Bold Chapter

There are two major developments at Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS), which oversees its School of Architecture + Design.

Ed Dorsa, IDSA, (shown in the photo on the right) is retiring after a 30-year career in design education. He served as chair of the Industrial Design program, associate professor and faculty advisor to the IDSA Student Chapter at Virginia Tech.  He will speak on "Educated Guesses in Design Education," on Aug. 16, 2017 at the IDSA/Eastman Innovation Lab Education Symposium in Atlanta. Dorsa also taught design at Iowa State, Virginia Commonwealth and Arizona State universities. "And with the exception of the administrative BS, it has all been a blast," he tells IDSA, adding that while he'll miss the daily contact with students and colleagues, he expects to see many of them in the future, as he indulges in what he describes as his three favorite pastimes: traveling, taking pictures and drinking beer.

Dorsa served as education VP on IDSA’s Board of Directors and as an IDSA International Design Excellence Awards juror. His writings appeared in IDSA’s INNOVATION magazine. Dorsa also served on the Commission on Accreditation for the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
In 2006, he was named one of the "Most Admired ID Design Educators" by DesignIntelligence.

Meanwhile, CAUS will have a new dean in the new school year. Richard Blythe (shown in the photo on the left) is an award-winning architect and educator with more than 25 years in higher education and architectural practice. The former professor and dean of RMIT University School of Architecture and Design in Melbourne, Australia, becomes dean on Oct. 10, succeeding Jack Davis, who will step down to teach after 11 years of leadership.

"It’s a privilege to join a college with an outstanding legacy of global service and innovation in art, architecture, construction, design, public policy and international affairs,” says Blythe. “I’m excited to support Virginia Tech’s visionary leadership and the world-class people and partners of CAUS to write the next bold chapter in our history."

A founding director of the architecture firm TERROIR in 1999, Blythe continues to contribute to the practice. He is a visiting research professor at Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland. Blythe earned a PhD in design/practice-based research from RMIT University; a master of architecture from the University of Melbourne; and bachelor’s degrees in architecture and environment design from the Tasmanian State Institute of Technology.