NewSchool of Architecture & Design Hosts Its 30th Annual Commencement at Renowned Salk Institute

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Influential designers, Gianandrea Barreca and Yen Ha, to be Honored at Ceremony

NewSchool of Architecture & Design (NewSchool) will host its 30th annual commencement ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 20 at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif. In celebration of the 30th commencement milestone, NewSchool will welcome and award two special influential designers during the ceremony, Gianandrea Barreca and Yen Ha. Barreca and Ha will receive NewSchool’s Global Design and Innovation Award and Richard Welsh Distinguished Service Award, respectively. In addition to the awards, the graduation program will feature undergraduate student speaker Chris Lerma and graduate student speaker Megan Dougherty. The class of 2015 will celebrate 108 students who have completed or will complete their degree requirements from its Architecture, Construction Management, and Digital Media Arts programs.

Architecture, Construction Management, and Digital Media Arts programs. “We have chosen each of these award recipients not only for their contributions to their industry, but for their contributions to society as a whole,” said NewSchool Interim President Vivian Sanchez. “We are extremely proud of our graduates this year and it is our hope that Gianandrea Barreca and Yen Ha’s award acceptance remarks will inspire them, just as the NewSchool faculty and their peers have motivated them. I’m confident that our graduates’ knowledge, skills, ingenuity and creativity will make a mark on the world and a difference in society.”

In honor of NewSchool founder Richard Welsh, the Richard Welch Distinguished Service Award is given to someone who embodies a commitment to service, designed to strengthen NewSchool’s focus on the university’s responsibility to the community and to the environment. Ha, who serves as a member of the NewSchool Board of Directors, embodies these core principles, embraces social responsibility through innovative design and contributes tremendously to the success of NewSchool students. She is a respected LEED-accredited professional and a licensed architect who completed her undergraduate work with honors at Carnegie Mellon University and continued with postgraduate work in urbanism at L’École d’Architecture in Paris, France.

Ha is a founding principal of the New York City-based architecture firm, Front Studio Architects, which emphasizes cross-disciplinary collaborations to create flexible spaces with the capacity to evolve and adapt. Each project addresses the environmental welfare of a community and its inhabitants through buildings that remain functionally viable and emotionally relevant over time, and the firm makes use of economical materials and inventive thinking. Her inspirational work has been profiled in the New York Daily News, Real Estate Weekly, the Mann Report, along with Interior Design, Icon Magazine, Wallpaper and the New York Times, among others. She has also served as an expert panelist in the United States and Europe.

The Global Design and Innovation Award is presented to an individual who embraces the importance of global design and innovation. NewSchool recognizes the importance of global design and values and embraces innovation. It is because of this approach and emphasis on these values that the Domus Academy of Design at NewSchool was created. Domus Academy in Milan, Italy has been recognized several times by Businessweek magazine as one of the best design schools in the world. This collaboration has provided NewSchool students with the opportunity to participate in a truly global classroom environment, interacting with today’s most influential design leaders.

Barreca, this year’s honoree, is a globally renowned architect from Genoa, Italy, whose work has transformed the way society envisions green-scapes. In addition to serving as a founding partner of Boeri Studio, Barreca has developed several projects in Italy and abroad, receiving numerous awards for his work. He is also one of the founding members of Gruppo A12, with whom he organizes and conducts seminars, research projects, exhibitions and installations on contemporary urban conditions. With Gruppo A12 Barreca has realized and exhibited works in numerous exhibitions and biennials around the world, including Venice, New York, Japan, Shanghai, Istanbul, the Netherlands, London, South Korea and Milan.

In 2014 Barreca published ‘New Water Anthropology’ by ListLab, a collection of studies and research on the relationship between architecture and water, always of particular importance and interest in its research and design. Recently, he was awarded with the 2014 ‘International Highrise Award’ for the project Bosco Verticale, or “Vertical Forest,” a project that blazes the trail for the greener cities of tomorrow. Vertical Forest is a model for a sustainable residential building, a project for metropolitan reforestation that contributes to the regeneration of the environment and urban biodiversity without the implication of expanding a city upon the territory. Since 2004, Barreca has been collaborating with Domus Academy in Milan, an institution within Laureate Design Universities, where he has served as the Program Director of the Master in Urban Vision and Architectural Design and is currently serving as its Scientific Director. In January 2015, he became part of the prestigious Metaphysical Club at Domus Academy, which involves 15 of the most important names of the international design, art and architectural scene.

For more information about this year’s festivities, visit

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