On November 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM at the Steinberg Hall Auditorium, internationally distinguished architect, Nasrine Seraji delivered the keynote address for the School of Architecture’s symposium on “Women in Architecture: 1974-2014.” The title of her talk was “As a Woman I Have No Country, as a Woman My Country is the World of Architecture.”
Nasrine Seraji was born in 1957 in Tehran, Iran. After studying at the Architectural Association and practicing in London, Seraji moved to Paris in 1989 to establish her studio where architecture is treated as both a cultural debate and a practice. Since then, she has pursued a path constantly enriched by her simultaneous engagement in architectural practice, teaching, and research. She has lectured and exhibited her work widely in Europe and North America, as well as China and South East Asia.
Between 1993 and 2001, Seraji taught at Columbia University in New York, at the Architectural Association in London as Diploma Unit Master, and Princeton University as Visiting Professor. During this time, she also taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna where she directed one of the two architecture Master Schools. Seraji was Professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture at Cornell University from 2001 to 2005. In 2006, she became Dean of the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris-Malaquais (formerly the École des Beaux-Arts) by Presidential and Ministerial appointment. That same year, she returned to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna where she held the position of Professor of Ecology, Sustainability and Conservation, as well as Head of the Institute for Art and Architecture.
Architect of the award-winning Temporary American Center in Paris, Seraji has completed several notable buildings and projects, including apartment buildings in Vienna, student housing in Paris (2003) and an extension to the School of Architecture in Lille (2006), the latter were both nominated for the Mies Van der Rohe Prize. She continues to participate in competitions of varying types and complexities, ranging from urban design master plans and institutional buildings to small houses and installations.
Seraji has been honored with the distinction of “Chevalier” by the French government on a number of occasions. She first received the medal for “Chevalier des Arts et des Letters”from the Minister of Culture in France in 2006 for her role as an architect contributing to excellence in art and humanities. In 2008, she was awarded the medal of “Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite” by Presidential decree. In the same year she was also awarded the “Medaille d’Argent by the French Academy of Architecture” for her contribution to academic endeavors in architecture. Most recently, in July 2011, she received the “Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur”, one of the highest degrees of honor in France.