Graduate Admissions

Ryosuke Imaeda

Ryosuke Imaeda

MSD-AAD'16

How did you find your current job?
I was invited by the dean of the school to join the school as a lecturer. With great support from many teachers I had at Penn, I was able to get the current position at RPI.

What kind of work are you doing?
I have been teaching at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, School of Architecture as a lecturer. I teach a first year studio and an elective course for senior and final year students. I am also an assistant professor at Nagoya Institute of Technology in Japan in summer, where I teach third year studios, bachelor theses, and master researches.

What attracted you to the firm or job?
I have been always interested in teaching as much as pursuing my own design practice. Before coming to Penn, I worked for Reiser + Umemoto in NY for three years - both Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto are renowned architects, and at the same time, great professors at many schools. Seeing them teaching many design studios, I became intrigued by the way in which they explored new domains of architectural designs. After graduating from Penn, I held part-time teaching positions at a few schools in the United States. The experience helped me sharpen my teaching approach, and now I have my studios to teach, where I work together with students to develop their ideas as well as my own knowledge, techniques, and visions - that I think is the most attracting part of my job.

How did your education at PennDesign prepare you for your current tasks?
I believe teaching jobs require a wide spectrum of knowledge, insight, and communication skills, which should never cease to develop in the career path. One of the current tasks I have is to start unfolding this sphere, and to do so, many strong words from my teachers and colleagues at Penn helped me build the foundation. They echo in my thoughts and keep reminding of discovering new ideas together with my students.

Are there specific courses and instructors that influenced you philosophically?
Among many great courses and teachers that I had, I think that the first design studio was probably the most influential - I still cannot forget about the incessant endeavors for every-week reviews and the achievements in the end. The studio was taught by Ali Rahim, Ferda Kolatan, Robert Neumayr, Nate Hume, four part-time lecturers, and four graduate assistants. It was the largest teaching crew that I had ever seen. The studio was particularly demanding, with numerous comments given and wide range of ideas introduced every week. But I still recall most of the advices, and they resonate with the way I teach my students now.

Any top moment(s) of your education here?
It would be too easy to say that the time I graduated from Penn with distinction tops my school life at Penn. I would rather say, in retrospect, that the times I discussed designs, philosophies, and pedagogies with my colleagues were the most valuable moments. Most of us in the group have teaching jobs now and we are still very close friends!

What’s next?
Seeing the future is a difficult mission, even for the short term. There are many steps that I can vaguely picture, but my goal in a five-year range from now would be to finish constructing something that I designed. I believe that design practice always centers in my career and I need to advance my career in both practice and academia.

Are you keeping in touch with others from your class/the Penn community?
Yes, very often! Not only do I keep in touch with my classmates from AAD studio, I see many MArch colleagues, with whom I had great discussions in the school and did part-time teaching jobs together. Many of us now teach in schools and we invite each other to our own studio reviews!

Any words of advice for prospective students?
School is always an exciting place to learn, but when you notice, it is already half way through, or even about to graduate, especially in MSD program. Many people say "time flies," but to me, the phrase sounds a little irresponsible for what you actually did. At the end of the school life, I would rather become able to talk about not only the final achievements, but also each moment in which you learned something from your professors, traveled with your friends, or even made a terrible mistake. With all the moments deeply carved, time in school should never fly so easily. School is such a dense place with invaluable resources, which will shape you in a unique way and hint at a successful career path!