A Legacy
That Lives On

Michael Graves always expected to leave a legacy. As an educator who taught more than a thousand students over his 39-year tenure at Princeton University and beyond, he forever influenced the trajectory of intellectual curiosity in architecture and design. It’s significant that many of his students went on to teach and even become deans of architecture schools, as well as practitioners. “I did not tell my students to design in a certain way. Rather, I encouraged them to consider the human experience broadly, and I engaged them in critical dialogue. They learned how to think and not what to think.”

Similarly, he built our practice around ideas, aiming to enhance the human experience through the communities, buildings, and products we have designed. Speaking at the firm’s 50th anniversary celebration shortly before his death in 2015, he said, “I hope that focus is my legacy for generations to come. Nothing would please me more than for our firm to live on beyond me for another 50 years. My greatest design may have been my company and the talented people we’ve assembled.”

For the Principals of the firm, who have worked together for two and even three decades, those important humanistic ideas that Michael spoke of are deeply infused into our culture and our work every day. We too dream of passing on the legacy to the next generation and beyond.