Larry Wayne Richards
Larry Wayne Richards is Professor Emeritus and former Dean (1997-2004) in the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto. During the past 30 years he has completed numerous projects in Canada as curator, writer, editor, critic, and professional advisor for design competitions. Various conceptual projects by Richards are in the permanent collection of the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal.
Richards was born in Indiana in 1944. He holds a post-professional master’s degree, completed at Yale University; and previously he received a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. During 1967-72, Richards worked with Walter Gropius and The Architect’s Collaborative (TAC) as a designer for major corporate and institutional projects, including the American Institute of Architects headquarters building in Washington, D.C.
He taught at the Technical University of Nova Scotia from 1975 to 1980 and founded an experimental group called NETWORKS. In 1977 he coordinated a programme of Asian Studies for architecture students that included three weeks in China and ten weeks in Japan. In 1980-81 he taught at the University of Toronto. Then he was appointed Director of the Waterloo School of Architecture, a position he held from 1982 to 1987. From 1988 through 1996, he continued as Professor of Architecture and Coordinator of the Thesis Program at Waterloo.
Richards served as Architectural Heritage Advisor for Trent University and was a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on Design at the University of Waterloo. Richards has served in an advisory capacity for numerous planning, architecture, and design projects at the University of Toronto.
An active curator and writer, in 1991 Richards was Deputy Commissioner for Canada’s participation in the International Exhibition of Architecture at the Venice Biennale. He returned to Venice in 1996 as Exhibition Designer and Publication Coordinator for Canada’s exhibition at the Biennale’s VIth International Exhibition of Architecture. During 1999-01 he received a travel fellowship from The Japan Foundation, and he was co-curator for the Canada-Japan exhibition, “E-12: Designs for Living in the New Millennium.”
Professor Richards is the editor of Centre Canadien d’Architecture / Canadian Centre for Architecture: Building and Gardens (1989) and was curator and designer for the exhibition on the CCA building in Montreal when it opened in 1989. In 1992 he was co-editor of Toronto Places (with Marc Baraness). More than fifty of his articles have been published in journals such as Architecture New York, Domus, Canadian Architect, Canadian Art, INSITE, Azure, and Parachute. Richards received the 1994-95 Burwell Coon Travel Scholarship from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada for research on new architecture in Brazil. In 1995 he was advisor to Edgar Bronfman, Jr., CEO and President of Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, for the selection of an architect/planner for MCA / Universal’s 415-acre Los Angeles site. (Rem Koolhaas was selected for the project.) And in 1997 he was appointed to the Architect Selection Committee for the $2.5 billion Greater Toronto Airports Authority project for Pearson International Airport.
Richards has written on the work of Frank Gehry, most recently “Frank Gehry: Seeing the AGO Again (and Again)” in Frank Gehry: Toronto. In 2006 he curated the exhibition, “Frank’s Drawings: Eight Museums by Gehry,” for the University of Toronto Art Centre and the Patricia Faure Gallery in Los Angeles.
In 2007 Richards was appointed Creative Consultant for Hong Kong-based Blanc de Chine and also received a national Award of Excellence (Advocate Award) from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.
In the fall of 2008, Richards was appointed Artistic Director of WORKshop, Inc., a Toronto-based research and development company focussing on furniture and products for 21st-century urban living inspired by the Chinese Ming period. WORKshop, Inc. is a subsidiary of the Hong Kong fashion house, Blanc de Chine, for which Richards serves as a consultant. He recently designed the third floor for Blanc de Chine's New York, Fifth Avenue store.
Professor Richards is author of a comprehensive guide book on the architecture and landscapes of the University of Toronto. Published by Princeton Architectural Press, the 256-page book will be lauched in May 2009.