March 18, 2024 Sandy Attia of MoDusArchitects to Give 2024 General Shale Lecture

MoDusArchitects Principal and Co-Founder Sandy Attia will deliver the college’s 2024 General Shale lecture. Since the 1990s, the General Shale Lecture has allowed the college to bring Pritzker Prize-winners and stand-out design pioneers to further the public’s awareness and appreciation of architecture and design. Attia’s talk, The Life of Buildings, will cover the after-construction life of a building, focusing on a handful of projects using wood, concrete and masonry.

“We are excited to have Sandy Attia share the work of MoDusArchitects with our community,” said Dean Jason Young. “Their work is materially rich, well crafted, and thoughtful in its approach to what are very interesting cultural projects. Attia is a smart researcher, talented designer, and skillful educator. I believe her lecture will appeal equally to professionals and students, and to designers from all of the college’s disciplines, as she will tell the stories behind their beautiful work, while sharing the firm’s approach and process.”

The college will host a reception beginning at 4 p.m. prior to the lecture at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, in the McCarty Auditorium of Art + Architecture.

Sandy Attia

Attia was born in Cairo, Egypt, raised in Kuwait. She earned her bachelor’s at the University of Virginia and her master’s in architecture from Harvard University before establishing her Italian-based practice with Matteo Scagnol in 2000.

The firm is distinguished by a heterogeneous approach to the field of architecture that combines the founding partners’ two different cultural and formative backgrounds into one platform for bold architectural design and research. Their completed projects range in scale from infrastructure, to buildings, to objects within the buildings, and include public, institutional and private commissions.

Their recently completed Fieldhouse project was nominated for the 2024 EU Mies Award and received several national awards in 2023. The firm has additional been recognized with the honorable mention for the Medaglia d’Oro all’Architettura Italiana in 2015 and 2012, the Oderzo first prize in 2014, first prize in the International Piranesi Award in 2014, and the special jury prize in the 2013 edition of the Italian Architect of the Year award.

MoDusArchitects’ work has been included in four editions of the Venice Architecture Biennale and was highlighted in the Triennale di Milano exhibition on Infrastructure in 2012. In 2013, the studio was invited to present a project for the Energy exhibition at Rome’s MAXXI museum and in 2015 MoDusArchitects was one of the ten offices invited by the Ministry of Culture to put together a curatorial proposal for the Italian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, 2016 edition.

In recent years, the practice has gone on to complete a number of critically acclaimed projects, including the high-altitude Mountain Lodge in Lappago, the Psychiatric Center in Bolzano, the Bressanone-Varna Ring Road, the Scholastic Complex in Bolzano, the Kostner House and Studio in Castelrotto, and the Office Headquarters of Damiani Holz&Ko in Bressanone, all located in the South Tyrol region of Italy. Subsequent to a series of national and international accolades, several new projects with a wider geographic reach are currently underway, marking a shift in their scope of work.

The practice’s consolidated and award-winning body of built work is complemented by a number of publications and research-based projects including Attia’s co-authored book Progettare scuole tra Pedagogia e Architetettura (Designing Schools, Between Pedagogy and Architecture).

Attia has held faculty positions at US institutions, such as the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, Princeton University’s School of Architecture and at the University of Virginia, School of Architecture, and in Italy at the Polytechnic University of Milan and University of Trento. She has curated publications and exhibitions on school design and has participated as a jury member for several school design competitions. She is frequently invited as a speaker and workshop participant at national and international conferences and seminars on the subject.