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Buffalo School Welcomes Four New Architecture Faculty Members

New faculty: (from left to right) Shannon Bassett, Julia Jamrozik, Erkin Özay, Nicholas Rajkovich

By Adam McCullough

Published August 27, 2014

The Buffalo School is pleased to welcome four new architecture faculty members with the start of the 2014-15 academic year. With experience in the practice and academic realm, these new members of the Buffalo School community intersect the disciplines of architecture, urban design and urban planning in their scholarship and teaching. Their research interests range from the relationship of architecture to energy and ecological systems, urban asset distribution practices, and the role of play in public spaces. They also come to the Buffalo School with a shared eagerness to engage the region in their design inquiry.

Omar Khan, associate professor and chair of architecture, said the faculty class is a testament to the draw of the Buffalo School's culture of research and engagement:

"The Department of Architecture continues to see the City of Buffalo as a tremendous asset in the study of architecture, even as we prepare our students for global practice. In our search for new faculty, we were interested in individuals that were exceptional in their area of scholarship but saw the potential of using our context - Buffalo, Lake Erie and the US-Canada border - as part of their teaching and research. We had tremendous interest from applicants from around the world, and we chose four new exceptional faculty members with global experience."

Read on to learn more about our new faculty members, including their thoughts on the Buffalo School, research and design, and opportunities to engage the Buffalo region in their teaching, research and critical practice.

"In our search for new faculty, we were interested in individuals that were exceptional in their area of scholarship but saw the potential of using our context - Buffalo, Lake Erie and the US-Canada border - as part of their teaching and research."


       -  Omar Khan, associate professor and chair of architecture

Shannon Bassett is an architectural and urban designer. She holds an MArch from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design and a BArch from Carleton University in Ottawa. Her research, teaching, writing and practice operate at the intersection of architecture, urban design and ecological systems.

"Buffalo has an incredible post-industrial landscape for its waterfront. It is rich in opportunities for adaptive re-use of its urban landscapes and artifacts, as well as the recovery of its natural landscape and the ecological systems of its water edge through design." 


Julia Jamrozik graduated from the University of Toronto, where she studied both architecture and art history. She also holds an MArch from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Her research interests focus on public space, public buildings and the role of both playfulness and play in shaping these environments. She will begin her teaching and research at the Buffalo School in spring 2015.

"I was drawn by the multidisciplinary approach and focus on research at the Buffalo School. Further, I saw the school as an institution which through its teaching and other activities aims to meaningfully contribute not only to the architectural profession, but also to the regeneration of the city of Buffalo and thus to the broader community."


Erkin Özay is a registered architect and an urbanist. His research focuses on urban asset distribution practices and their spatial impacts on the city, with a particular interest in the design of educational environments. An Aga Khan Fellow (2011-13) at the Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, he has also explored the issues of urban conservation, territorial expansion and transportation infrastructure in the city of Istanbul.

"Especially within the last decade, there has been a discernible uncoupling of architectural and urban research tracks in the academy. I think the Buffalo School is uniquely positioned to bridge this infertile divide, thanks to the multi-faceted research it has fostered, lending it an increased scholarly and disciplinary impact. I am also impressed with the exemplary engagement with the city of Buffalo through its UB Regional Institute and various research projects."


Nicholas Rajkovich, PhD, AIA, focuses his research investigations on the intersection of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and adaptation to climate change. With experience in the practice realm, working to advance the energy efficiency of buildings, Rajkovich also has held a professorship with Cornell University's Department of Architecture. He holds a PhD in urban and regional planning from the University of Michigan, a Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University.

"The Buffalo School is nationally known for its excellent architecture and planning programs...[having a] strong tradition of engaging the local community on design and urban issues...[and] significant support for teaching and research related to sustainability."