Wenzhou-Kean University Mourns the Passing of Postmodern Architect Michael Graves


Michael Graves, the American architect and architectural educator. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on July 9, 1934, he earned a master’s degree in architecture from Harvard University in 1959. He was also winner of the Prix de Rome, at the American Academy in Rome (1960-1962). Beginning in 1962, he taught architecture at Princeton University and became a professor in 1972. He established Michael Graves & Associates in 1964. Mr. Graves was first associated with the New York Five, a group of architects who achieved cult-like stature by helping to redefine modernism in the 1970s. He went on to design projects, like the headquarters of the health care company Humana in Louisville, KY, and the Portland Municipal Building in Oregon, which exemplified post modernism with their reliance on color and ornament and made him a celebrity. Mr. Graves designed more than 350 buildings around the world but was perhaps best known for his tea-kettle and pepper mill. Last year, Michael Graves visited Wenzhou-Kean University and sketched the design for WKU’s School of Architecture and Design.

Michael Graves died on March 12th, 2015 at his home in Princeton, New Jersey. He was 80 years old.

We convey our deepest condolences and sincere consolations to the family of Michael Graves. We appreciate his contribution to WKU’s campus planning and design, which displays his extraordinary creativity and passion for architecture education.