Harvard Honors AmericasMart Founder
GDA Staff -- Gifts & Dec, October 24, 2012
ATLANTA - The Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) will name a distinguished visiting professorship in architecture in honor of John Portman, chairman and founder of AmericasMart, and John Portman & Associates, a leading design firm based in Atlanta.
The John Portman Visiting Chair in Architecture will help the school bring internationally recognized designers to campus in a sustained role. The position gives esteemed pratitioners the opportunity to engage in the Harvard life for one to three years. In addition to the role, the Portman Chair will include research assistance, the curation and organization of exhibitions and production of related publications.
A graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Portman is an American architect who designed iconic buildings and cityscapes throughout his nearly 50-year career. Throughout his career, Portman has produced projects in more than 60 cities worldwide, including the Peachtree Center in Atlanta, Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, and Shanghai Center in Shanghai and other projects in Detroit, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Malaysia and China. He is also a prolific painter and sculptor, with works exhibited internationally. In 1957, Portman founded AmericasMart tradeshow complex.
"John Portman is one of the most innovative designers of his generation," said Dean Mohsen Mostafavi, Harvard GSD, in a statement. "I am delighted that the GSD will honor his bold vision. His holistic and comprehensive approach to creating urban environments has allowed us to rethink how we activate and revitalize our cities. The Portman Chair will bring leading architects to our campus with a variety of perspectives and backgrounds to share with our students. It is my intention that the holders of the Portman Chair will, in turn, benefit and inspire generations of designers to think expansively about how they will contribute to the transformation of our societies, just as Mr. Portman has throughout his career."
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