Jorge Otero-Pailos

Director of Historic Preservation, Columbia University
Principal and Founder , Otero-Pailos Studio

Current exhibition "Nothing Stable under Heaven" Image: Otero-Pailos

Nothing Stable under Heaven" Image: Otero-Pailos

Jorge Otero-Pailos

Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018
6 pm - 7:30 pm
Hayes 403

The Ethics of Dust:

Artist, architect, and preservationist Jorge Otero-Pailos, Director of Historic Preservation at Columbia University and Principal and Founder of Otero-Pailos Studio, focuses his work on experimental preservation. His current series "The Ethics of Dust' shows how atmosphere as a cultural and architectural material can generate its own history. His work stands for the idea that existing buildings and monuments can be re-imagined into powerful agents of cultural change through contemporary art and architecture. 

AIA Continuing Education Credits Available: 1 LU

Examples of Work


Jorge Otero-Pailos studied architecture at Cornell University, holds a PhD from MIT, and was a founding faculty member of the School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. Currently, he is a Professor and Director of Historic Preservation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation in New York.

His artworks and public art installations have been commissioned and exhibited by major museums, foundations and biennials notably, the Artangel Trust, the 53rd Venice Art Biennial, Victoria and Albert Museum, Louis Vuitton Museum La Galerie, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Chicago Architecture Biennial in 2017.  His architectural projects range from urban master plans for historic cities, as well as institutional and residential reuse projects. They all involve rethinking the realm of possibilities within the confines of the historic built environment.  

He is the founder and editor of the journal Future Anterior, co-editor of Experimental Preservation (2016), author of Architecture’s Historical Turn (2010) and contributor to scholarly journals and books including the Oxford Encyclopedia of Aesthetics and Rem Koolhaas’ Preservation Is Overtaking Us (2014). 

He is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Puerto Rico, the Academy of Science and Culture of Ibero-America, and has received awards from major art, architecture and preservation organizations including the 2012 the UNESCO Eminent Professional Award, the American Institute of Architects, the Kress Foundation, the Graham Foundation, the Fitch Foundation, and the Canadian Center for Architecture.