Jim Bassett is named director of Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture, Arts, and Design

Virginia Tech announced this week that Jim Bassett will stand as their new director for the School of Architecture, Arts, and Design. Bassett has served in the role of interim director since August of 2022 and has worked as an associate professor of architecture for the school. Now in this full-time leadership position, Bassett will continue to engage his strengths alongside students and faculty on campus.

Bassett’s official appointment succeeds that of Aaron Betsky who was named director of the school in 2020. It also follows the recent appointment of Tsai Lu Liu as dean of the College of Architecture, Arts, and Design. Liu assumed the new role in July 2023.

Bassett holds a Master of Architecture from South California Institute of Architecture and a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture from North Carolina State University’s School of Design. Bassett has since worked on projects and studies both solo and alongside Paola Zellner, longtime design partner and fellow associate professor at Virginia Tech, in their practice Zellner + Bassett. Bassett previously held worked professionally with Roto Architects, Frank Gehry and Associates, and Richard Meier and Partners.

Bassett’s work concentrates on architectural design and its critical attention to detail, as evidenced in the work viewed in his solo exhibition Chichén Itzá and the Contextual Mean, where he created a study on tourism and design. Bassett originally started working as an associate professor for Virginia Tech back in 2008, after extensive work and community involvement, he started climbing up the college ladder.

Virginia Tech has stated that Bassett’s presence has helped through a time of transition. “The restructuring of the college has revealed opportunities for new collaborations, but it has also given us the chance to rethink existing relationships and to make them stronger,” said Bassett. In his new permanent role as director Basset hopes to expand the global reputation and impact of the college. 

“My objective is to fortify the foundations of the school while integrating fresh perspectives from individuals who share our appreciation and commitment to architecture, experimentation, community, and the education of architects,” Bassett added. “The universitys dedication to Virginia Tech Advantage and Virginia Tech Global Distinction serves as a source of inspiration, presenting numerous avenues for us to play a pivotal role in realizing these strategic objectives while ever strengthening our school.”

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