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Towers, Joel

Joel   Towers

Executive Dean of Parsons The New School for Design

Executive Dean

Office Location:

Sheila Johnson Design Center
  • Email:

  • JOEL EDWIN TOWERS is the Executive Dean of Parsons The New School For Design. From 2007-2009 Towers was the Dean of the School of Design Strategies [SDS] at Parsons and Associate Professor of Architecture and Sustainable Design at Parsons. SDS houses Parsons' programs in Design and Management, Foundation, Integrated Design, as well as new initiatives in environmental and sustainable design, urban design, and transdisciplinary design.Towers was the first Director of the Tishman Environment and Design Center [TED] at The New School and the Associate Provost for Environmental Studies at the university. TED supports the new university-wide BA and BS Environmental Studies degrees and is unique in its approach to design-led research in tandem with historical and social inquiry, placing an emphasis on innovation within the context of cultural, economic, and ecological factors. Towers first came to Parsons in 2002 as the Director of Sustainable Design and Urban Ecology. Towers is a founding partner [1992] of SR+T Architects. He received a B.S. in Architecture from the University of Michigan School of Architecture and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University. Towers' focus on ecological issues and their relationship to both design conceptualization and construction methodology underlies his theoretical research and his teaching. It is also central in the work of SR+T. Towers was previously a member of the faculty of the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University where he taught advanced architecture and urban design studios and developed and taught a seminar exploring critical ecologies and environmentally reflexive architecture.

    Research Interests:

    architecture, sustainable design, transdisciplinary design, urban design, urban ecologies

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