Rice University School of Architecture, also known as Rice Architecture, has selected Igor Marjanović as the new William Ward Watkins Dean starting July 2021. A trained architect from Serbia (then Yugoslavia), Marjanović comes from Missouri's Washington University in St. Louis, as the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts’s chair of undergraduate architecture. Previously, he practiced architecture all over the world, from Osnova Projekt in Belgrade to Denise Pontes Arquitetura Interiores in Brazil and OWP/P Architects (CannonDesign) in Chicago, where he focused on new buildings for Chicago Public Schools. 

“I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to join the Rice Architecture faculty, whom I’ve always admired for their distinctly generalist approach that integrates theory and practice and the making of buildings with the making of books,” Marjanović said in a statement. “As a designer and scholar myself, I am inspired by that kind of synthetic thinking, which is so needed in our moment of deep political, social and cultural fragmentation.”

Marjanović’s current work, as principal of ReadyMade Studio alongside Katerina Rüedi Ray, explores immigration, diversity, and globalization, and projects include a community partnership with Ohio’s Sofia Quintero Latino Art and Culture Center, an installation for the Art Institute of Chicago, and an exhibition that traveled from St. Louis’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum to the RISD Museum to Taipei’s Jut Art Museum. 

In 2009, the AIA awarded Marjanović with its Education Honor Award for his Washington University in St. Louis course, Florence: Disegno: Encounters in Public Space, which studied migration, decolonization, and the global refugee crisis. 

He studied at the University of Belgrade and the Moscow Architectural Institute, earned a master’s from University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Ph.D. from the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London. Marjanović will succeed the interim dean, John Casbarian.