New Leader for Alberti Program

Anu Samarajiva (MArch17/MUD17), the new assistant director of the Albert Program: Architecture for Young People

Posted by Liz Kramer October 12, 2018

Anu Samarajiva (MArch17/MUD 17) will be the new face managing the Alberti Program: Architecture for Young People beginning in fall 2018. As the assistant director of the Alberti Program, Samarajiva will oversee the program for St. Louis-area children ages 8-15. The Alberti Program, founded in 2007 by then dean Bruce Lindsey and senior lecturer Gay Lorberbaum, has brought hundreds of students to campus to learn about sustainable design through hands-on, two- and three-dimensional projects. The tuition-free program engages WashU architecture students as instructors and mentors to work closely with the diverse participants from across the St. Louis region.

Samarajiva is also a designer at Arbolope Studio in St. Louis. While she was a student in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, she demonstrated her commitment to social change and engagement. She served as a teacher in the Alberti Program in 2014 and a mentor in Design Connection (formerly WashUCity). She was a member of the winning team for the Urban SOS: Fair Share competition, and devoted her thesis to reclaiming space in Botanical Heights for a community center. Her commitment to engaged work predates her time at in St. Louis; she previously worked with Mercy Corps Northwest as an AmeriCorps volunteer, as well as on projects with The Lewin Group to support asset-building for marginalized populations.

“Anu brings together all the threads of the Alberti Program through her experiences and passions. Her deep commitment to St. Louis, her understanding of the architecture and urban design curriculum, and her interdisciplinary background all speak to the vision of the Alberti Program,” said Heather Woofter, director of the College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design.

The Alberti Program is supported by generous partners and donors, including PGAV Destinations and The Divided City: An Urban Humanities Initiative. Samarajiva will work closely with these partners to strengthen relationships and build connections to support the youth participants.

“I am so excited that someone as caring and brilliant as Anu is going to be leading the Alberti Program,” said former director Gay Lorberbaum. “I know the program will continue to blossom with Anu in charge.” Lorberbaum will continue in her teaching roles in the College of Architecture, and hopes to devote more time to her other endeavors. Co-founder and former dean Bruce Lindsey will serve as the program’s faculty advisor, collaborating with Samarajiva on strategy for the program going forward.

Learn more about the Albert Program in this video

For more information about the Alberti Program, visit the program website here>>