BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI.- Cranbrook Academy of Art
announced that the Head of its Architecture Department William Massie has been awarded the prestigious Architecture Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, continuing the schools 75-year tradition of design leadership and innovation. In receiving this honor from the American Academy, Massie joins a distinguished list of America's finest architects including Maya Lin, Michael Rotundi and Thom Mayne, and Daniel Libeskind (who earlier held the same position at Cranbrook that Massie holds now). Massie was selected for the award -- which carries a $7500 prize and is considered the highest-formal recognition of artistic merit in this country -- in recognition of his groundbreaking work in architecture research, design and digital fabrication.
Massie is a free-spirited constructivist inventor who has expanded the architectural canvas, said James Polshek, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters 2011 selection committee.
The American Academys 250 members nominate candidates for the awards, and a rotating committee of writers selects winners each year. The winners this year were chosen from a group of 30 architects nominated by the members of the Academy. The members of the selection committee for 2011 were: Henry N. Cobb, Peter Eisenman, Hugh Hardy, Richard Meier, James Polshek, Billie Tsien (chair), and Tod Williams.
"I'm delighted for Bill," said Director of Cranbrook Academy of Art, Reed Kroloff, who was one of the first people to publish Massies work in a national magazine when he was editor of Architecture. "But I'm not surprised. He has been at the forefront of our profession almost since the moment he entered it. And he is known equally for his buildings, his teaching, and his scholarship, a rare combination."
Massie is highly regarded for his pioneering work in digital design and fabrication--the use of computers to design and then manufacture objects, furniture, and in Massie's case, entire buildings. His exquisite houses have landed him on the pages of nearly every major design publication in the world, ranging from Architectural Record to Wallpaper. Dwell magazine recently included him in a ranking of the 10 most important architects alive today. Massie has won dozens of significant awards in architecture including four coveted P/A awards. He lectures and participates on reviews at schools of architecture and professional conferences around the country. At Cranbrook, he is leading the graduate Architecture Department with a focus on the practical application of digital design at full scale.
Massie, a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, received a Bachelor of Fine Art in Architectural Studies from Parsons School of Design, New York, NY. He subsequently received a Master of Architecture from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture. In 2005, he was appointed Architect-in-Residence of Cranbrook Academy of Art. For more information, www.cranbrookart.edu.
An exhibition of work by Massie and the five architectural winners will be on view from May 19 through June 12, 2011, in the American Academys galleries on Audubon Terrace in New York City.