“When I look at the work of someone like Frank Gehry, I see a sculptor who was hired for an architecture project,” says José DeJesús Zamora, assistant professor in the School of Design Strategies at Parsons. “It’s promising when the most imposing names in architecture incorporate a sense of sculptural beauty into their work. The sculptor’s influence lets me be creative and use nontraditional methods when working with Parsons students.”
A healthy disrespect for design orthodoxy—the boundaries that separate drawing from sculpture and sculpture from architecture—has benefited DeJesús Zamora throughout his career. Although his childhood in Puerto Rico was consumed with life drawing, DeJesús Zamora spent many years working in New York City as an architect, allowing his passion for order and process to flourish. Returning to school for an MFA in sculpture, DeJesús Zamora immediately sensed how an architect’s approach would inform his work, an understanding he now brings to students in the classes he teaches in the School of Design Strategies. DeJesús Zamora joined Parsons’ faculty in 1999 and now collaborates with colleagues who combine architecture, urban design, and digital media in innovative ways that that show artists and designers how disciplines can complement one another.
“Drawing is more a way of teaching students to slow down and look more carefully. Then they bring the richness of their own visual experience. The product of this exercise is as much intellectual as it is aesthetic—maybe even more so.”