Women at City College:
A Fifty Year Anniversary Exhibit
online exhibitions
M. Rosaria Piomelli

M. Rosaria Piomelli
Professor of Architecture
First Woman Dean of a School of Architecture in the U.S.

Born in Naples, Italy, on October 24, 1937, Professor Piomelli was educated at the Instituto d’Arte (B.A. 1954) and Accedemia d’Arte (M.A. 1955) on Naples, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B. Arch. 1960). In the 1960s and 1970s she worked at various architects’ offices in Italy, New York, and the Netherlands, including I.M. Pei and Partners from 1971 to 1974 as a project architect. In 1974 she opened her own office in New York City.

From 1971 to 1976 Professor Piomelli taught at City College of New York School of Architecture as Adjunct Associate Professor, and from 1974 to 1979 taught at the Pratt Institute, where she served as Chair of the Faculty from 1976 to 1979. In 1979 she returned to CCNY School of Architecture as a Distinguished Professor, and was appointed Dean of the CCNY School of Architecture in 1980, becoming the first woman to hold a deanship of any school of architecture in the U.S. In 1984 she was Visiting Distinguished Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, returning to her current position as Professor at CCNY in 1985.

Professor Piomelli has spent much of her career promoting the work of women in architecture. In 1974, as director of the Equal Opportunity Committee for the American Institute of Architects, she organized an exhibit of women architects’ work. This exhibit generated a great amount of interest in the standing of women in the profession. She served as a member of the Board of Advisors for the International Archive of Women in Architecture from 1985 to 1995.

Professor Piomelli earned her professional licensure in New York in 1969 and became a member of the American Institute of Architects in 1970. She has served as Commissioner of the Schools of Architecture Committee of the New York City AIA chapter and Director of the New York City AIA Executive Committee.

Publications by Professor Piomelli include “Canary Wharf: London in the Third Millennium” in the March 1991 issue of Zodiac and as translator (from English to Italian) for Jan Gehl’s Vitta in Citta (1992). Publications about her include information about her work in Susana Torre’s Women in American Architecture (1977) and Insegnare L’Architettura, by M. Vegeto (1994).