Eric J. Cesal has been appointed as the Director of the Sustainable Environmental Design (SED) major at the College of Environmental Design. In this capacity, he will advise students and in collaboration with the SED Education Committee, oversee academic affairs, curriculum, and co-curricular events and activities. Cesal is also a Lecturer in the Department of Architecture, where he teaches an undergraduate design studio and a graduate seminar on disaster and resilience.
In addition to his roles at CED, Cesal also serves as the Special Projects Director for the Curry Stone Foundation, a U.S. non-profit which seeks to support and empower community-driven social impact design. There, he also hosts Social Design Insights, a weekly podcast with the leading voices of the public interest design movement.
A designer, writer, and noted post-disaster expert, Cesal led Architecture for Humanity’s post-disaster programs from 2010 to 2014, working on post-disaster construction projects after the Haiti earthquake, the Great East Japan Tsunami, and Superstorm Sandy. He has been interviewed widely on the subjects of disaster and resilience by publications such as The New Yorker, Architectural Record, Architect Magazine, Foreign Policy Magazine and Monocle.
Cesal's formal training is as an architect, with international development, economics and foreign policy among his areas of expertise. He holds advanced degrees in Architecture and Construction Management, as well as an M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. He has written about the links between architecture’s chronic economic misfortunes with its failure to prioritize urgent social issues -- Down Detour Road, An Architect in Search of Practice (MIT Press, 2010) — and is currently working on a new book about how foreign and economic policies of the developed nations incite and aggravate the conditions that lead to catastrophic disasters.
Photo credit: Shayan Asgharnia