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Local and International Urban Design: 10 Principles of Public Spaces

Date: 03/09/2011

Time: 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Location: 100 Rapson Hall

Cost: Free


Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 5 pm, 100 Rapson Hall
Local and International Urban Design: 10 Principles of Public Spaces
John Cuningham, Cuningham Group, Minneapolis

This lecture will touch upon urban design locally and internationally. The topic will be revealed though 10 principles working in favor of public spaces. The questions rely on the elements that make successful open spaces in terms of operation and identification space-user.

John W. Cuningham, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP Founder, Cuningham Group Architecture, P.A. has been practicing architecture since his graduation in 1962. After receiving his master's degree from Harvard in 1964, he was awarded the Rotch Traveling Fellowship, which enabled him to spend a year working in Germany. Cuningham describes it as one of two "seminal experiences" (the other was a trip to the South Pacific) that helped broaden and redefine his personal and professional perspectives. In 1968 he founded Cuningham Group, and his leadership, foresight and personal attention have helped grow and lead the firm to design some of the most innovative and exciting designs in the Twin Cities, as well as nationally and internationally. Cuningham Group has won dozens of awards for its work, including three 25-Year Awards and five Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects Minnesota. While emphasizing the need to produce architecture well-aligned with the needs and values of clients, Cuningham believes good architecture contributes to community life. “I’m not as interested in the single building as I am in the community,” explains Cuningham. “Being a good architect—doing good architecture—has to do with being in service to society,” he says. “The kind of architecture that interests me is the kind that builds community.”

Cuningham’s community-based approach is further underscored by his personal passion for sustainable design. As the firm approaches 43 years in business, Cuningham continues to advocate creating memorable places that respect the earth—an advocacy he has upheld throughout his professional career and before the rise in recognition of “green design.” Cuningham also taught architectural design for 18 years at the University of Minnesota. He currently serves on the University’s Alumni Board and also maintains a relationship with the College of Design where he is a popular guest lecturer.

 For information on additional Catalyst lectures, go to https://events.umn.edu/010363.


  • Name: Laura Walton
  • E-mail: lwalton@umn.edu
  • Sponsored by: School of Architecture, College of Design

Disability Options:

To request disability accommodations, please contact Laura Walton at 612-626-6385 or lwalton@umn.edu.

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Catalyst Lecture Series 2011