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NewSchool Students Reimagine ODOT Blocks in Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District

NewSchool Students Reimagine ODOT Blocks in Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District

NewSchool of Architecture and Design envisions Portland’s Central Eastside through fresh lens of students focused on community and DEI

Portland, Ore. (June 30, 2021) Local architecture and engineering firm, Mackenzie, together with the NewSchool of Architecture and Design in San Diego completed its integrated design studio with more than 80 students from all over the world to reimagine the ODOT blocks in Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District. The studio recently showcased concepts developed by students who began their integrated design projects in the Fall of 2020 during the COVID pandemic, with about 20 students collaborating virtually from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

As part of this unique collaboration, students used ODOT Blocks to learn about urban analysis, site selection criteria for human-centered and resilient urban development, design parameters, and design methods and tools. The architectural students were organized into paired teams and included collaboration with NewSchool interior design and graphic design students.  From the 84 students who contributed conceptual drawings, twelve projects were selected to present at a virtual event hosted by Mackenzie on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. Pacific.

All studios were complemented by three parallel required Architectural Practice classes, developed, and taught by Rich Mitchell, contributing faculty at NewSchool and former president of Mackenzie. Mitchell’s classes provided definitions, concepts, and resources addressing project management and construction documents focused on value analysis, cost control, and evidence-based design.

“Preparing undergraduates to enter the architecture and design industry must go beyond developing classroom learning, hyper-visual projects, and mastering the latest digital programs. Practice-ready students must be able to convince stakeholders that their proposed vision is addressing community needs,” says Mitchell. “Through this redevelopment project for the Portland ODOT Blocks, students were challenged to think beyond creative esthetics.  The students were taught about private development feasibility, integrated environmental systems and materials, and inclusive approaches to consider the needs of the community using a real-life project.”

The students’ projects followed a strict real-life set of regulations in accordance with Portland’s Municipal Code, and received continuous input and critique over the course of three quarters from Portland-based industry leaders including Mackenzie and BEAM Developers. The students also received oversight from an instructional team to include Studio Coordinator and Head of Architecture Programs, Daniela Deutsch, with Contributing Faculty Joe Bashaw, Amin Espandiari, Julio Medina, Tom Mulica, and Goyo Ortiz.

“The Integrated Design Studio for Fourth Year’s is the most comprehensive project in NewSchool’s undergraduate program because we challenge students with real projects and complex design that bring together four major architectural concentrations –– construction engineering, architectural design, landscape design and interior design,” says Deustch. “Through direct experience with projects such as the ODOT Blocks, students get to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of integrated design, and are better prepared to enter architectural practice that is defined by complex relationships throughout the community.”

“We had an opportunity to engage diverse thinking from this group of students to offer some truly unique concepts for ODOT Blocks. These students, some of whom worked on this project from abroad, had the ability to team with our design practitioners and brought perspectives from all over the world. It was a pleasure to see what they integrated into their design process thinking.” says Dietrich Wieland, President of Mackenzie. “We at Mackenzie are very pleased with the results of their work and know that this world is gaining a great next generation of architects and designers.”

“This project is the perfect example of an integrative, interdisciplinary and comprehensive learning experience where students have been exposed to a real-life project of a high degree of complexity and have been able to interface with the widest array of stakeholders and experts who helped them to frame the problem and produce their designs. This is the kind of education we strive for at NewSchool,” explains NewSchool Dean of the School of Design, Elena Pacenti, Ph.D.

The most recent concepts, contracted through Prosper Portland for redevelopment, were master planned and created by Portland-based developer, Beam Development, and included designers Hacker Architects, Mackenzie, and Colas Construction. The project is currently postponed by the city.


To see Top NewSchool project designs of Portland’s ODOT Blocks, visit this link.

About NewSchool of Architecture & Design

Located in San Diego’s design district, NewSchool of Architecture & Design prepares students for career success in design fields with an emphasis on human-centered design, including interdisciplinary and global design skills, industry collaborations, and real-world projects. Programs include architecture, construction management, product design, graphic design & interactive media, and interior architecture & design. NewSchool is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission and offers Bachelor and Master of Architecture programs, accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). NewSchool prepares students to successfully work in global and diverse organizations. For more information, visit or email NewSchool Marketing:  


About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is an integrated design firm for the built environment, offering specialized services across a range of disciplines, including architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, structural, civil and traffic engineering, and land use and transportation planning. From studies and assessments to technical challenges and innovative solutions, Mackenzie’s expertise goes deep. Design driven and client focused, collaborative partnerships are integral to Mackenzie’s approach. The firm proudly advocates for their clients to ensure every project achieves its goals and is delivered with the highest level of service. Mackenzie is in Portland, OR, Seattle, and Vancouver, WA. For more information, visit

Follow along with Mackenzie on Instagram @mcknzedesign, Facebook @mcknze, Twitter @MCKNZEdesign and LinkedIn.


Contact Information:

Grady Britton





NewSchool of Architecture & Design is deeply saddened to announce that student Stephen Marucut, passed away unexpectedly in April 2021. Marucut is survived by his three beloved daughters, for whom he was the primary caregiver.

“I would like to remember and celebrate Stephen for the beautiful person he was and for his passion for design,” remarks NewSchool Dean, School of Design, Elena Pacenti, Ph.D. “His kindness, intelligence, care, and talent have made an impact at NewSchool, among his classmates, all faculty, and staff. He is missed dearly, and he will always be remembered as a shining star and a model for his peers. I feel fortunate to have met Stephen and wish for his daughters to keep the courage and strength to achieve their dreams in their lives.”

Miti Aiello, NewSchool Assistant Professor, Undergraduate Architecture, explains: “I am profoundly saddened at the news of Stephen’s passing. He touched my life and the lives of the First-Year students in the four quarters we shared in indelible ways. His kindness and the beauty of his work will not be forgotten… I am in awe of the love he put in everything he did.”

Marucut was working toward his Bachelor of Interior Architecture & Design and planned to graduate in 2023. Interestingly, before his time at NewSchool, Marucut already had a 20-year career in training and management under his belt. He was an inspirational student, creative talent, and mentor to many at NewSchool and beyond.

In a 2020 interview with NewSchool, Stephen explained why he chose to study Interior Architecture & Design: “Art, drawing, and creativity interested me at a young age. In my pre-teens, I would attempt to recreate Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” and “The Last Supper.” I was fascinated with its hidden geometry. This fascination also led me to drawing figures and scenes from Greek and Roman mythology. I would hand draw the “Parthenon, Temple the Athena.” As I drew more buildings, I became interested in how the Greeks and Romans designed their architecture. I was intrigued with how the people used these spaces in those times. My fascination then led me to Frank Lloyd Wright’s design of “Fallingwater” in Pennsylvania. The concrete limestone-concrete home entwined with the waterfall made the piece marriage of nature and Wright’s vision and philosophy. Frank Lloyd Wright’s interiors were also linear and made use of the interior space and natural materials available in the area. Fast forward to current my current inspiration, the late Dame Zaha Hadid. Her fluid and curvature style, which also incorporates functional abstract interior spaces in her designs. She is one of many designers that inspire me to push my own creativity in Architectural Interior Design.”

In the same interview, Marucut said his favorite part about attending NewSchool was “the studio classes that invoke…creativity.” When asked for his advice to incoming NewSchool students, Marucut implored: “Know what you want. Believe in yourself. Focus and go for it. Keep like-minded people in your circle. Work!”

Stephen Marucut is and will continue to be sorely missed by the NewSchool community.


Memorial & Art Show

The Marucut family invites all to join his virtual Memorial & Art Show on Saturday, May 29, 2021, at 12:30 PM PDT. Please register at:


Support Stephen Marucut’s Family

A GoFundMe site has been established to support the Marucut family. You can donate and leave messages to show your support and help remember Stephen:


View some of Stephen’s NewSchool Interior Architecture & Design Work

  • Stephen’s Favorite First Year Interior Architecture & Design Class Project, Cheeky Bastard Ales: click here
  • New English Brewery Axes & Gardens: click here
  • Second Building Proposal on the Stahl Home Site Case Study #22: click here
  • Sketch Notes – Early & Late Modern Design: click here
  • Sketch Notes: click here

NewSchool Names Melina Aluwi ‘Alumni of the Year’

SAN DIEGO – March 9, 2021 – NewSchool of Architecture & Design (NewSchool) is proud to name Melina Aluwi (’10) its 2020 Alumni of the Year Award recipient.

Since graduating from NewSchool in 2010 with her Master’s in Architecture, Melina Aluwi has continuously given back to the San Diego Community. Aluwi, an award-winning architecture and design leader, has served and volunteered for many local professional organizations. She has also worked for several prominent San Diego architecture firms. In her current role as Associate Principal and Higher Education Studio Leader for Harley Ellis Devereaux’s (HED) San Diego office, she is overseeing the development of a multi-phase campus expansion for a private university. Aluwi has also served on NewSchool’s Alumni Advisory Board as the Mentorship Committee Chair and Alumni Board President. She founded NewSchool’s Alumni Mentorship Program and was awarded NewSchool Alumni Mentor of the Year.

Lisa Ganem, NewSchool Director of Career & Alumni Services, explains: “Melina Aluwi received several enthusiastic nominations from Principals and Architects praising her attributes as a designer, contributing as a leader, and engaging through volunteerism.  Most notably, her expertise in environmental performance in developing LEED-Certified projects, her inspirational volunteerism with mentoring Alumni, serving the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE), contributions as a panelist for the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH), and as a founding member of the San Diego Chapter for National Organization of Minority Architects were highlighted and praised. Not only this, but Melina has progressed throughout her career serving as an Architect and Studio Leader for a local boutique firm, Managing Director for LPA Design Studios, and most recently performing in the capacity of Associate Principal for Harley Ellis Devereaux. The roster of educational facilities and community projects she has contributed to is impressive and includes the San Diego Comic-Con Museum, which will open its doors this year. For these reasons, the Alumni Board voted unanimously to move forward with selecting Melina Aluwi as our Alumna of the Year for 2020.”

Neville Willsmore, HED Managing Principal, describes Aluwi’s unique contributions: “She brings a passion for design, commitment to mentorship, and knowledge sharing that is integral to our office culture and growth…Melina exemplifies all of the attributes to which undergraduates and postgraduates in architecture should aspire – the balance of design sensitivity coupled with business and community sensibility is admirable and certainly worthy of wider broadcast through Alumni recognition.”

Aluwi, who received her B.S. in Accounting and a Minor in Architecture from USC in 2005, explains: “NewSchool gave me the opportunity to explore a different path, pursue a passion, and transform it into a career that I love…NewSchool challenged me to push myself beyond my limits and discover what I was capable of achieving.” She mentions “the collaboration and mentorship” with her professors and classmates as her most memorable experience at NewSchool.

For more information about the NewSchool of Architecture & Design Alumni of the Year Award, please contact Jessica Nielsen at

About NewSchool of Architecture & Design:

Located in San Diego’s design district, NewSchool of Architecture & Design prepares students for career success in design fields with an emphasis on human-centered design, including interdisciplinary and global design skills, industry collaborations, and real-world projects. Programs include architecture, construction management, product design, graphic design & interactive media, and interior architecture & design. NewSchool is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission and offers Bachelor and Master of Architecture programs, accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). NewSchool prepares students to successfully work in global and diverse organizations. For more information, visit

International Women’s Day 2021

Bachelor of Architecture ’21
Metropolis Future 100 Award Winner, 2021
2×8 Student Competition, Exhibition and Scholarship Program Selected Participant, 2020

Why should women and girls pursue an education in the fields of architecture, design, or construction management? Why is it important to encourage women and girls?

I think we can all agree that architecture, design, and CM industries are essential and are related to shaping the setup of a living environment. In the architecture field, as we all said, designs should be user-centered. Having the majority of designers being male, there is a lack of viewpoint and opinion regarding female users’ experience in a design. As simple as a restroom design, women and girls would know better about what elements should be included because we are the users. Having women and girls entering these industries, I believe would bring a more considerate and well-rounded design process in general for the industry.

Lucy Campbell

President, Association of Architecture School Librarians (AASL), 2020-2021
Editorial Board, arcCa, 2020

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

A time to celebrate women’s achievements today. But also a time to reflect on the historical fight for women’s rights and representation. We remember the brave women who led those efforts and think about how we can continue their work.


Mackenzie Sims

Master of Architecture 4+2 ’18
GlobeSt Top 50 under 40 Industry Leaders, 2020
Book Publication, “Learning Environments for Creativity,” 2020
San Diego Business Journal 40 Next Top Business Leaders under 40 Finalist, 2020
AIA San Diego Design Award Honoree, 2018

Why should women and girls pursue an education in the fields of architecture, design, or construction management? Why is it important to encourage women and girls?

Women and girls should pursue architecture, design, and construction management because they should pursue anything and everything that ignites their curiosity. This industry is a beautiful combination of skills, knowledge, and creative thinking. Girls and women have immense creative potential and should pursue industries that encourage innovation, creativity, and collaboration.


Tina Royster

Celebrating Four Years at NewSchool, 2021

On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

Don’t be afraid to find mentors and look outside of your career field. Everyone’s journey is unique and valuable.


Senior Academic & International Student Coordinator
Principal Designated School Official for SEVP, 2020

Why should women and girls pursue a career in the fields of architecture, design, or construction management? Why is it important to encourage women and girls?

We can become anything that we set our heart to. There are many successful females in architecture, design, and construction management. I highly encourage females to explore these degrees and make a positive impact in the industry.


Elena Sophia Längle

Master of Science in Architecture ‘19
Lecturer on Architecture & Light, 2020

What woman inspires you and why?

As a passionate diver & free diver – and an underwater world lover – I have always admired the marine biologist, Dr. Sylvia Earle. She dedicated her whole life to research a field which was at that time dominated by men. Her persistence and courage allowed her to reach what she intended to.


Elena Pacenti

Dean, School of Design
Advisory Board, San Diego Design Week, 2020-2021
Board of Directors, Design Forward Alliance, 2017-2020

What do you believe will be the biggest challenge for the next generation of female architects, designers, and construction managers?

The risk of discrimination is always present, not only against gender, but also ethnicity, culture, and creativity (change) itself. But I’m optimistic, and I see in the challenges of these times the opportunity of making big changes, for the good. I always recommend my students to focus on their knowledge and skills and on their ability to discern what makes sense for society at large. In the next generation of designers, the “why” we design will lead the “what” and “how.” 


Prisca Bermudez

Director of Academic Advising & Student Success
Promoted to Director of Academic Advising & Student Success, 2020

On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

You will do great things, it might not always look like what you had envisioned and that’s ok.


Frida Moreno

Bachelor of Arts in Product Design ‘22
Mexican National Prize of Design: Best Conceptual Design, 2019
Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge Tracks Winner, 2019

On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their education?

My message to young women is to never give up on their education. Education is a tool that gives confidence, character and opens possibilities for a better future.

Ashley Wagner

Director of Student Affairs
Promoted to Director of Student Affairs, 2020

What woman inspires you and why?

Personally, my mom has been my biggest inspiration and she continues to inspire me after she lost her battle with cancer. My mom raised my sisters and I in believing that what matters most is love, acceptance, and treating everyone with respect. My mom instilled her values of service before self and equality for all, and I will continue to emulate those values in everything I do moving forward.


daniela deutsch

Head of Architecture Programs & Associate Professor
Promoted to Head of Architecture Programs, 2021
Board, San Diego Green Building Council, 2021
The German Design Award for Excellent Interior Architecture, 2021
AHEAD Europe Award for Hotel Newbuild, 2020

Why should women and girls pursue a career in the fields of architecture, design, construction management? Why is it important to encourage women and girls?

If it’s a calling, pursue it! It’s important to encourage them if they need to remember that women can do any job they want or have an affinity for. More specifically, all these jobs, Architect, Designer, or Construction Manager, offer satisfying careers with creative outputs and gratifying teamwork.


Sofia Medina

Bachelor of Science in Construction Management ’22
Dean’s List, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, and Fall 2020
President’s List, Spring 2020
President’s Award, Winter 2020 and Fall 2020

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a reminder of the progress we have made with gender equality, and the progress that remains to be made. To me, International Women’s Day is about recognizing and honoring the many achievements the women in my life and all women around the world have made. As a woman in Construction, it is important to raise awareness of the need for gender equity. I hope to break the male-dominant stigma that comes along with working in the Construction industry. I strive to overcome any challenges that I face, bring a new perspective, and empower women throughout this industry. I find it inspiring and motivating to see the success of my female colleagues. Being a woman means being strong, hardworking, independent, successful, and capable.


Michele Christopher

Field Representative
Promoted to Field Representative, 2020

What woman inspires you and why?

So, so many…but my first and foremost is my mom who forged her way as a single mother, scholar, and professional, all during a time when society heavily frowned upon female independence. My mom made her own decisions, learned from her mistakes, achieved many personal successes, and never let anything stand in the way of her dreams. Like us all, she is not perfect, yet she is.


Mitra Kanaani

Director of IPAL Program & Level Coordinator for Graduate Integrative Year
Board Member, AIA San Diego, 2021
Elevated to Fellow of American Institute of Architects (FAIA), 2019
Member of NCARB Education Committee, 2017-2020
Published Three Major Publications, 2016, 2020, and 2022

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Do not hesitate to dream high and pursue your dream. Do not give up when encountering obstacles and failures. Failure is inevitable, but giving up is unforgivable.

Daniela Deutsch named Head of Architecture Programs at NewSchool

We are pleased to announce that Daniela Deutsch has been named Head of Architecture Programs at NewSchool.

Daniela has made an impact on a global level within the field of Architecture. She co-founded award-winning Exitecture Architekten, an Architecture firm in Frankfurt, Germany. Daniela is also Principal of Exitecture ArchLab Inc. in San Diego, California. She has also worked as a Project Designer with Schneider and Schumacher in Frankfurt, Germany, and with Westfield Design, Carrier Johnson + Culture, and Ballinger AE in the U.S.

In addition to her impressive Architecture career, Daniela also brings significant teaching experience. She has served as a NewSchool Professor since 2010. Daniela is also NewSchool’s 4th-year level coordinator, where she has led the Integrated Design Studio for the past eight years and coordinated the Environmental Systems Sequence in the Undergraduate Architecture Program. Daniela has also taught at the Woodbury University School of Architecture, San Diego State University, University of California San Diego, University of San Diego, and the Boston Architectural School.

Daniela is a member of San Diego Green Building Council’s board of directors, and she serves as a peer reviewer for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).

Daniela is a graduate of the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, where she received both a Bachelor and a Master of Architecture Degree. 

Daniela explains her vision: “In the role of the Head of the Architecture Department at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design, I want to strike a balance between teaching, research, and practice, so that our students and faculty can function effectively within all three areas. I also would like students to realize that even though technical skills are important in this field, there are other aspects that they need to keep in mind, from representation, conceptual tools to historical and cultural, as well as social and economic aspects. I want them to develop critical thinking skills to understand the key issues within the world of architecture and have informed positions. My greatest hope for our students is that they will become confident designers and big thinkers who work optimistically, provocatively, and creatively.” 

Special Live Presentation & Virtual Exhibit on June 24, 2020: Wetlands Education & Research Center in Mission Bay, San Diego


San Diego, CA (June 18, 2020) — NewSchool of Architecture & Design (NewSchool) has collaborated with the UC San Diego Natural Reserve System to explore visions for a new Wetlands Education and Research Center (WERC) in the northeast corner of Mission Bay.

For the last academic year, 54 fourth year NewSchool Integrated Design Studio students joined in the third quarter by 19 Interior Design students, have been working on everything from master plan and site selection to building design. Their goal is a building that can educate K-12 students in science for the 21st century, serve as a community gathering spot, and promote research to better understand how Mission Bay can contribute to San Diego’s climate resiliency. The students have taken that vision and created iconic buildings with imaginative forms reflective of the surroundings while incorporating cutting edge tools of sustainable building design.

The students’ work was inspired by the current city of San Diego planning process for the De Anza Amendment to the Mission Bay Master Plan.  The students were tasked with selecting a site within the city planning area. They were given input from city planners, staff from the neighboring UCSD Kendall-Frost Marsh, and San Diego Audubon Society staff associated with the ReWild habitat restoration feasibility study.

The San Diego City Council will be deciding on the De Anza plan in the next few years. We hope that the creativity of these young fourth-year architecture students will help decision-makers re-imagine the range of possibilities for increasing public access to Mission Bay and learning more about the preservation and role of this amazing ecosystem in the heart of San Diego.

The studio instructional team is Associate Professor and studio coordinator Daniela Deutsch, and Contributing Faculty includes Amin Espandiari, Denise Homme, Julio Medina, and Tom Mulica. Additionally, students received technical input from the industry.

NewSchool’s Integrated Design Studio consists of studio work and desk-crits, lectures by experts, technical workshops, as well as community meetings and charrettes. The studio also combines landscape design and holistic urban planning with integrated design solutions on the building level and addresses architecture and development, sustainable neighborhoods, and energy-efficient building design. The project’s aim is to develop viable strategies for city communities and revitalization, as well as communicate, via their technical systems, materiality, and programmatic optimization, that architecture is capable to address current social and ecological challenges and deliver innovative solutions.

Learn more about this exciting student and industry collaboration at a special selected projects presentation on June 24th via Microsoft Teams, including a Virtual Space Exhibits part of NewSchool’s 2020 GradShow event. (See below for event details.)

WHEN: Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 1:00 PM, via Microsoft Teams Link: CLICK HERE

“The confluence of four major architectural concentrations makes this project especially unique, including landscape design, architectural design, interior design, and construction engineering. Also, this year, we are welcoming a group of 19 interior design students from our own Interior Design Department,” said NewSchool Associate Professor and 4th year studio coordinator Daniela Deutsch. “While these topics often remain part of specialized programs or elective studios, our philosophy is that they must be treated as equally relevant and opened to discussion and research for each student of architecture in an accredited program before they finish their diploma. In our program, the goal is achieved by developing an integrated design approach in the framework of a mandatory Integrated Design Project.”

“A century ago, Mission Bay included 4000 acres of wetlands. Kendall-Frost Marsh is the last remaining 1% of this habitat Mission Bay. It is vital that we both understand and protect these wetlands.  The Wetlands Education and Research Center will do just that. We tasked the students with designing a space that will facilitate research on climate change and sea-level rise, educate students of all ages about how the natural environment can strengthen our climate resiliency, and give the public access to this unique wetland habitat. The NewSchool students have designed inventive buildings that reflect this mission and are glorious to behold. Any of these buildings the students have proposed would turn San Diego into a climate science destination – a place with forward-thinking science & education in an iconic building, a place where art and science meet.” – Heather Henter, Executive Director, UC Natural Reserve System.

NewSchool’s Head of Architecture Programs, Leonard Zegarski, explains: “The landscape architect Ian McHarg recognized the powerful connections humans have with nature in his book Design with Nature, published in 1969. His approach to environmental design was the guiding force for NewSchool students in developing regenerative design responses to the natural and man-made systems of Mission Bay. Their proposals recognize the bioregional forces at play by responding with passive and active strategies intended to preserve and sustain the health and well-being of this critical biotic community in the urbanized heart of San Diego.

“This project is the perfect example of an integrative, interdisciplinary and comprehensive learning experience where students have been exposed to a real life project of a high degree of complexity, and have been able to interface with the widest array of stakeholders and experts who helped them to frame the problem and produce their designs. This is the kind of education we strive for at NewSchool,” explains NewSchool Dean of the School of Design, Elena Pacenti, Ph.D.

“The WERC project was a great opportunity for students to work shoulder to shoulder with Academics, AEC Professionals, Politicians and Environmental Experts for the most important cause we have today, addressing the fragile and symbiotic relationship between the built and natural environment”, stated Brett Tullis, Principal with Sillman Wright Architects and Adjunct Professor at NewSchool of Architecture & Design.

“The Wetlands Education and Research Center project is a terrific collaborative endeavor. Professional experience is coming together with creative student enthusiasm on the most critical environmental concerns of our time. During the project evaluations, I wonder who is learning more. Ideas spark dialogue and vice versa in this energetic group. A dynamic balance of pragmatism and passion is seen in all the projects facilitated by a well-organized academic framework. I have no doubt that the resulting explorations will have an impact beyond the participation!” – Michael Hoffman is an Architect and Associate Vice President at the international design firm of CannonDesign. He has been a leader in design for over thirty years in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Additionally, he has advised at NewSchool of Architecture & Design and Woodbury.

The complete collaborative team this year, consists of:

  • NewSchool of Architecture & Design students and faculty, including Daniela Deutsch, Amin Espandiari, Denise Homme, Julio Medina, and Tom Mulica.
  • UC San Diego Natural Reserve System
  • National Audubon Society
  • The City of San Diego Planning Department
  • KPFF Consulting Engineering
  • EB Energy & Water
  • ASLA – San Diego American Society of Landscape Architects


About NewSchool of Architecture & Design

Located in San Diego’s design district, NewSchool of Architecture & Design prepares students for career success in design fields with an emphasis on human-centered design, including interdisciplinary and global design skills, industry collaborations, and real-world projects. NewSchool offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture and construction management as well as undergraduate degrees in product design, graphic design & interactive media, and interior architecture & design. NewSchool is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission. NewSchool’s Bachelor and Master of Architecture programs are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). NewSchool prepares students to successfully work in global and diverse organizations. For more information, visit

Jessica Nielsen
NewSchool of Architecture & Design

About UC San Diego Natural Reserve System

The UC San Diego Natural Reserve System is a network of 41 undeveloped and protected lands across the state that are set aside for research, education, and public service.  One of those reserves is the Kendall-Frost Marsh, which neighbors the planning area of the De Anza Amendment to the Mission Bay Master Plan. Marshes like Kendall-Frost provide untold benefit to the community by buffering shorelines from floods, purifying water, sequestering carbon, and providing habitat for both endangered and commercial species. For more information, please visit

Heather Henter
UC Natural Reserve System

Message About George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery

June 1, 2020

Dear NewSchool Campus Community,

As we reflect upon the recent tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with their loved ones. We mourn with them, with their communities, and with our country, and we join in the condemnation of the bigotry, violence, and ignorance that led to these horrific events. We must all come together to find the dignity and resolve to confront these issues now, and NewSchool will be a part of the solution.

As a community that is human-centered by design, our commitment is to ensure that everyone feels safe, respected, and welcome – that they know they belong and matter. We support the dignity and respect of all people, and our diversity is our greatest strength.

We realize that this statement cannot even begin to heal the hurt and trauma caused by structural and systemic racism and discrimination. We pledge to work together for a more equitable, just, and humane society.

With deep respect and in solidarity,

Interim President & CAO

Remembering President Malecha

5/21/20 Update

A virtual funeral service will be held for Marvin J. Malecha on Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 10:00 AM PDT. All are welcome to attend. You can join the service live via this link:

San Diego, CA (May 7, 2020) — NewSchool of Architecture & Design (NewSchool) is deeply saddened to announce that beloved President and Chief Academic Officer, Marvin J. Malecha, FAIA, DPACSA, passed away on May 4, 2020, following a battle with his health. He was 70 years old. President Malecha is survived by his dear wife, Cindy, his two children, Peter and Michelle, and his granddaughter, Chloe.

“NewSchool and the design community at large has lost a shining star. Marvin’s belief that design can, and should, change the world for better will forever inspire us to forge deeper connections between design and the human experience,” said Yen Ha, architect and founding principal of Front Studio, New York, as well as a former chair and an active member of the Board of Directors for NewSchool.

A giant in architecture, Malecha served as NewSchool President and Chief Academic Officer from January 2016 to May 2020. Before assuming this position, Malecha served as a member of the NewSchool Board of Directors from 2010-2017. Malecha infused the NewSchool culture with his passion for teaching design inquiry, where he inspired students and colleagues alike with his notion, “It’s a golden moment when you begin to see things that don’t yet exist.” His presence at NewSchool was magnetic. Malecha will be remembered for encouraging students to follow their dreams, his captivating, humorous stories, his charismatic yet approachable leadership sensitivity, his affinity for sketching, and his keen sense of style and taste.

“Marvin is leaving a profound, indelible mark not only in the identity of NewSchool but in all of us who have had the honor of working with him, with his enlightening, gentle and elegant spirit,” remembers Elena Pacenti, Ph.D., Dean, School of Design at NewSchool. Pacenti points out: “As a strong advocate of design, Marvin has given us the strength and the motivation to pursue the creation of innovative and interdisciplinary curricula and projects, and transferred to faculty and students that enthusiasm and pride of being designers, and the confidence that as designers we can contribute to the creation of a better world.”

Another of Malecha’s colleagues and friends, Leonard Zegarski, NewSchool’s Head of Architecture Programs, explains: “Marvin brought a very special sensitivity to design thinking, one that was focused on the human experience. His book, Being Creative: Being a Creative, represents his extremely personalized account of becoming “human-centered by design,” his architectural design mantra, and a belief he carried throughout his career as an architect and educator.”

Malecha recognized and celebrated the importance of architecture and design, insisting: “As architects and designers, we have such a special way of seeing the world. What we do is valuable to the rest of the world—we need to be aware of that as an architecture profession. When I was AIA National president, I saw this passion for the future of our culture, cities, and environment. We should promote that and be proud of that. The people who enter these professions want to make the world better and enhance people’s lives. It isn’t really architecture until people live and work in it. It’s not really architecture until those lives are improved somehow. That’s my fundamental commitment to what I’m doing.”

Malecha spent the past four and a half decades in higher education. Prior to his presidency at NewSchool, he served as the Dean of the College of Design at North Carolina State University from 1994-2015. Before that, he was Dean of the College of Environmental Design at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, for more than a decade. “I have been fortunate to be positioned as a leader during an incredibly vital period in history. Through these many experiences I have come to consider design thought as the essential foundation of the design disciplines and the essential ingredient of innovation. It is design inquiry that places the design professional in a position that is crucial to the future of our culture,” said Malecha in an interview in 2016.

A graduate of the University of Minnesota and Harvard University and a practicing architect and professor, Malecha also held the roles of Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and a Distinguished Professor of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) during his tenure with NewSchool.  Malecha served in many other national positions, including AIA National President in 2009, and President of the ACSA in 1989-1990. In 2012 and 2013, he served as the Chancellor of the College of Distinguished Professors of the ACSA. His work received national recognition, most notably the AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion for excellence in architectural education and the AIA North Carolina F. Carter Williams Gold Medal for Architecture. In July of 2015, Dean Malecha was conferred with the honorific title of Professor Honoris Causa by Ion Mincu University in Bucharest, Romania. Marvin Malecha is the only American architectural educator to be designated as an honorary member of the European Association of Architectural Educators.

Malecha’s legacy will shine eternally through the many treasures he left behind. In addition to Being Creative: Being a Creative, he authored many other books covering the topics of architecture, design inquiry, and teaching pedagogies. Malecha’s 2018 lecture, Believing in the Teaching of Design, explores his newest book, To Profess, “Proclaiming with passion, affirming a life of reflection.” The lecture explores Malecha’s philosophy of “thinking, doing, reflecting, and teaching, derived from a lifetime of experiences.” Malecha also produced an array of incredible sketches over the years, some of which are included in his published books. And, some of Malecha’s product, jewelry, and furniture designs can be accessed here. This video was created when Malecha assumed the role of President and Chief Academic Office in 2016, and his bio is available here on the NewSchool website.

NewSchool would like to extend sincere gratitude for the outpouring of support from the design and higher education communities that Marvin touched, both near and far. NewSchool’s deepest sympathies are with the Malecha family at this very difficult time.

Please visit Marvin Malecha’s Tribute page and share your memories here.

If you would like to share your condolences with the family, greeting cards and flowers are welcomed and can be sent to:

The Malecha Family
1262 Kettner Blvd.
Unit 506
San Diego, CA 92101

You can also share your thoughts and well-wishes below.

Previous Update: 5/5/20

Marvin Self Sketch at Athens Acropolis From Being Creative Book

Self-Sketch at the Athens Acropolis from Being Creative: Being a Creative | Marvin Malecha

Marvin's Golden Moment Quote

Marvin Malecha

Forbidden City, Beijing, China | Marvin Malecha

Forbidden City, Beijing, China | Marvin Malecha

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre | Marvin Malecha
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre | Marvin Malecha

Marvin Malecha

NewSchool Update: COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Information

Update: January 7, 2022

We are looking forward to the start of the winter quarter on Monday, January 10, 2022.  As we closely monitor Covid-19 cases, our plan is to continue with in-person learning for the winter quarter.  We recognize that many of you have travelled throughout the winter break and want to be sure NewSchool students abide by all health and wellness protocols to keep our community as safe as possible.

Campus Health and Safety Guidelines:

  • All students on campus are required to always wear a mask indoors.  This includes classrooms, common areas, and campus services.  Masks are available on campus.
  • Students are encouraged to wipe down their workspace at the beginning of the class. Sanitizing stations are available outside of the classroom for their convenience.
  • Multi-stall restrooms remain single-use restrooms to reduce risk in more confined spaces.
  • Temperature check stations are located at the front of the Hang Ten and Main Building to enhance safety measures on campus.

Campus hours are from 7:30am-10:00pm, daily.  Students will not be permitted to remain inside the building after 10:00pm.  Below are the hours of operation for several campus services.


Technology Core:

Monday-Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm

Materials Lab

Monday/Wednesday/Friday- 10:00am-4:00pm

Tuesday/Thursday- 12:00-8:00pm


Monday-Thursday- 9:00am-9:00pm

Friday- 9:00am-6:30pm


If you are not feeling well or are experiencing Covid-related symptoms, please remain at home and contact your instructors prior to the start of your class.  Students that test positive for COVID-19 must notify Kimberly Sievert, Manager of President’s Operations immediately at or 619-684-8781.  Further information regarding quarantine requirements will be provided.

Students that do not abide by the health and safety guidelines will be subject to disciplinary sanctions through violation of the student code of conduct.  All campus policies are available in the Academic Catalog and Student Handbook

We encourage all students to get the Covid-19 vaccine and booster.  Information regarding the vaccine and booster is available at

Please continue checking your NewSchool email account regularly. This continues to be our primary means of communication for all campus updates.


Covid Flowchart Jan 2022

Information About COVID-19:

Detailed information about the Coronavirus, how it is transmitted, how to protect against it, and areas to avoid travel is available at the following websites:

Previous Updates:

Click here for Wellness Tips

Click here for Student Online Learning Resources

Click here to Explore NewSchool Virtually

Information Regarding the NewSchool of Architecture & Design Transfer of Ownership to Ambow NSAD, Inc.

The Board of Directors of NewSchool of Architecture & Design and its parent Laureate Education, Inc. agreed to the transfer of ownership of NewSchool to Ambow NSAD, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Ambow Education Holding, Ltd. This acquisition, which is contingent on regulatory approvals and other conditions precedent, is expected to be completed prior to the end of the year.

Under this agreement, NewSchool will retain its same name and will continue to offer NewSchool’s same classes and degree programs in architecture, construction management, product design, graphic design and interactive media, and interior architecture and design. The intent is to preserve NewSchool’s reputation and rich institutional legacy in architecture and design.

Ambow Education Holding Ltd. ( is a provider of educational and career enhancement services in China with an existing U.S. institution, Bay State College in Boston, Massachusetts, which it successfully acquired in 2017.

The NewSchool Board of Directors is pleased with Ambow’s interest in NewSchool and in enriching student opportunities through geographic and programmatic expansion. This change of ownership provides a very good next step forward for the continued success of our students, and the entire NewSchool community. We are pleased that Ambow intends to seek new opportunities for expansion of programs and locations for NewSchool.


NewSchool of Architecture & Design Board of Directors

Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions.