Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect who designed over 1,000 structures in a career spanning 70 years. A pioneer of organic architecture, Wright influenced three generations of architects by playing a critical role in the 20th century's architectural movements. His structure Fallingwater is called America's best architectural work and Wright is considered the greatest architect America has ever produced.
Buckminster Fuller was an American systems theorist, architect, designer, inventor, author, and futurist. He is credited with popularizing the geodesic dome, which resembles carbon molecules known as fullerenes. Fullerenes were named after Fuller for their resemblance to geodesic spheres. Fuller's work has influenced several personalities from different walks of life. His work has also inspired a couple of documentary films.
I. M. Pei was a Chinese-American architect who drew inspiration from the garden villas at Suzhou when he was young. He is credited with founding I. M. Pei & Associates, an independent design firm, in 1955. Today, the award-winning firm is known by the name, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. Pei is known for designing structures like the Mesa Laboratory.
Louis Kahn was an American architect who is credited with creating a style that was monolithic and monumental. Regarded as one of the 20th century's most influential architects, Kahn served as a professor at Yale School of Architecture and at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design. His life and career inspired a documentary titled My Architect: A Son's Journey.
Philip Johnson was an American architect who organized the Modern architecture's first exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1932. A highly influential and respected architect, Johnson was honored with the prestigious AIA Gold Medal in 1978. The following year, he was honored with the first Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Louis Sullivan was an architect who became only the second person to be honored with a posthumous AIA Gold Medal. Dubbed the father of modernism and the father of skyscrapers, Sullivan contributed immensely to the Chicago School of architecture. He is also credited with mentoring Frank Lloyd Wright who went on to become a respected architect in his own right.
American architect Daniel Burnham was one of the pioneering designers of the skyscrapers that populate cities such as Chicago. Part of the Beaux-Arts movement, he had been the director of the World’s Columbian Exposition. He also formed his own firm, Burnham & Root with John Wellborn Root.
Frederick Law Olmsted was an American journalist, landscape architect, public administrator, and social critic. Dubbed the father of American landscape architecture, Frederick was responsible for co-designing several well-known urban parks including Walnut Hill Park, Prospect Park, Cadwalader Park, and Central Park. He is also remembered for his work on the landscape encircling the US Capitol building.
Neri Oxman is an American-Israeli designer best known for combining design, computing, biology, and materials engineering into art and architecture. She also serves as a professor at the MIT Media Lab, leading the Mediated Matter research group. Praised as one of the modern-time greats, Oxman was included in ICON's 20 Most Influential Architects to Shape Our Future list in 2009.
Robert Venturi was an American architect who founded the successful architectural firm, Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates. One of the 20th century's leading architectural figures, Venturi helped shape the way that students, planners, and architects think about architecture. Renowned for designing buildings like the Vanna Venturi House, Robert Venturi was honored with the prestigious National Medal of Arts in 1992.
11 Maya Lin
Maya Lin is an American sculptor and designer whose competition-winning design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial earned her national recognition when she was still an undergraduate. Her life and career inspired an Oscar-winning documentary titled Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision. Maya Lin has won prestigious awards, such as the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is an American actor best known for playing Black Manta in the 2018 superhero film Aquaman. He is also renowned for portraying Doctor Manhattan in the superhero drama limited series Watchmen for which he was honored with the prestigious Primetime Emmy Award in September 2020.
13 Nancy Allen
Nancy Allen is an American actress who is regarded as the muse of director Brian De Palma; she appeared in several of De Palma's films throughout the 1970s and the early-1980s. In addition to acting, Allen also dedicates her time to cancer support. She works closely with the weSPARK Cancer Support Center, where she was named executive director in 2010.
Jacque Fresco was an American futurist who lectured and wrote his views on various subjects, such as energy efficiency, sustainable cities, cybernetic technology, natural-resource management, and automation. His life and career inspired the 2006 semi-biographical film Future by Design. In 2016, Jacque Fresco was honored with a Novus Summit award for his work.
Stanford White was an American architect who designed several important monuments including the Washington Square Arch. He also helped construct Nikola Tesla's Wardenclyffe Tower, which happens to be his last design. Although White was an influential and prominent designer of his time, he is best remembered for his illicit relationship with Evelyn Nesbit which has inspired several works of art.
Richard Meier is an American architect and abstract artist who is credited with designing many iconic buildings, such as the San Jose City Hall, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Getty Center, Los Angeles. Over the years Richard Meier has won several prestigious awards like the Pritzker Prize and the American Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award.
17 David Childs
Architect and chairman of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, David Childs is best known as the designer of the One World Trade Center in New York. While he initially studied zoology, he later deviated to architecture. His projects also include the Changi Airport in Singapore and the National Geographic headquarters.
Mary Richardson Kennedy, who was married to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the brother of Kerry Kennedy, was associated with green building practices and food allergy research in the U.S. She made headlines with her suicide in 2012. She was apparently found hanging in the garage of her Bedford home.
Barnett Newman was an American artist widely regarded as one of the most prominent figures in abstract expressionism. Although his work was unappreciated for much of his life, it served as a major influence on several younger artists like Bob Law, Frank Stella, and Donald Judd.
20 Jed Johnson
Initially a sweeper at Andy Warhol's Factory, Jed Johnson later also edited some of Warhol’s films. He later drifted to interior designing and partnered with fellow architect Alan Wanzenberg on many designs. He died at 47, when a Trans World Airlines flight he was traveling in, crashed.
Lewis Mumford was an American sociologist, historian, literary critic, and philosopher of technology. He made significant contributions to American literary and cultural history, social philosophy, and the history of technology. His works also influenced a number of thinkers and authors like Jacques Ellul and Amory Lovins. Lewis Mumford also had a strong influence on American cellular biologist Barry Commoner.
23 Donald Judd
Donald Judd was an American artist widely regarded as one of the most prominent international exponents of minimalism. He is credited with founding a contemporary art museum named Chinati Foundation which houses the collection of popular artists like Carl Andre, Ilya Kabakov, Richard Long, and John Wesley. Judd also contributed as a teacher at many academic institutions in the USA.
24 Julia Morgan
Julia Morgan was an American engineer and architect who is credited with designing over 700 buildings in California. She was the first woman to study at the Beaux-Arts de Paris and the first woman to be honored with the AIA Gold Medal, which was conferred upon her posthumously. She also received a posthumous induction into the California Hall of Fame.
Christopher Alexander is a British-American design theorist and architect whose theories have had influences on several fields, such as sociology, software, and urban design among others. An influential personality, Christopher Alexander's works have contributed immensely to the development of the technology behind Wikipedia and agile software development. He is also known for his 1977 influential book A Pattern Language.
26 Steven Holl
Steven Holl drew on phenomenology for his architectural designs. The Alvar Aalto Medal-winning architect has built museums, commercial buildings, and residential complexes across the world, most notably the Linked Hybrid in China, the renovated American Memorial Library in Berlin, and a horizontal skyscraper in Shenzhen, named the Vanke Centre.
Horticulturalist Rachel Lambert Mellon, or Bunny Mellon, is best remembered for designing the White House Rose Garden. She was the wife of banking heir and philanthropist Paul Mellon. Apart from several apartments, she also owned a huge collection of paintings and artifacts, which fetched $158.7 million at a Sotheby's auction.
28 Jeanne Gang
American architect and the founder of Studio Gang Architects, Jeanne Gang is best known for her sustainable designs. The Aqua Tower in Chicago was designed by her and thus became the tallest building ever designed by a woman. She has also penned books such as Reverse Effect.
One of the New York Five group of architects, Peter Eisenman heads Eisenman Architects and has designed urban projects. He has also taught at institutes such as Harvard and Princeton, and has penned books such as Eisenman: Inside Out. His creations include the City of Culture of Galicia.
Computer scientist and architect Nicholas Negroponte founded the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Laboratory and the non-profit One Laptop per Child. Born into an affluent Greek family, he was educated at MIT and later taught at both MIT and Yale. He also penned the bestseller Being Digital.
Michael Graves was an American architect, educator, and designer. He is credited with influencing many architectural movements, such as Postmodernism, New Classicism, and New Urbanism. Recognized as one of America's most prolific and prominent architects of the 20th century, Michael Graves was honored with several prestigious awards including the National Medal of Arts and the AIA Gold Medal.
Architect Richard Morris Hunt is largely credited with bringing in the French Beaux-Arts style to the U.S. He was also a major force behind the formation of the American Institute of Architects. His creations include the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s façade and the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal.
34 Thom Mayne
Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne had a major role behind the formation of the Southern California Institute of Architecture. He also taught at UCLA and the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He later co-established his own firm, Morphosis Architects, which fellow architect Michael Rotondi joined later.
Architect Minoru Yamasaki was known for his signature style that was far removed from austerity of modern architecture. He is best remembered for designing New York’s famed World Trade Center, or the Twin Towers, destroyed later in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He had previously worked as a draftsman and an engineer.
36 Lloyd Wright
American architect Lloyd Wright is best remembered for his Prairie style of architecture predominant in the 20th-century American residential buildings. A proponent of organic architecture, he also delivered talks on architecture. He made headlines when a staff set fire to his Taliesin studio and murdered seven people.
37 Dan Flavin
38 Vito Acconci
Vito Acconci was an American installation artist whose works had a profound influence on other popular artists like Karen Finley, Bruce Nauman, Laurie Anderson, and Tracey Emin. Acconci is credited with developing several public parks, artificial islands, airport rest areas, and other architectural projects across the United States.
Architect Henry Hobson Richardson is best remembered for introducing what later came to be known as Richardsonian Romanesque. The great-grandson of scientist Joseph Priestley, he was educated at Harvard. Initially an aspiring civil engineer, he later drifted to architecture. His works included libraries, commercial buildings, and the Trinity Church.
One of the first female interior designers of her time, Elsie de Wolfe was largely known for her anti-Victorian elements in her designs. She was also a professional stage actor and had also launched her own theater company. Her works include the Colony Club, New York’s first women’s club.
42 Helmut Jahn
German-American architect Helmut Jahn was a significant figure of postmodern movement and is remembered for his steel-and-glass structures. His best-known works include Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and Germany’s Munich Airport Center. A yachting enthusiast, he owned three yachts named after his nickname, Flash Gordon. He died in a bicycle accident.
American architect Walter Burley Griffin is best known for designing cities such as Canberra, Griffith, and Leeton. His early projects were inspired by the Prairie house style. He is also believed to have developed the concept of the L-shaped floor plan. He died in India, while working on his commissions.
Recipient of numerous awards and honors, architect Gordon Bunshaft is remembered for ushering in a new era dominated by Modernist skyscraper designs. As a partner and lead designer of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, he is credited with designing magnificent buildings like Lever House in New York, Manuscript Library at Yale University, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. etc.
Furniture designer Gustav Stickley, best known for the Mission style of design, grew up on a farm and worked at his father’s stonemasonry. He was then apprenticed at his uncle’s Pennsylvania chair factory. He later launched the Craftsman Workshops and The Craftsman magazine and led the Arts and Crafts movement.
One of the founders of Chicago school of commercial architecture, John Wellborn Root is remembered for his innovative techniques and aesthetic designs. As chief designing partner of Burnham and Root, he paved the way for modern day skyscrapers. He developed floating raft system to support tall buildings on Chicago's marshy soil. He designed National Historic Landmarks like Rookery Building and Monadnock Building.
Society Architect Addison Mizner is remembered for designing resorts and Palm Beach mansions for the rich. He developed much of Boca Raton and also designed structures such as the Everglades Club and John F. Kennedy's Winter White House. His designs remain archived at the Society of the Four Arts Library.
48 Paul Rudolph
Paul Rudolph was an American architect best known for his most popular work Yale Art and Architecture Building which is also known as the Rudolph Hall. Widely regarded as one of the pioneers of Sarasota Modern, Rudolph influenced many architects from the Sarasota School of Architecture.