Today the dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture, Steven French, announced that Scott Marble, adjunct associate professor of architecture at Columbia University, will be the new chair of Georgia Tech’s School of Architecture. French hailed Marble as an outstanding designer and innovative educator who will develop a leading curriculum for 21st century architectural education.
With Marble’s appointment, creative collaboration will become the hallmark of the school’s offerings, from the undergraduate degree through the Ph.D. Additionally, Marble’s emphasis on new technologies will address issues of sustainable practice, the increasing importance of big data and new design workflows.
A powerful new identity for architects
According to Marble, the future of his profession relies on a common digital language, integrated building industry workflows and a level of empathy and thought diversity that has never before existed in architecture.
As both a practicing architect and an educator, Marble embraces the change of new and developing technologies. His book Digital Workflows in Architecture: Design, Assembly, Industry (2012) explored the role of technology in the profession, building on the work of his practice and his 20 years of engagement with digital design and technology at Columbia University.
Part of what made the leadership position at Georgia Tech appealing to Marble is that people across the Institute understand technology's great potential for solving problems in new and innovative ways.
He is quick to point out, however, that being technologically savvy isn’t the only necessity for today’s architects. He emphasizes that they must embrace collaborative and interdisciplinary models to successfully expand the landscape of architectural practice.
“It’s typical that an architect is known as a leader of big teams,” he said. “That’s still important to maintain, but I think the next generation is going to be less about the more historical model of the ‘master builder’ and more about what I would refer to as the ‘master collaborator’.”
Diversity is fundamental
Georgia Tech’s unique tradition of interdisciplinary work provides the perfect environment to build an architecture program that is engaged and outward looking, Marble said.
Part of realizing that vision is creating a culture of inclusion that makes open intellectual exchange and respectful debate possible.
“My partner is my wife and we’ve been practicing together for over 20 years. I see it every day, how powerful, diverse views come out through gender difference. It’s fundamental to expanding architecture’s intellectual breadth.”
There is a legacy of gender inequity in architecture, Marble said. While current architecture program enrollments generally show an equal distribution of women and men, there’s a radical falloff in practice.
Producing graduates trained to collaborate and find innovative leadership solutions will be the key to bringing meaningful diversity to architectural practice, he said.
Bridging the industry gap
As chair of the Georgia Tech School of Architecture, Marble will maintain partnership in Marble Fairbanks Architects, an award-winning practice in New York City whose work is a part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
He will also leverage his influential network in the architectural community to support Georgia Tech students here in Atlanta. It’s a plan that Dean French believes will increase the school's national and international impact and reputation.
For nearly thirty years, Marble has had his feet in both the academy and practice, witnessing a growing divide between the two. At Georgia Tech, he aims to establish a strategic and strong connection to industry that will create graduates who can become thought leaders in industry.
Marble received a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Texas A&M University in 1983 and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University in 1986. He is a licensed architect in multiple states and his firm has received numerous recognitions, including awards from The American Institute of Architects and the Chicago Athaneum, as well as being named an “Emerging Voice,” by the Architectural League of New York. Their work has been featured in Architectural Record and Architect magazines, as well as the monograph, Bootstrapping .
Scott Marble appointed new chair of Georgia Tech's School of Architecture. With Marble’s appointment, creative collaboration will become the hallmark of the school’s offerings, from the undergraduate degree through the Ph.D. Additionally, Marble’s emphasis on new technologies will address issues of sustainable practice, the increasing importance of big data and new design workflows.