Michael Graves, FAIA


Few are credited with spearheading a single design movement; Michael Graves, well known throughout the world for design excellence, led three.

In the 1980s, Michael redirected the architectural conversation away from abstract modernism toward a more humanistic approach to architecture and urban planning, that among other things, brought color and art back into the experience of architecture. In the 1990s, his partnership with Target defined America’s expectation that great design should be available to everyone. And design became a corporate strategy. Over the past decade, Michael became a passionate advocate for the disabled and used the power of design to improve healthcare experiences for patients, families and clinicians. Michael Graves transformed the role of the architect in society and left the world a better place than he found it.

Michael Graves received prestigious awards including the 2015 National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement, the AIA Gold Medal, the National Medal of Arts from President Clinton, The Richard H. Driehaus Prize, and the Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education. The Center for Health Design named Michael Graves one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in Healthcare Design, and in 2013, President Obama appointed Graves to the United States Access Board. Michael Graves was the first architect to be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, and the first recipient of the Michael Graves Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Jersey AIA.

A native of Indianapolis, Graves received his architectural training at the University of Cincinnati and Harvard University. In 1960, he won the Rome Prize and studied for two years at the American Academy in Rome, of which he became a Trustee. In 1962, Graves began a 39-year teaching career at Princeton University, where he was the Robert Schirmer Professor of Architecture. Graves received 14 honorary doctorates and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Link to the Michael Graves Memorial Page