Announcing the keynote speakers at our 78th Annual Convention and Design Expo, “Threshold.” Joining us in Austin on November 9-11 will be: Michael Ford, Assoc. AIA; Mack Scogin, AIA, and Merrill Elam, AIA; and Joshua Prince-Ramus. The fourth general session will be a panel with all of the keynote speakers, moderated by Texas Architect Editor Aaron Seward.

Michael Ford, Assoc. AIA, is from Detroit Michigan, where he received his Masters of Architecture from University of Detroit Mercy. Ford, also known as The Hip Hop Architect, has delivered keynote speeches at the 2017 AIA National Conference on Architecture and 2016 SXSW Eco Conference. Ford’s national Hip Hop Architecture Lecture Tour has included stops at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, and University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, to name a few. Ford has worked as a designer at Hamilton Anderson Associates in Detroit, as an adjunct professor at his alma matter, and as a designer at Flad Architects in Madison, Wisconsin. Currently, Ford is the co-founder of The Urban Arts Collective, through which he runs his national Hip Hop Architecture Camp initiative, which is aimed at introducing underrepresented youths to architecture and urban planning. Ford is working with hip hop pioneers such as the legendary Kurtis Blow as he leads the design of The Universal Hip Hop Museum.

Mack Scogin, AIA, is a principal in the firm of Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects in Atlanta. He is the Kajima Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he was the chairman of the Department of Architecture from 1990 to 1995. With Merrill Elam, he received the 2012 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Architecture, the 2011 Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 1995 Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the 1996 Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design, and their projects have received eight national American Institute of Architects awards for design excellence. Scogin’s work is the subject of a 1992 Rizzoli publication, “Scogin Elam and Bray: Critical Architecture/Architectural Criticism.” His current projects include a Boathouse and Lodge at A Gathering Place for Tulsa, Oklahoma; the Harvard University Science Center and Cabot Library Transformation; One Museum Place in Atlanta; and projects for Tishman Speyer including the Queens Plaza in Queens, New York, and Three Alliance Center in Atlanta. His recent master planning projects include clients such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a confidential cooperate client in Portland, Oregon, as well as work in Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. for Tishman Speyer. Other recent projects include the Yale University Health Services Center in New Haven, Connecticut; the Gates Center for Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh; the new U.S. Federal Courthouse in Austin.

Merrill Elam, AIA, is a principal in the firm of Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects in Atlanta. In addition to her practice, she lectures and teaches frequently, having served most recently as visiting faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology in fall 2015.

In 2014, Elam was selected as the inaugural Design Leader in Architecture for Architectural Record. With Mack Scogin, she received 2013 Shutze Medal from Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture, a 2008 Honorary Fellowship in the Royal Institute of British Architects, the 2006 Boston Society of Architects Harleston Parker Medal, and a 1996 Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design. The American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded the firm the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in 2011 and an Academy Award in 1995. The Atlanta Chapter of the American Institute of Architects awarded the firm the Sliver Metal for Consistent Pursuit and Achievement in Architectural Design in 1989 and the Silver Metal Award in 2012.

Current projects include a Boathouse and Lodge at A Gathering Place for Tulsa, Oklahoma; Harvard University Science Center and Cabot Library Transformation, One Museum Place in Atlanta, Georgia; projects for Tishman Speyer including the Queens Plaza in Queens, New York, and Three Alliance Center in Atlanta Georgia.

Projects by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects have received numerous design awards including eight National American Institute of Architects Awards of Excellence. Their work has been widely featured in popular and academic publications on architecture including the 1992 Rizzoli publication, Scogin Elam and Bray: Critical Architecture / Architectural Criticism, the 1999 University of Michigan publication Mack & Merrill and the 2005 Princeton Architectural Press publication Mack Scogin Merrill Elam: Knowlton Hall.

Joshua Prince-Ramus is the founding principal of the internationally-acclaimed architecture firm REX, where he leads the design of all projects. REX — whose name signifies a re-appraisal (RE) of architecture (X) — consistently challenges and advances building typologies, and promotes the agency of architecture.

Joshua and REX’s current projects include the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center; a 60-story mixed-use tower in Perth, Australia; the Mercedes-Benz Future Lab in Stuttgart, Germany; a very large residence, guest houses, and grounds on Long Island; a performing arts house for a private school in Virginia; an office building in Washington DC that will host CBS’s Washington’s Bureau; and the re-cladding and interior renovation of Five Manhattan West, a Brutalist landmark straddling Penn Station’s rail yard in New York City. Seminal projects include the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in Dallas, the Vakko Fashion Center and Power Media Center in Istanbul, the Seattle Central Library, and the Guggenheim-Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas. Prince-Ramus led the latter two while he was partner of OMA New York, the firm he rebranded as REX in 2006.

REX’s work has been recognized with the profession’s top accolades, including two AIA National Honor Awards, a U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology National Honor Award, an American Library Association National Building Award, two American Council of Engineering Companies’ National Gold Awards, and Time magazine’s Building of the Year, as well as numerous honors bestowed by Architect (Progressive Architecture Awards), Architectural Review (MIPIM Awards), ArchDaily, Architizer, Wallpaper*, amongst others. The firm has just been named one of the World’s Top 10 Innovative Companies in Architecture by Fast Company.

Prince-Ramus is the most recent recipient of the Marcus Prize, bestowed upon architects “on a trajectory to greatness.”

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