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Julian Bonder

Associate Professor of Architecture
School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation

“If it’s Tuesday, it must be Belgium.”

Internationally in-demand faculty member Julian Bonder can certainly relate – he has delivered the keynote addresses at the Fourth Annual Human Rights Conference in Lima, Peru, and the Babi Yar Park Memorial in Denver, Col. (both within days of each other), all the while managing his design studio in Cambridge, Mass., working on his award-winning Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery in Nantes, France, and teaching courses at RWU!

A descendent of Ukrainian immigrants who escaped the Holocaust by moving to Argentina, Professor Bonder grew up in New York and Buenos Aires and held teaching positions around the world before coming to RWU in 1999. A 2008 RWU Presidential Fellow, his work and scholarship focused on the relationship between memory, trauma and public space: “The site always has a story to tell,” he says, “and our task is to unearth those stories and bring the voices of those who are silenced to the public space.”

As a result of the fellowship, Professor Bonder’s advanced design studio explored issues of slavery and slave trading in Rhode Island over two semesters, culminating in a public exhibition in spring 2009. “Part of my approach to teaching is to always expect more from my students, raise the bar to the highest level and be supportive,” he says. “I look at my students as young colleagues, so I expect the level of commitment and dedication to the work to be equal.”