Award-winning architect named head of Penn State Department of Architecture

Frank Jacobus

Frank Jacobus, AIA, principal of SILO Architecture, Research and Design (SILO AR+D), has been named head of the Department of Architecture in Penn State's Stuckeman School, College of Arts and Architecture, effective July 1. An architect, designer, artist and educator, he has spent 16 years in higher education, most recently serving as associate department head in the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design (FJSOAD) at the University of Arkansas.

Jacobus' professional design work and creative practice has received national and international attention for its experimental and resourceful approach. His work with SILO has been recognized with numerous publications, exhibitions and design awards, including as an Emerging Voice by The Architectural League of New York (2016), a Next Progressive by Architect Magazine (2018), and AN Interior's list of Top 50 American Architects of 2021. In 2022, SILO was chosen by the Walton Family Foundation for inclusion in its Design Excellence Program that uses design to drive vibrant, inclusive communities by promoting the highest level of design in the development of public buildings and spaces. SILO's work has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Architect, the Architect's Newspaper, Azure, Slate, Dwell, Salon, Fast Company and others.

“Frank Jacobus' broad experience as an award-winning architect, academic administrator and committed educator position him to effectively lead the Department of Architecture with an eye toward the future and how we can continually improve the experience for students,” said B. Stephen Carpenter II, Michael J. and Aimee Rusinko Kakos Dean in the College of Arts and Architecture.

His commitment to openness and innovation will benefit students and faculty alike.” -Dean Carpenter

Jacobus has taught and coordinated all levels of design studio and has led numerous design-build projects in positions at the University of Idaho and the University of Arkansas. In addition to his administrative position at the University of Arkansas FJSOAD, he served as 21st-Century Chair of Construction and Technology, where he led design-build, fabrication and advanced technology initiatives.

Jacobus said he values the College of Arts and Architecture's unique blend of art and design programs. “This strategically positions the college to provide visionary leadership in areas vital to social and environmental progress. It is from this science- and arts-infused foundation that we will serve as a leading national and international voice, responsive to the most important social, environmental, technological and cultural challenges of the 21st century.”

Jacobus' published works include “Archi-Graphic: An Infographic Look at Architecture,” Laurence King (2015); “The Visual Biography of Color,” Oro Editions (2017); “The Making of Things: Modeling Processes and Effects in Architecture,” Routledge (2021); “Architectonics and Parametric Thinking,” Routledge (2023, forthcoming); and “Artificial.Intelligent.Architecture,” ORO Editions (2023, forthcoming).

According to Jacobus, the role of department head is a design position. “I tend to operate along the lines of an idea I learned from David Epstein in his book 'Range': we know who we are when we see what we do.”

Schools and Departments: Department of Architecture, Stuckeman School