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.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German-American architect. He is widely considered one of the many pioneers of modernist architecture. After emigrating to the United States, Mies worked on structures like the Promontory Apartments. He is best remembered for serving as the director of a popular German art school named the Bauhaus before its closure in 1933.
Eero Saarinen was a Finnish-American industrial designer and architect best remembered for his impressive designs for monuments and buildings. He is credited with designing important structures, such as the Washington Dulles International Airport, the TWA Flight Center, and the Gateway Arch. He is widely regarded as one of the 20th-century's most prominent American architectures.
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.
Walter Gropius was a German architect. Along with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto, and Frank Lloyd Wright, he is regarded as a pioneer in modernist architecture. Gropius founded the Bauhaus School. The large-scale housing projects he designed in Berlin, Karlsruhe, and Dessau in the late 1920s and early 1930s became major contributions to the New Objectivity movement.
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.
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.
Fazlur Rahman Khan was a Bangladeshi-American architect and structural engineer. Regarded as the father of tubular designs, Khan is credited with designing several skyscrapers, including the Willis Tower and the John Hancock Center. Thanks to his ingenious use of structural systems, Khan is often referred to as the 20th century's greatest structural engineer and the Einstein of structural engineering.
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.
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.
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.
Isamu Noguchi was an American landscape architect and artist best remembered for designing the iconic Noguchi table. His sculptures are credited with bridging East and West and some of his works are considered landmarks of 20th-century art. In 1982, he won the Edward MacDowell Medal. In 1987, he received the National Medal of Arts for his contribution to the arts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Daniel Libeskind had initially moved to New York on a music scholarship. However, he later deviated to architecture and also taught for a while. One of his most celebrated designs is the Jewish Museum in Berlin. He also won a contest for a proposed design for rebuilding the World Trade Center.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Robert Trent Jones had designed more than 250 golf courses across 40 countries. Born in England, he moved to the U.S. and later worked as a caddie. He began by designing the golf course at Cornell, his alma, and his name is now a trademark in the golf circuit.
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.
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.
Born into an affluent Austro-Hungarian family, Richard Neutra later moved to the U.S. Best known for imparting the International Style in American architecture, he had previously worked on an award-winning project in Palestine. He created iconic buildings such as the Lovell House and also penned books such as Survival Through Design.
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.
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 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.
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.
Foremost industrial architect and planner of his time, Albert Kahn began his career as an apprentice under a leading Michigan architect. Having little schooling, he mostly learned on the job, eventually establishing his own company, designing most of the large automobile companies in USA, including the Ford River Rouge automobile complex. Working abroad, he also designed 521 factories in U.S.S.R.
George Nakashima was an American woodworker, furniture maker, and architect. Regarded as the father of the American craft movement, Nakashima was one of the most prominent innovators of furniture design in 20th century America. Nakashima's daughter Mira is currently working towards keeping his legacy alive by working for the family business and producing some of her father's iconic designs.