NewSchool of Architecture & Design Names Jorge Zapata as ‘Alumnus of the Year’ for his Body of Architectural Work

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Co-founder of New York’s Diad Architecture is recognized for professional achievement in his field

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Kent Avenue Arts Center by Jorge Zapata with Diad Architecture. The project is under construction but expected completion date is January 2017.

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.

NewSchool of Architecture & Design (NewSchool) awarded architect Jorge Zapata (’95) as its ‘Alumnus of the Year’ during its annual convocation ceremony on Friday, Oct. 9. Zapata is 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.”

About NewSchool of Architecture & Design:

Located in downtown San Diego, NewSchool prepares students for career success in design fields through an emphasis on interdisciplinary and global design skills, industry collaborations and real-world projects. Programs of study include architecture, construction management, product design, media design, game development, and interior architecture & design. The school’s design environment provides inspiration for the school’s students and faculty, recognized for their work regionally and internationally. NewSchool is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission. NewSchool’s Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture and Executive Master of Architecture programs are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). NewSchool is a member of the Laureate International Universities network – a global network of more than 80 campus-based and online universities in 28 countries. Through this network, students at NewSchool are prepared to work in a global and diverse work environment through the school’s collaborations with sister institutions in the Laureate network, including award-winning schools such as Domus Academy in Milan, Italy and Media Design School in Auckland, New Zealand. For more information about Laureate International Universities, visit


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