Announcing New Faculty joining the Corcoran Fall 2018

Jae Rhim Lee researching for her Infinity Mushroom Project
New Assistant Professor of Interaction Design Jae Rhim Lee combines scientific knowledge with artistic imagination with her Infinity Mushroom Project, a new way of thinking about death and decomposition.
August 07, 2018

The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design is welcoming new faculty members this fall who will contribute added dimension and ingenuity to both new and well-established programs. The new additions include Professors in Interactive Design, Theatre, Foundations, Exhibition Design and Music.  


The Corcoran is thrilled to welcome Assistant Professor Jae Rhim Lee to its new interaction design program. Lee’s research and work focus around what she has coined The Infinity Mushroom Project, a concept fueled by the themes of accepting death and decomposition with environmental responsibility.


Her creative philosophy concerning eco-friendly decomposition has garnered international recognition. In 2011, Professor Lee presented her research and findings on the Infinity Mushroom Project for TEDGlobal Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her talk has reached over 1.2M views worldwide, exposing many people to a new way of thinking about burial.


Lee's originality and success will bolster the Corcoran's new interaction design program, her mentorship encouraging Corcoran students to become innovators and advocates for their own ideas and work.   


In addition, Matthew R. Wilson will be joining the Corcoran's Program of Theatre and Dance as an Associate Professor of Theatre. Professor Wilson earned his MFA in Classical Acting from the George Washington University, and his Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies from University of Maryland, College Park. He has worked as an actor, director and movement/combat choreographer, and is a published theatre scholar.


Wilson’s passion for Shakespeare has led him to direct and choreograph for many Shakespearean plays, including Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Troilus & Cressida, Pericles, Titus Andronicus, Much Ado about Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Comedy of Errors. He also has experience in television, making his debut in As the World Turns and appearing in the Netflix original series House of Cards.


For more information on Professor Wilson’s plethora of experience and publications, visit his website.


The Corcoran is also pleased to welcome Allyson Vieira as the new Assistant Professor of Foundations. Professor Vieira has an extensive exhibition record, both internationally and in the U.S., including solo exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Basel in Switzerland, and the Swiss Institute in New York. As an artist and academic, she is interested in labor, form and material over time, and the relationship between sculpture and architecture. Her first solo catalog, Allyson Vieira: The Plural Present, was published by Karma Books in 2016.


Her most recent work has led to the upcoming publication of her book: On the Rock: The Acropolis Interviews. On the Rock relays the experience of Greek master marble carvers and their decades-long restoration of the Acropolis within the context of the Greek economic crisis, in their own words. The Corcoran is delighted to have Vieira's international and cultural knowledge joining them this fall.


Assistant Professor Andrea Dietz, one of the newest additions to the Corcoran’s exhibition design faculty, is a curator, designer, researcher and teacher, and possesses a diverse portfolio that encompasses many fields of expertise. Her multifaceted skill set and previous works are a testament to her artistry and innovation, making her an ideal addition to the Corcoran community.


Some of her latest curatorial work includes “Above and Behind,” which featured photography by Benny Chan and was presented at the Woodbury University Hollywood Gallery this past May, as well as “Tu casa es mi casa,” a project that brought together writers, architects and designers, who took part in a form of artistic communication across the US-Mexican border. Installation pieces by the responding Mexican design teams were displayed at The Neutra VDL Studio and Residences from September 2017 to January of this year.

An installation from "Tu casa es mi casa," curated by Assistant Professor Andrea Dietz.

Pictured above is an installation piece from “Tu casa es mi casa,” curated by Assistant Professor Andrea Dietz. Photo by Monica Nouwens and Adam Wiseman. 


To learn more about Professor Dietz’s works, visit her website.


Lastly, Associate Professor Loren Kajikawa, the newest addition to the Corcoran’s music faculty, earned his Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of California in Los Angeles and has taught as a music professor at University of Oregon since 2009.


Kajikawa is a published author for articles in various academic music publications including Black Music Research Journal and Journal of the Journal of the Society for American Music, and has written a book titled Sounding Race in Rap Songs. In addition, he has served as an editor for “Tracking Pop,” the University of Michigan Press’s series of publications about popular music, and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Society for American Music (Vol. 12-14) which is published by Cambridge University Press.


As a scholar, Professor Kajikawa has a vested interest in how music and politics collide, investigating today’s issues within a musical and cultural context. His enthusiasm for what music means to society will contribute greatly to the Corcoran community this upcoming academic year.


These talented artists and scholars will begin teaching this fall, and the Corcoran is excited to see how their perspective and experience inspires Corcoran students to become the next generation of cultural leaders.