We are pleased to announce that Rector Gerald Bast has appointed Sam Jacob as head of the I oA Architectural Design Studio 3, as of October 1, 2023 succeeding Hani Rashid.

Sam Jacob is principal of Sam Jacob Studio for architecture and design, a practice whose work ranges from urban design through architecture, design and art to curatorial projects.

Sam is interested in how architecture and design can take ideas and make them real. Inspired by context, his projects try to embody stories, sensations and feelings in space, form and materials. His projects are striking yet also are full of familiar references, creating places and spaces with character and surprising beauty.

Past projects have included nightclubs, social housing, community centres, parks, TV studios and exhibitions. Recent projects include a new mixed use building in Hoxton, offices for Art Review, exhibition designs for Somerset House and the the V&A’s Cromwell Road entrance. Current projects include the National Collection Centre, public spaces in Belgravia and Covent Garden and the William Morris Gallery.

He has been a professor of architecture at UIC since 2011 and has taught at the University of Hong Kong, Yale, Karlsruhe HfG, ABK Stuttgart, TU Vienna and the AA. His work has been shown at institutions including the Art Institute Chicago, the MAK in Vienna, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Venice Biennale, where he was co-curator of the British Pavilion in 2016. He is a columnist for Art Review and is the author of Make It Real, Architecture as Enactment (Strelka Press, 2012). Previously, Sam was a director of FAT Architecture.

Alongside his professional work, Sam has made t‑shirts and scarves that act as architectural manifestos, designed an opera in a cow shed and interviewed Lou Reed, all in the name of expanding the possibilities of architectural imagination.

At the I oA, Sam’s studio will explore architecture as representation: How it represents (drawing); Who it represents (politics); What it represents (meaning). Architectural media like drawings and models are not innocent. Their techniques contain specific histories of technology and culture. Drawings do more than depict the world as it is. Their internal logics project outwards, organizing the world in particular ways. By questioning how we represent and developing new forms of representation, we can change the ways in which architecture engages with and transforms the world around us. Representation also raises questions about who and what is represented, as well as who and what is excluded. Both with the architectural canon and in the ways that the social scenarios it proposes support participation. Looking beyond the disciplines traditional horizons can ask new questions about who and what can be included. What kinds of hybrid representational ideas might expand architecture’s social and political agency? The studio will ask the question of what architecture itself represents: What, the studio will ask, is architecture really about?