NewSchool of Architecture & Design (NewSchool) recognized architect Jorge Zapata as its Alumnus of the Year during its annual convocation ceremony on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Zapata was recognized for his body of architectural and design work, and for his leadership in starting his own New York-based firm.
Zapata is co-founder of Diad Architecture in New York City, a full-service architecture firm that works on projects ranging from cultural, residential and commercial buildings to product and furniture design. As managing director, Zapata oversees client relations, office operations, and directs projects from conception through habitation. He closely oversees all aspects of design, balancing the pragmatic considerations of construction and the pursuit of ideas.
“I have very fond memories of when I studied at NewSchool of Architecture & Design and I am very grateful for the education I received,” said Zapata. “My time there as a student consolidated my passion for architecture, a passion which I am continually trying to nurture. I believe the foundation I received at NewSchool, through the teachers and friends I met there, as well as the learning environment that we as students were surrounded with, kept me true to my passion.”
Zapata graduated from NewSchool in 1995 with a degree in architecture, previously receiving a Diplôme de Langue et de Culture Françaises (language and art history) at L’Université Catholique de L’Ouest in Angers, France. He went on to attend Yale School of Architecture, where he was awarded the Charles O. Matcham Scholarship upon graduating with a master’s degree in architecture. Zapata has been invited as guest juror to various design studios at the New York Institute of Technology, New Jersey Institute of Technology and has taught architecture related courses at the PRATT Center for Continuing and Professional Studies.
“Architecture teachers consider themselves fortunate if they get to teach just a handful of truly good designers in their careers, and Jorge Zapata was one of those students,” said Kurt Hunker, director of graduate programs and chair of the graduate program in architecture at NewSchool. “Jorge’s projects, such as the Kent Avenue Arts Center, opening in January 2017, as well as the Seaside House, demonstrate his natural, innate, seemingly effortless talent as a designer of exceptional buildings.”