School of Architecture College of Design

John Comazzi, Associate Professor

John Comazzi

Associate Professor of Architecture

Affiliate Faculty in Landscape Architecture

E-mail: jcomazzi@umn.edu

Telephone: 612.626.0501

BIO

John Comazzi is an Associate Professor of Architecture in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, and was the Director of the undergraduate B.S. Degree Program (Major in Architecture) from 2012 - 2015.  He received a B.S. in Architecture from the University of Virginia and a Master of Architecture and M.S. in Architectural History and Theory from the University of Michigan.  He taught at the University of Michigan as a Lecturer in Architecture (1999-2006) before joining the faculty at the University of Minnesota in Fall 2006.

He has practiced in architecture and planning firms in the Washington D.C. area and Michigan, and is a founding partner of Design-CRED in Minnesota, founded in 2006.

His areas of research and scholarship focus on: architecture photography, mid-century Modern architecture and design, design theory and criticsm, design-build, and active learning environments for PK-12 education. He is the author of the first monograph on Balthazar Korab, one of the most prolific and celebrated architecture photographers of the Modern era (Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography, Princeton Architectural Press, 2012).

Professor Comazzi is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO), and serves his department as the Faculty Councilor to the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

 

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Architecture Theory and Criticism
  • Architecture Photography
  • Mid-century Modern Architecture and Design
  • Design Pedagogy and Representation
  • Active Learning Environments for PK-12 Educaiton
  • Critical Practices in Architecture and Urbanism

COURSES

  • ARCH 5250: Design-Build - Learning Through Makin
  • ARCH 5411: Principles of Architecture Theory
  • ARCH 8299: Graduate Masters Final Project - Thesis
  • ARCH 2281: Design Fundamentals 2
  • ARCH 5650: Public Interest Design: Tanzania
  • Graduate Research Seminars
  • Undergraduate Design Studios

EDUCATION

University of Michigan - Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

  • Master of Science in Architectural History and Theory

    Thesis: (re)Moving History: The Statue Park of Socialist Statuary in Budapest, Hungary

  • Master of Architecture

    Thesis: In-sight to In-site: Architecture as Optical Device

University of Virginia - School of Architecture

  • Bachelor of Science in Architecture

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

  • design-CRED, Minneapolis, MN – Founder, 2006-present
  • Wilkins + Comazzi design, LLC, Ann Arbor, MI – Founding Partner, 2002 – 2006
  • PLY Architecture + Design, Ann Arbor, MI – Principal, 2000 – 2002
  • David W. Osler, Architect, Ann Arbor, MI – Architectural Intern, 1999 – 2000
  • Cooper Carry and Associates, Alexandria, VA – Intern Designer, 1996
  • CHK Architects and Planners, Silver Spring, MD – Intern Designer, 1995-96
  • Lessard Architectural Group, Vienna, Virginia – Intern Designer, 1994-1995

PUBLICATIONS (selected)

  • The Miller House and Gardens: A Biography of Modern Living (working title), under contract with anticipated release date in 2018.
  • Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography, Princeton Architectural Press, 2012 (author)
  • “Balthazar Korab: Photographing Michigan’s Modern Legacy,” in Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America, Gibbs Smith Publishers. Publication forthcoming in Fall 2016.

  • "Material Science," Architecture Minnesota, vol. 40, no. 01, Jan|Feb 2014, pp. 40-45, 52
  • "Passages: Balthazar Korab (1926-2012)," in Art Forum, April 23, 2013
  • "Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography," Architecture Minnesota, vol. 38, no. 05, Sept|Oct 2012, pp. 42-47, 56, 59.
  • "Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography," Modernism Magazine, vol. 15, no. 03, Fall 2012, pp. 34-43.
  • “Balthazar Korab,” EXIT No. 36 Architecture: The Professional View, November 2009, pp. 96-101.
  • “Performance and Architecture: A Review of the Walker Art Center and the Tyrone Guthrie Theater,” in Journal of Architectural Education: Performance/Architecture, Vol. 61, Issue 04, May 2008, pp. 131-135
  • “Photography Matters: Balthazar Korab’s Legacy in the Saarinen Office,” The Place of Research / The Research of Place: The Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) and the European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE) 2010 International Conference on Architectural Research, June 23-26, 2010, Washington, DC. 
  • “Change Over Time: The J. Irwin Miller House in the Photography of Balthazar Korab,” Where Do You Stand: 2011 ACSA Proceedings, Peréz-Goméz, Cormier, and Pedret, eds., March 3-6, 2011
  • “(re) Moving History: A Monumental Predicament in Budapest Hungary,” MONU-Magazine on Urbanism #5: Brutal Urbanism, Kassel Germany: University of Kassel, July, 2006.
  • “Ply Architecture: Four’s Company,” by Kevin Lerner, Architectural Record Magazine, Archrecord2: For the Emerging Architect, August 2002
  • “Future Loop: Teaching Feedback in the Design Studio” with Gretchen Wilkins, 306090, Princeton Architectural Press, 2002.
  • “Balthazar Korab: A Career of Seeing the City," Dimensions 12: Journal of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan, 1998

FUNDED RESEARCH (selected)

  • "The Miller House and Gardens: A Biography of Modern Living” $7,500.  Production Grant to Individuals, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, 2016
  • "Heritage Lab Learning Pavilions," $100,000. Funded by State of Minnesota-Clean Water, Land and Legacy Program; Anoka County Parks and Recreation; YMCA-Greater Twin Cities; and Connexus Energy. Role: Project Director and Principal Investigator, 2015 - 2016.
  • "Design-Build Workshop," $9500. Funded by the School of Architecture Seed Grant, 2015-16
  • “The Miller House: A Model of Collaborative Design,” $5,000.  Funded by the Imagine Fund: Arts & Humanities Faculty Awards, University of Minnesota, 2014
  • “The Miller House: A Model of Collaborative Design,” $22,194.  Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship, University of Minnesota, 2014
  • “Design Lab for Educators.” $31,135. Funded by the College of Design - Faculty Research and Outreach Grants and the College Readiness Consortium – University of Minnesota; Role: Project Director and Principal Investigator; with Kristen Murray (Research Assistant) and Molly Gordon, PhD. (program evaluator). 2012-13
  • “Design Lab for Educators.” $5,000. Funded by the Imagine Fund: Arts & Humanities Faculty Awards, University of Minnesota. Role: Project Director and Principal Investigator, 2012
  • “Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography” $7,500.  Production Grant to Individuals, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, 2011
  • “Balthazar Korab: Architecture, Photography, and the Human Condition” $5,000.  Imagine Fund: Arts & Humanities Faculty Awards, University of Minnesota, 2010
  • “Design for Education: Developing a Framework for College Readiness,” $25,100.  College Readiness Consortium, University of Minnesota, 2010-11
  • “Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography,” $7,000.  Faculty Research Grant, Metropolitan Design Center, University of Minnesota, 2010
  • “Balthazar Korab: Traveling Exhibition” $4,000.  Imagine Fund: Arts & Humanities Faculty Awards, University of Minnesota, 2009
  • “Design Camp for Educators,” $25,000.  National Endowment for the Arts – Access to Artistic Excellence Grant.  Role: Project Director (with W. Friedmeyer, Project Coordinator)
  • “Summer Design Lab: Teaching through Design,” $10,000.  Design Institute Grants for Exceptional Innovation, College of Design, University of Minnesota, 2009
  • “Inflected Modernism: The Architectural Photography of Balthazar Korab,” $3,000.  Imagine Fund: Arts & Humanities Faculty Awards, University of Minnesota, 2009
  • “Design Camp for Educators 2008,” $9,000.  Edina Public School System and Highlands Elementary PTA (with Wendy Friedmeyer, Jamie Johansen and Peter Hodne)
  • “Parallel Play-Design + Education,” $20,000.  College of Design: New Initiatives Funding, University of Minnesota (with Janet Abrams and Wendy Friedmeyer), 2007-08
  • “School Buildings-The State of Affairs,” $7,500.  SHARE-Boston (Swiss House for Advanced Research and Education).  Consulate of Switzerland, Boston, MA, 2007
  • “The Architectural Eye of Balthazar Korab,” $6,000.  Dayton Hudson Faculty Fellowship, Metropolitan Design Center, University of Minnesota, 2007-08
  • “The Projective Eye of Balthazar Korab,” $11,600.  Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship, University of Minnesota, awarded January, 2008

AWARDS AND HONORS

  • Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography named one of nine "Best Architecture Books of 2012," The Guardian UK, 2012
  • Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography named one of 20 "Michigan Notable Books of 2012," State Library of Michigan, 2012
  • First Place, Portland Water Tower Redesign Competition, Portland, OR.  First place in open, international design competition for the redesign of decommissioned water towers in Portland (with G. Wilkins), 2011
  • Outstanding Faculty Outreach Award.  College of Design, University of Minnesota, 2011
  • Faculty Fellow – College Readiness Consortium, University of Minnesota, 2010 – 11.  Research Topic: “Design for Education: Developing a Framework for College Readiness.”  
  • AIA Architectural Education Award: “Remediation as Urban Catalyst: A Collaborative Reworking of post-Industrial Landscapes,” (with Lance Neckar and Vince deBritto), 2009
  • AIA Architectural Education Award: “An Incomplete Curriculum for Change” (with Renee Cheng, Ritu Bhatt, Ozayr Saloojee and Marc Swackhamer), 2008

EXHIBITIONS

  • “Inflected Modernism: Architecture Through the Lens of Balthazar Korab,” The Dallas Center for Architecture, Sept 25 - Dec 03, 2015. Role: Curator and author of exhibition text.
  • “Inflected Modernism: The Architecture Photography of Balthazar Korab,” The Cliff Dwellers Club of Chicago, June 24 - July 26, 2014. Role: Curator and author of exhibition text.
  • “Circumstantial Evidence: Italy Through the Lens of Balthazar Korab,” HGA Gallery – University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, Oct 2012 – Jan 2013. Role: Co-curator and author of exhibition text.
  • “Modernism at Risk / Michigan Matters,” Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Ann Arbor, MI, March 16–April 20, 2011.  An exhibition organized by the University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and the World Monuments Fund (WMF).  Role: Contributor to exhibition content on the photography of Balthazar Korab, 2011
  • “Balthazar Korab & Eero Saarinen,” Virka Galleria, Helsinki, Finland, March – April, 2010.  Role: Contributed exhibition content on the photography of Balthazar Korab and assisted with curatorial image selection.
  • “Inflected Modernism: The Architecture Photography of Balthazar Korab,” University of Wisconsin, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Milwaukee, WI, Jan 29 – Feb 27, 2010.  Role: Curator and author of exhibition content.
  • “The Saarinen Legacy: Photographs by Balthazar Korab,” Minneapolis Central Public Library, Minneapolis, MN, October 6 – November 23, 2008. Role:  Co-curator (with Balthazar and Christian Korab) and exhibition designer (with Adam Jarvi).

 

Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography

(Princeton Architectural Press, 2012)

 

Design-Build: UMN Architecture Front Office

(w/ Marc Swackhamer)

 

Design-build coffee bar (w/ G. Wilkins)

 

Media Center, TCAUP (w/ G. Wilkins)

 

House renovation, Ann Arbor (w/ G. Wilkins)

 

House addition, Ann Arbor (w/ G. Wilkins)

 

Design-build: Korab-Saarinen Exhibition, 2008

(w/ Adam Jarvi)

 

Design-build, Univ. Michigan (w/G. Wilkins)

 

Design-build, Ann Arbor (w/G. Wilkins)

 

House Addition, Windsor (w/ G. Wilkins)

 

1250 Lofts, Ann Arbor (w/PLY Architecture)

Office-Apts, Ann Arbor (w/PLY Architecture)

SITE MAP
School of Architecture
145 Rapson Hall
89 Church Street
Minneapolis, MN 55455

612-624-7866
Fax: 612-624-5743

Email: archinfo@umn.edu

Contact Information

College of Design

Saint Paul Offices

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P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-1922

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Minneapolis Offices

101 Rapson Hall, 89 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-7525

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