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Ashley Schafer, RA

  • Professor, Architecture Section
273 Knowlton Hall

Ashley Schafer is a Professor and the Graduate Chair of the Architecture section at the Knowlton School. Previously, Schafer taught at Harvard's Graduate School of Design and Tulane University. She received her undergraduate degree in architecture from the University of Virginia and her master in architectures from Columbia University where she was awarded the William Kinne Traveling Fellowship.  Schafer is a writer, designer, and practicing architect who has lectured and been published internationally.

Schafer is also co-founder and one of the editors of Praxis: a journal of writing + building, which has established itself as a distinctive voice in international architectural culture and a forum that bridges the gap between theory and practice. PRAXIS has received numerous awards and honors, including an I.D. award in 2003, and was twice awarded the largest grant in design from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Recent Work


OfficeUS, the competition winning proposal for an installation at the US Pavilion at la Biennale di Architettura 2014, presented a global history of the architecture office while mapping aspirations for its future. A live, working office surrounded by a library of one thousand projects realized by US offices abroad between 1914 and 2014, OfficeUS situates and re-imagines the operations of US architectural firms and their global impact.

The reconsideration of these projects — unfolding on the premises of the US Pavilion over the course of the Venice Biennale — demands that the knowledge contained in the archive be evaluated in the context of contemporary wisdom on the successes and failures of the projects in question. Revisiting one hundred years of US architecture’s global production in conditions that are decidedly different from those in which the projects were initially conceived opens it to engagement and “ownership” by a vast and heterogeneous audience. As much as this archaeology demands historical self-consciousness from contemporary production — highlighting the extent to which our present is the inevitable outcome of the histories examined by OfficeUS — the six months of the live reactivation of the archive will project alternative futures out of its material.