Gene Kohn: Designing a Practice

10/16/19 2:00PM

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  • Wednesday, October 16, 2019

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A Conversation with Gene Kohn, Clifford Pearson, Hadrian Predock and Maria Esnaola

In a series of fascinating tales, Gene Kohn explains how he helped build one of the most successful architecture firms in the world, offering inspiring lessons on business leadership and design innovation that can be applied to many fields. A professional memoir, The World by Design: The Story of a Global Architecture Firm traces the arc of an illustrious career from a desperate search for that first job to the creation of iconic skyscrapers around the world. Kohn and co-author Clifford Pearson join USC Architecture faculty Hadrian Predock and Maria Esnaola for a conversation about designing an architecture firm and leadership in the field.

About the Authors

A. Eugene Kohn is a founding partner and chairman of Kohn Pedersen Fox, one of the world’s top architecture firms. He has been recognized with prestigious awards, including The National Building Museum Chairman’s Award, The Skyscraper Museum Award, The Soane Foundation Honors, and the Alumni Award of Merit by the University of Pennsylvania—the highest university-wide award presented to alumni. He has also been recognized with the Wharton Real Estate Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the University of Pennsylvania - PennDesign Dean’s Medal of Achievement (the highest honor awarded by the institution), and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He is an Executive Fellow of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, the first architect to be awarded this title, and has taught at schools such as Harvard, Penn, UCLA, and Columbia. He currently serves as an emeritus board member of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a trustee of the Urban Land Institute, and chairman of Publicolor, a nonprofit youth development organization, and is a former trustee of the University of Pennsylvania.

Clifford Pearson is the editorial director of Kohn Pedersen Fox. He had been deputy editor-in-chief of Architectural Record for many years and was the director of the University of Southern California’s American Academy in China. He is the author of Indonesia: Design and Culture (Monacelli, 1998) and the editor of Modern American Houses (Harry N. Abrams, 1996 and 2005).