It was announced this month that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has welcomed Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, dean of the School of Architecture, into its highly selective and prestigious College of Fellows, making her one of only three percent of AIA’s nearly 100,000 members to receive this enormous distinction.
“In her twelve years of leadership roles and now as dean of the School of Architecture, Ingalill has grown and launched programs that advocate education for everyone,” said Barbara Bestor, a School of Architecture faculty member who was named an AIA Fellow last year. “Ingalill has forged new pathways for students across gender, economic and racial spectrums and made architectural education both exciting and a reality for students and emerging architects.”
Ingalill becomes the sixth Fellow at Woodbury including, Bestor, Jeanine Centuori, Annie Chu, Helena Jubany, and Ronald Altoon. The honor recognizes Ingalill’s commitment to her students, the profession, and the broader discipline of architecture.
Under her tenure, Woodbury’s architecture and interior architecture programs gained national recognition, with each currently ranked 18th and 12th respectively by DesignIntelligence. Woodbury has also been increasingly recognized as a trailblazer for the profession of architecture—improving gender parity and ethnic diversity and reaffirming the importance of ethical conduct and social responsibility within the profession.
In 2009, Ingalill established WUHO Woodbury University’s gallery for experimental installations, and, as director, has produced over 80 exhibitions. According to Barbara Bestor, “Under her directorship, WUHO has become a key force in broadening the way the public views architecture and has a critical role in providing an alternative space for the exhibit of architecture and design. WUHO allows the public access to architectural images and interventions in an effective and populous way and is like no other public institution in Los Angeles.”
“Ingalill has made a measurable impact to the profession in broadening our audience, eschewing elitism for a ground-up approach and making architecture accessible to everyone,” Los Angeles-based architect Angela Brooks said. “Creating something that is larger than her alone is the true definition of leadership and Ingalill epitomizes the ideals of the College of Fellows and is highly deserving of this honor.”
In addition to her role as dean, Ingalill serves as a professor and practicing architect with a teaching career that spans over seventeen years.
“Ingalill dramatically changed my life and helped me develop and flourish into a person I never dreamed I could become,” Woodbury alumnus and practicing architect Ignacio Rodriquez said. “I am only one of the hundreds of students she has helped. She is an incredible role model for me.”
Her leadership and research in the design of the building envelope and the experimental use of glass forms the basis of her teaching and scholarship. She has worked on multiple innovative design projects that have received local and national AIA project awards and international recognition.
“Ingalill stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the finest in our profession,” said Altoon who, also serves as a member of the Woodbury board of trustees. “The university community should applaud this high achievement as it brings further distinction to the already robust and highly acclaimed architecture program.”
Ingalill will be honored at the AIA Conference on Architecture in New York City in June 2018.