"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

--Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell University Commencement, May 28, 1995

Monday, March 16, 2015

11. Jason Ardizzone-West

Yonkers, New York · Architecture, Art, and Planning


Tell us about what you're doing with your life.

After graduating from Cornell with a Bachelor of Architecture degree, I worked as an architect for years, got married to an amazing woman, then took some time off to be a full time dad to our two children. When it was time to enter the professional world again, I decided to pursue theatrical set design, which had always been my real passion. I went back to school, got my MFA in set design from New York University, and am now happily working as a freelance set designer. I’m currently juggling: teaching set design at NYU Tisch, designing two shows at Juilliard, designing the set for the national tour of “Bullets Over Broadway.” designing Cornell’s sesquicentennial weekend celebration events, renovating my basement, and getting ready for movie night with my family. In other words, life is good!

What was your favorite class at Cornell, or the one you found the most useful?

I loved so many of my classes at Cornell—honestly, there is not one that stands out by itself, but I definitely loved every single year of “archi-torture studio,” as well as the few classes I took outside the College of Architecture, Art & Planning - particularly the Intro to Native American Studies class.

·  What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?
I had so many great extracurricular experiences at Cornell, working in the scene shop at the Performing Arts Center, living in Risley and making theater there, rock-climbing, working for Cornell Productions… but I think my favorite extracurricular activity was working with the Cornell Concert Commission loading-in concerts and working security, and running spot light, etc. I met so many people who shared a love of live performance, but who came from so many different backgrounds and colleges.

If you could change anything about your Cornell experience, what would it be?

I don’t have many regrets in my life (or my Cornell experience), but if I had it all to do over again I would have participated in the Cornell in Rome program. I still haven’t been to Italy!