architecture from Princeton University.

Witte is widely known for his contributions to the practice and theory of architecture, and for his dedication to teaching that has involved numerous innovations in architectural pedagogy.

A co-founder of WW Architecture, Witte has the primary responsibility for the practice, developed and integrated with an unusually sophisticated theoretical base since its founding in 1999.

WW’s reflective practice model focusses on designing one project at the time, concentrating on the core values of architecture: plan, figure, façade, both in buildings as well at the urban scale.

The result has been highly original designs that have become recognized benchmarks, for work that has ranged across types from residential to institutional, and across scales from a single-family house to airfield-scale infrastructure. WW’s work coheres under the concept of the architectural “figure:” an organizational and spatial instrument that balances specificity and open-endedness of spaces and programs.

Internationally recognized for its originality and accessibility, Witte’s work has been exhibited around the world, including the Roca Gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute in Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Building Museum, the Rhode Island School of Design, the International Center for Reflection on the Future in France, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

In addition to the creativity and energy of his practice, Witte has written and published extensively  for a variety of international audiences. Witte’s public roles have included service on the board of the Houston Arts Alliance and on the Houston Independent School District Task Force for School Design. His work has been acclaimed in international competitions for public buildings, and often won awards.

Prior to WW, Witte’s professional experience includes working with the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam; Jacques Couëlle in Paris, France; and Reid & Tarics in San Francisco.

Witte taught at GSD before taking a teaching position at Princeton 15 years ago. He has taught studio and seminar courses, in addition to redesigning the core curriculum at Rice University.

His experience will influence the core curriculum in GSD’s Master of Architecture program, in response to a rapidly changing world. His approach embodies what the School tries to convey to students: Design and reflective writing are inextricably linked and should represent two embodiments of a singular intellectual passion.