Aaron Betsky is Director of the School of Architecture & Design at Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University) based in Blacksburg, VA, USA.
He is an acclaimed author and critic on art, architecture, and design.
He was previously Dean of the School of Architecture at Taliesin (formerly Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture), which consists of Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin, USA (2015-20); Director of the Cincinnati Art Museum in Ohio, USA (2006-14), where he oversaw the renovation of the institution’s building and helped to raise USD 80 million.
He was also Director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NIA) in Rotterdam (2001-06); held the post of Commissioner for the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale’s International Architecture Exhibition for three consecutive editions; was the Venice Biennale’s Architecture Director (2008); and curator of architecture and design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1995-2001). He curated the 8th International Architecture Exhibition (2002) and won the Golden Lion for best foreign pavilion; and co-directed the 2015 Shenzhen Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism.
Aaron Betsky graduated from Yale University (1979) with a BA in History, the Arts and Letters and received his Masters of Architecture from Yale School of Architecture (1983).
He is the author of Architecture Matters (Thames & Hudson, 2017); Making it Modern: The History of Modernism in Architecture of Design (Actar, 2016); At Home in Sprawl: Selected Essays on Architecture (RMIT Univ Press, 2012), Out There. Architecture Beyond Building: 11th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia (Marsilio, 2008) and Violated perfection: Architecture and the Fragmentation of the Modern (Rizzoli, 1990). He has also written for The New York Times, Metropolitan Home, Domus, and Artforum. He has written treatises on aesthetics, psychology and human sexuality as they pertain to aspects of architecture. He is one of the main contributors to a spatial interpretation of queer theory.
He has held the Eero Saarinen Chair in Architecture at the University of Michigan and has been a visiting professor at Columbia University, California College of Arts, School of Architecture in Houston, and Southern California Institute of Santa Monica. From 1983 to 1985, he taught at the University of Cincinnati’s School of Architecture and Interior Design, and then until 1987, he worked with Frank O Gehry Associates, Inc.
He is an honorary member of the British Institute of Architects (2004) and has won an award from the American Institute of Architects (2001).
Aaron Betsky was a member of the Global LafargeHolcim Awards jury in 2012.