Sam Davis, scholar and professor emeritus of architecture, named interim dean of School of Social Welfare

Sam Davis, an accomplished scholar of architecture who taught at Berkeley from 1971 until his retirement in 2009, will serve for one year as interim dean of the School of Social Welfare beginning on Aug. 1, campus officials have announced.

Sam Davis

Sam Davis

A graduate of the schools of architecture at UC Berkeley and Yale, Davis’s long career at Berkeley included terms as interim dean and associate dean of the College of Environmental Design and as chair of the Department of Architecture. Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer cited Davis’s administrative experience in a message to members of the chancellor’s cabinet, saying it would enable him to serve the school “by drawing upon his knowledge of campus policies and practices, and his familiarity with campus administration.”

Davis’s architectural work has been characterized by a strong social-welfare component. His Berkeley firm, Sam Davis Architecture, has designed housing for families, students, seniors, homeless populations and young people with HIV/AIDS. The Diamond Youth Shelter, which he designed for San Francisco’s Larkin Street Youth Sevices, opened in January 2010.

Davis has written three books on housing: The Form of Housing, The Architecture of Affordable Housing and Designing for the Homeless: Architecture That Works. Honors include a Humanities Research Fellowship from the University of California and a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work on homelessness. He became a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1985.

The campus will conduct a search for a full-term dean during 2011-12, according to Breslauer.