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Meet Will Bruder { 2011 AIATN Convention Speaker Series }

Memphis is an amazing array of speakers from across the street and around the world. 
Meet Will Bruder, AIA / will bruder+PARTNERS 
/ Phoenix, AZ 
Speaking Wednesday, August 3, 3:45 - 5:15


In one sentence, how would you describe architecture to those outside the field?
Architecture is the balance of pragmatism and poetry, grounded in people and place.

Who or what most inspire your creative side? / How do you spark creativity?
Intense looking that is fueled by a deep curiosity. Traveling to cities, seeing great buildings and background buildings, both old and new, creating urban energy. Art that celebrates ideas, invention and shows evidence of its making.

What are you currently reading, whether it be books, magazines, or blogs?
“Le Corbusier: The Unite d'Habitation in Marseilles” by Jacques Sbriglio, 2004; “Triumph of the City” by Edward Glaeser, 2011; “Kurt Schwitters Exhibition Catalogue: Color and Collage” 2011
Periodicals (architecture and design):
Architectural Review, Architect, A, V, A+U, Metropolis, Dwell, ArchNewsDaily
New York Times – daily, Arizona Republic – daily, The New Yorker – weekly, Newsweek – weekly, Art in American - once and a while, Wired - once and a while

Different cities have different problems or dynamics. What’s the best thing about designing in your city?
The magic of the desert light, the visibility of the horizon, the surreal flora/fauna, and the sense of possibility.

How do you balance work life and social/family life?
What balance there is ebbs and flows but I always want to work on projects that make a difference in the lives of their users and communities. I think about architecture pretty much all the time, mostly on the front burner, sometimes on the back burner.

What other hobbies, interests do you have outside of Architecture?
Art, travel, film, reading, and watching professional tennis.

Do you also have a formal position in teaching architecture or design?
University of New Mexico Marjorie Mead Hooker Memorial Visiting Professor 2011, Portland State University Distinguished Visiting Professor of Urban Architecture 2009-2011

Have you been to Memphis before? What are your current impressions?
Yes, it was a quick date. Memories: the window shrine with the dancing Elvis (20+ years after his death), the lights of the continuous stream of Fed Ex jets coming through the dark sky, landing in the night.

What are some things you most look forward to in your trip to Memphis?
I'd like to see the lights of those jets again, take a walk around downtown Memphis, experience buildings that have the 'buzz' of the place, and sample the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of your city.

Any fellow speaker(s) you look forward to seeing present?
MEMPHis local talent plus Julie Snow, Trey Trahan, Brian Mackay-Lyons

What can we look forward to in your presentation at the AIA TN convention?
Shake it up (per the title), make some friends, piss some people off, pull out something new and fresh from the audience and myself, and start a conversation.


We look forward to his presentation entitled “Architecture: It’s More than Digital Rock and Roll.” Read more on Will in the convention brochure and through the links below.

Webpage www.willbruder.com

Thanks so much Will, Louise, and Elizabeth for pulling together the responses and images for us.


  1. Someone should see if they can get a tour of FedEx for Will. I'm sure someone out there has some strings they can pull. The midnight tour is pretty good. The 2 a.m. tour is fascinating.

  2. yes, thanks Todd. Hopefully he can stay thru the weekend to fit it in.


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