Jason Young began his tenure as dean of the College of Architecture and Design in July 2021, after serving as professor and director of the college’s School of Architecture for seven years. Over his 25+ year academic career, he has taught architecture at the University of Tennessee, the University of Michigan, as the 2013 Howard Friedman Visiting Associate Professor of Practice at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Summer Institute for Architecture at The Catholic University of America, and as a Visiting Professor at the Schwerpunkt Holz in Murau, Austria, an international architecture workshop exploring the culture of wood. His academic research explores contemporary conditions of American urbanism in a post-city, digitally organized culture. Young was the 2012-13 Helmet F. Stern Professor in the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities where he worked on a project titled, Skirmishes with the MacroPhenomenal: Letting Go of the City. This research explores franchise space, digital culture, and the emergence of a “database subject,” a new type of urban subject. Young was a contributing co-editor for Stalking Detroit (Barcelona: ACTAR 2001), an anthology of essays, projects, and photographs offering a thick, analytical description of the city of Detroit during the 1990s. Young has lectured on his urbanism research at the Berlage Institute in the Netherlands, the ETH Zurich, the Politecnico di Torino, the Università Luav di Venezia, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of California at Berkeley, among others. Young holds a Master of Architecture from Rice University and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
From 2008 to 2012, Young taught and coordinated the Master of Science Design Research (MS_DR) program at the University of Michigan. A two-semester, post professional program, the MS_DR explored the affiliations between institutions, urban territory, and contemporary digital culture. Students in the program pursued independent design research within a studio and seminar based curriculum that foregrounded cultural and architectural ideation while positing studio engagement as a research protocol. From 2000 to 2010, Young served as the coordinator of the Architecture Thesis Sequence at Michigan, developing the sequence from an option within the graduate curriculum to a requirement for all Master of Architecture candidates.
A licensed Builder, Young was co-founder and partner of WETSU, a design+build practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan from 2000 to 2006. WETSU received an Honorable Mention in ID Magazine’s Design Review in 2001, was recognized by Wallpaper* magazine as one of twenty-five notable emerging practices worldwide in 2003, received an Honor Award from Contract Magazine in 2005, and was awarded a 2006 Michigan AIA Award. In 2006, WETSU also mounted an exhibition of recent projects entitled, Chicken & Fish, at Edge-Studio in Pittsburgh, at the Taubman College Gallery in Ann Arbor, and at the Elmaleh Gallery at the University of Virginia. In 2007, Young initiated YARD, an independent construction studio and design practice. YARD trades size for involvement, and thinks twice about it.