Deborah Berke named J.M. Hoppin Professor of Architecture

Deborah Berke
Deborah Berke (Photo by Winnie Au)

Berke, an accomplished architect, educator, and dean of the Yale School of Architecture, has been appointed the J.M. Hoppin Professor of Architecture, effective July 1, 2022.

Berke has been the Yale School of Architecture dean since 2016.

Her expertise ranges from preservation and adaptation of historic buildings to urban landscape and sustainability. In her professional practice she designs private residences, hotels, residential and commercial developments, and institutional art and music buildings, including the renovation and expansion project that created the Yale School of Art’s Holcombe T. Green, Jr. Hall.

She is the founder of the New York-based architecture firm Deborah Berke Partners, whose most significant works are the Cummins Distribution Headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia, the Lewis International Center at the Harvard Law School, the University of Pennsylvania Meeting and Guest House, and the new residential colleges at Princeton University. The firm also designed the home of NXTHVN, a not-for-profit arts and community incubator founded by artist Titus Kaphar in New Haven’s Dixwell neighborhood

In 2012, Berke was the inaugural recipient of the Berkeley-Rupp Prize at the University of California at Berkeley, which is given to an architect who has advanced the position of women in the profession and whose work emphasizes a commitment to sustainability and the community. In 2022, she received the AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion, the highest honor in architectural education that reflects the recipient’s commitment to service to the profession, academy, and society.

As dean, she has led efforts to broaden the range of cultural and professional backgrounds represented in the School of Architecture’s faculty and student body, and forged collaborations with other schools and departments on campus. She has recruited top-flight faculty, more than doubled financial aid (increasing it from $3.5 million to $8.5 million), and created a new undergraduate major in urban studies that bridges multiple disciplines. She also supported the establishment of the Yale Center for Ecosystems in Architecture — a multi-field effort to develop a sustainable built environment — and the Regenerative Building Lab, a program that teaches students design and building techniques that reduce a structure’s environmental impact during construction and throughout its existence.

Berke is a board member of the James Howell Foundation, a member of the board of directors of Yaddo, and advisor to the Norman Foster Foundation. She was a founder and vice president of DesignNYC, a founding trustee of the Design Trust for Public Space, a trustee of the National Building Museum, chair of the board of advisors of the Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University, a trustee of the Brearley School, and vice president of the AIA New York Chapter. She currently serves as a member of the Pritzker Architecture Prize jury and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Before she was appointed dean, Berke served as an adjunct professor of architectural design at Yale. She has also taught at the University of Maryland, the University of Miami, the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of California-Berkeley, and the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies.

She is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and The City College of New York.