A noted international architect with interests in logistics and urbanism, Jesse LeCavalier, has been appointed assistant professor in NJIT’s College of Architecture and Design. His talents will join those of more than 20 new faculty members to add momentum to NJIT’s strategic plan for making a major impact on the quality of life in the 21st century. This interdisciplinary initiative is focused on three vital areas: convergent life science and engineering, “digital everyware” — ubiquitous computing — and sustainable systems.The women and men joining NJIT to serve a growing student body bring expertise that spans diverse supporting clusters. These include advanced manufacturing, architecture design and construction, big data, biochemistry, business systems, material science and engineering, and sensing and control.
“NJIT’s academic status and interdisciplinary strategy have attracted people at various stages of their careers, and who offer NJIT both distinctive abilities and new resources,” says Provost Ian Gatley. “Enthusiasm for NJIT’s interdisciplinary commitment was apparent during the search process. Everyone interviewed spoke about how the problems they work on are inherently interdisciplinary, how they like to work on teams, how they look forward to collaborating with colleagues across disciplines.”
Donald Sebastian, NJIT’s senior vice president for research and development, emphasizes that connecting with real-world issues is at the heart of expectations for a technological research university. “Academic disciplines are the core of the university and the framework for learning. However, their alignment with industries of the future is not as obvious as with those sectors that have prevailed over the last century. Our strategic research thrusts are designed to make those 21st-century connections explicit.” Convergent life science and engineering, digital everyware and sustainable systems — themes that transcend departments or colleges — shaped NJIT’s hiring plan, he adds.
Most recently, LeCavalier was a Poiesis Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University and a senior researcher at the Future Cities Laboratory as part of the Singapore-ETH Center for Global Environmental Sustainability. His current work investigates the spatial consequences of Walmart’s logistics operations, some of which has appeared design journals like Arch+, AD, and MAS Context. His article, "All Those Numbers: Logistics, Territory, and Walmart," which appeared in the May 24, 2010 issue of Design Observer: Places, was named by the Atlantic as one of "Nearly 100 Fantastic Pieces of Journalism" in 2011.
LeCavalier has a Doctor of Science from the ETH Zurich, a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University. He is a co-author, with John Harwood and Guillaume Mojon, of the publication This Will _ This (Standpunkte, 2009) and has contributed to the collections Infrastructure as Architecture (Jovis Verlag, 2010), Cities of Change: Addis Ababa (Birkhäuser, 2009) and Deviations: Designing Architecture (Birkhäuser, 2008). He is also is a member of Co+LeCavalier, a design studio concerned with transforming everyday life at a range of scales, including furniture, buildings, and urban design.
In 2010-11 he was the Walter B. Sanders Fellow at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning where he taught design studios and research seminars. He spent three years teaching foundational design at the ETH Zurich and has also taught studios at Temple University Rome, Oberlin College, and American University of Sharjah. His professional experience includes two years at agps.architecture in Los Angeles, where he was involved with the design of the Portland Aerial Tram and the city’s new Children’s Museum.