“Our Architecture is for People”: In Conversation with Ralph Johnson of Perkins + Will


Shanghai Natural History Museum. Image © James Steinkamp

Shanghai Natural History Museum. Image © James Steinkamp

Ralph Johnson (b. 1948) is a global design director at Chicago-based Perkins and Will. The architect joined the company in 1977 and has been heading its design ideology since 1985. Johnson is the architect behind the firm’s most iconic buildings, including Rush University Transformation Project (2012), O’Hare International Airport (1993), and Boeing International Headquarters (1990) – all in Chicago, the United States Coast Guard Headquarters (2015) in Washington DC, Tinkham Veale University Center at the Case Western Reserve University (2015) in Cleveland, and Shanghai Natural History Museum (2015). The architect’s monographs have been published regularly since mid-1990s under his own name. He has been a visiting critic at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois, his alma mater, from which he received his Bachelor of Architecture in 1971. He acquired his Master of Architecture from Harvard’s GSD in 1973.

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