Visiting Artist James Williamson at Memphis College of Art


Memphis College of Art will present a lecture by University of Memphis Associate Professor of Architecture James Williamson on Thursday, April 97 p.m. in Callicott Auditorium, Rust Hall, 1930 Poplar Ave., Overton Park. 

Williamson, a student of renowned architect and teacher Louis Kahn, will examine Kahn’s intuitive approach to design, exploring the relationship between creativity and the unconscious.

“Kahn was not only an architect of powerful buildings; he was also an unconventional teacher, a philosopher whose influence on his students was far-reaching,” said Williamson. “Through a synthesis of Kahn’s approach and the insights of existential psychology, the lecture will suggest a strategy for making Kahn’s theories more accessible for teachers and students, creating new pathways for creativity in today’s art and architecture classrooms.”

Williamson holds two Master of Architecture degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied with Kahn. He was later an associate with the renowned Philadelphia firm, Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates. During some 30 years of professional practice in his own firm in Memphis, he received over 30 architectural design awards at the local, regional and national levels. His buildings and articles have been published internationally. In 2005, he was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in recognition of his notable contributions in architectural design and education, and in 2014 he received the AIA’s Edward S. Frey Award for career contributions to religious architecture and support of the allied arts. Williamson has held leadership positions in both the AIA and Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA). Professor Williamson is the author of two novels: The Architect and The Ravine, as well as Kahn at Penn: Transformational Teacher of Architecture, published by Routledge in March 2015.

Photo: James Williamson

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