Joe MacDonald (architect)
|Occupation||Architect, Researcher and Professor|
Joe MacDonald is a Canadian-born American architect, researcher and professor.
He is most known for his work on The Bone Wall, The Water Planet and Johnson & Johnson's Olympic Games Pavilion.
He founded Urban A&O, a design firm in 2002 and serves as its principal.
He has received several research grants and awards, including four research grants from Harvard Graduate School of Design, China's Most Successful Design Award, and Vanguard Award by Architecture Magazine.
MacDonald completed his B.A. in architecture from University of Washington in 1987.
In 1992, he received his M.Arch.
His master's thesis was titled Navigable Sites: Toronto Island Airport.
In 2000, MacDonald joined Harvard University as an Assistant Professor.
In 2002, while simultaneously teaching at Harvard University, he launched Urban A&O, a boutique design firm specializing in advanced computational design work.
Through the firm he started working on residential, commercial and exhibition design projects.
MacDonald collaborated with sound artists O+A on an installation called Blue Moon.
As part of the installation, three tuning tubes were installed in the North Cove Harbor, which created melodies and chords in response to ambient noise on the Hudson River.
The sound was then played back through five cube loudspeakers.
Blue Moon received wide media coverage.
In 2004, MacDonald was promoted to Associate Professor at Harvard.
MacDonald designed The Bone Wall, a solo exhibition at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, in 2006.
The Bone Wall was sponsored by the Harvard Graduate School of Design and became of one of MacDonald's early well known works.
In 2006, MacDonald collaborated with Thinc to design Water Planet, a multi-media aquarium experience at California Academy of Sciences.
The Water Planet is shaped by an aggregate of seven walls surrounding three interactive islands.
The seven walls house exhibits that illustrate a variety of evolutionary adaptations of life to water.
MacDonald designed the fiberglass walls to resemble waves and the effect of an underwater experience.
Openings in these walls provide windows to various aquarium tanks.
ArtDaily reviewed the Water Planet and wrote that "Constructed using new technologies for computer-aided design and fabrication, the complex molded surfaces seemingly flow into one another, inviting touch and creating an immersive, watery setting."
In its review, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that "when the lights are dimmed and images of kelp and underwater life are projected onto the cases, viewers get the feeling of being fully submerged."
In 2008, he was commissioned to design the Johnson & Johnson's Olympic Games Pavilion for the Beijing Olympics.
The pavilion was surrounded by a bamboo forest that sheltered its guests and housed The Caring World, an exhibition exploring how people care for each other and the world.
The exhibition highlighted the views of individuals through storytelling, documentary video and photo exhibition.
It received significant media coverage and MacDonald won China's Most Successful Design Award and LEED Gold recognition award.
Through his firm Urban A&O, MacDonald was the lead designer for the 400th Henry Hudson anniversary exhibition in 2009.
MacDonald left Harvard University in 2010.
While at Harvard University, he received $100,000 in Dean's Grants for Faculty Research four years consecutively.
His research at Harvard was focused on advanced and emerging computational developments into parametric modeling.
He has also received several other grants for his research on social patterns within dense urban environments.
MacDonald has regularly incorporated his academic research into practice, most notably in his projects, The Bone Wall and Cairo Tower.
MacDonald has designed urban and residential development planning projects in China and India.
He has also worked with Audi, General Electric and Metropolis magazine as an architect.
He regularly speaks at industry conferences around the world and was a speaker at TED 2006.
He has lectured extensively on the relationship between architecture and technology.
In 2010, he was recognized by Cambridge Who's Who for "demonstrating dedication, leadership and excellence in architecture and design."
In 2011–12, he taught briefly at Washington University in St. Louis and returned to teaching in 2017 at University of Pennsylvania.
In 2008, he married Tom Hennes, the principal of New York-based design firm, Thinc.
They divorced in 2013.
Awards and honors
- 2009 - IDEA International Design Excellence Silver Award for Environments for the Water Planet
- 2009 - China's Most Successful Design Award for the Johnson & Johnson Olympic Pavilion in Beijing
- 2008 - Architecture Magazine's Vanguard award
- 2008 - New Practices New York from the New York Chapter of the AIA
- 2009 - Good Design Award
- 2009 - Archi-tech AV Award for the Water Planet
- 2009 - LEED Gold recognition award for Johnson & Johnson Olympic Pavilion in Beijing
- 2009 - LEED Platinum Recognition for Water Planet
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe MacDonald (architect).