At the intersection of art, engineering, and architecture, “Light in the Public Realm” will explore James Carpenter’s focus upon the phenomenological qualities of light as a central organizing principle of the public realm. Using infrastructural, cultural and civic projects, James Carpenter will outline some of his firms’ innovative strategies that merge program, performance, structure, and light to reveal the unique characteristics of a place and to embody a deeper collective experience of nature.
Founder, James Carpenter Design Associates
James Carpenter has worked at the intersection of architecture, fine art, and engineering for nearly 50 years, advancing a distinctive vision based on the use of natural light and glass as the foundational elements of the built environment. Originally studying architecture before concentrating on fine arts, Carpenter founded the cross-disciplinary design firm James Carpenter Design Associates in 1979 to support the application of these aesthetic principles to large-scale building projects. Carpenter’s work is driven by a deep awareness of materiality and craft as a means of enhancing the individual human experience within the built environment.
Carpenter has been recognized with numerous national and international awards, including a Royal Institute of Architects Honorary Fellowship, an Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and the Smithsonian National Environment Design Award. He holds a degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and was a Loeb Fellow of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and a Mello Teaching Fellow at the University of Chicago.