alan balfour

Curriculum Vita

Published works::

Creating a Scottish Parliament (with David McCrone) Finley Brown, Edinburgh, 2005.

Shanghai: World City Academy Editions/J. Wiley and Son, New York, 2002

New York: World City Academy Editions/J. Wiley and Son, New York, 2001

Berlin: World City Academy Editions London, and Ernst & Sohn, Berlin, 1995.
Winner of the AIA International Book Award, 1997

Recovering Landscape edited with James Corner, Princeton Architectural Press, Princeton, spring 1999

Contributions to Cities of Artificial Excavation: The Work of Peter Eisenman 1978-1988 CCA Montreal, Rizzoli International Publications, New York 1994.

Contributions to The Edge of the Millennium Whitney Library of Design, New York 1993.

Berlin: The Politics of Order, 1737- 1989 Rizzoli, New York 1990.
Winner of the AIA International Book Award, 1991

Contributions to Contemporary Architects St. Martins Press, New York 1984, revised 1987.

Architectural Education Study MIT, Boston 1981 editor).

Rockefeller Center: Architecture as Theater McGraw-Hill, New York 1978.

Portsmouth Studio Vista, London 1970.

Contributions to Breakthrough to the Hudson Ottinger Foundation, New York 1964.

Essays in recent years have appeared in the Harvard GSD News and the Graz publication MDA, Dokumente zur Architektur 7 and the Journal of Architectural Education (JAE). His Harvard studio from 1996 was published in Studio Works 4 approaches.
From 1991 -1995 Balfour was publisher and had overall editorial responsibility for AA Publications, he also led the editorial board of AA Files.
He has served on the editorial boards of JAE, Cite, and was chairman of the board of the Atlanta based arts magazine, Art Papers.

Positions held::
July 2008 –
Professor and Dean College of Architecture
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia

July 1995 – June 2008
Professor and Dean, School of Architecture
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
Troy, New York
At Rensselaer Balfour:
- Led the Institute in the creation of an Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center.
- Substantially renewed the facilities including the developing graphics modeling and visualization labs.
- Begun an undergraduate exchange and cross-disciplinary program with Tongji University in Shanghai
- Rebuilt the undergraduate faculty
- Developed and strengthened the Lighting Research Center (LRC), the nation's preeminent center for both basic and industry supported research on lighting
- Building on the example of the LRC established a Doctoral Degree in Architectural Sciences, developed out of new post professional masters degrees in the fields of Architectural Acoustics, Building Conservation, Built Ecology, and Lighting
- This led in 2008 to the creation of CASE – the Center for Science and Ecology a joint research center between Skidmore Owings and Merrill and the School of Architecture at Rensselaer.

July 1991 - June 1995
Architectural Association School of Architecture
London, England
Every administrative position Balfour has held has called for creative and strategic development, but never more so than in the last ten years in Rensselaer and at the AA. The AA is of particular interest because it is one of the few private schools of architecture in Britain that is wholly fee driven, (high fees by UK standards). When he arrived enrolment had been declining for several years and it was viewed as having become stale. Its' renewal depended on it seeming once again to be the most fertile setting for architectural experiment. The task he faced was to renew a culture of brilliant originality and creativity that had defined the character of the school from the late 60's and 70's. This led to repositioning and renewing the faculty and academic programs.
At the Architectural Association he:
- Halted the decline in enrollment and resolved an inherited debt of $1.5 million
- Established the Graduate Design program
- Replaced more than 50% of the teaching faculty, with such designers as Ben Van Berkel. Alejandro Zeara-Polo, Farshid Moussavi, Don Bates, theorist Jeffrey Kipnis came to establish the Graduate Design, and philosopher Mark Cousins greatly enhanced the Doctoral program in History and Theory.
Staff was renewed and many aspects of what remains a program without a formal curriculum were revised; workshop facilities were overhauled and re-equipped, a computer lab. established

July 1989 - June 1991
Smith Professor and Dean, School of Architecture Rice University, Houston, Texas

September 1978 - June 1988
Professor and Director of Programs in Architecture Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

1974 - 1978
Research Associate and Lecturer in Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Boston, Mass.


With Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia;
1985-1987: Berlin and the Modern Project: (National Endowment for the Arts, Design Arts Grant $ 9,000)
1985-1986: Tunisia, Technology Transfer Project, Academy for Educational Development $ 30,000. (Established the structure for an interrelated curricula between Georgia Tech and ITAU, Institute Technologie, Architecture et Urbanisme in Tunis.)

With MIT, Cambridge, Mass.:
1975-1977: Architecture Education Study, Andrew W Mellon Foundation $350,000. (Objective was to develop a stronger understanding of the character and the significance of architectural education. It produced detailed documentation of studio teaching in a number of schools across the nation, which became the basis for a number of interpretative essays. The project had as its client committee the deans of some of the major East Coast schools of architecture. Balfour acted as research associate and administrative director from 1974 to 1976. Proceedings were published in 1981 in two volumes as the Architectural Education Study.)

With Arthur D Little Cambridge, Mass.:
1974: Solar Climate Control Study for the Desert Research Laboratory, a research facility of the University of Nevada, Fleischmann Foundation, $45,000.
1973-1976: Solar Climate Control Industry Study. (International multi-client study established and structured to evaluate the impact on industry of the widespread application of solar energy to environmental climate control.)
1973: Solar Climate Control Study, Massachusetts Audubon Society $34,000.
1972: Exposition 1976, Philadelphia Bicentennial Corporation $320,000.(Broad based assessment of the feasibility of staging a world exposition on the Delaware River.)
1971-1973: Project Rehab. HUD $ 1,750,000. (Nation-wide program evaluating and analyzing existing operations in inner-city housing rehabilitation, and preparing training materials to encourage the wide adoption of best practice rehabilitation programs.)
1971: Public Housing Management Improvement Program, HUD $800,000. (Increasing tenant participation in the Worcester, Mass. Housing Authority.)
1971: Future Directions: The University Health Center, Pittsburgh $78,000. (Study and recommendations on the coordination of facilities and administration between the five hospitals that comprised the Center.)
1969: British New Towns. (Critical assessment of the major financial and social results of British New


- Throughout his academic life Balfour has taught applied design and lectured on theory, history and criticism.
- In the fall of 1995 Balfour ran an 'options studio' at the Harvard G.S.D., on the subject Spreeinsel Berlin.
- Also in 95 Balfour taught a masters design workshop at the University of Montreal
- Teaching at the AA was divided between seminars in the History and Theory program, which he directed, and as critic at large to the units in the main school. He supervised dissertations on Thomas Jefferson's Library, Guzman Blanco and the formation of Caracas, and Speculation and the Transformation of Atlanta.
- After establishing the masters program at Georgia Tech in 1980 he directed numerous masters' theses. He served on several doctoral committees, examining Georgia Tech's first dissertation in theory, history and criticism.
- In the 70's he was a research faculty at MIT.

Masters Degree in Fine Arts (Architecture) 1965
Princeton University,
Princeton, New Jersey
(Fulbright Scholar)

Diploma in Architecture, 1961
Edinburgh College of Art,
Edinburgh, Scotland
(Edinburgh Silver Medal for Civic Design)

Contact Information::
Alan Balfour, Dean
College of Architecture
Georgia Institute of Technology
245 4th Street Atlanta, Georgia 30332

Phone: 404-894-3880
Fax: 404-894-2678

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