Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara are the co-founders of the firm, Grafton Architects. It is a firm with several civic, educational, and residential commissions across Europe under their sleeve. They were the recipients of the 2020 Pritzker Prize, an equivalent to the Nobel Prize in the industry.

The St. Louis’ Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University announced that McNamara and Farrell will be the keynote speakers at the Spring Graduate Recognition Ceremony.

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, Image courtesy of Grafton Architects

About the ceremony

McNamara and Farrell are set to speak at the graduation of the Sam Fox School. The graduating class at the Graduate School of Art and Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design at Washington University in St. Louis will have the honour of listening them speak. So will the undergraduate College of Art and College of Architecture.

They shall speak at the virtual ceremony that will take place on 14 May, Thursday. The ceremony will broadcast at 7 p.m.

The alumni address will come from the founder and president of the St. Louis’ Barrett Barrera Projects, Susan Barrett (BA and BFA ’89, March ’94).

Statements from the Dean

The Dean of the Sam Fox School and the E. Desmond Lee Professor for Collaboration in the Arts, Carmon Colangelo spoke of the graduation ceremony.

Colangelo stresses the importance of finding innovative ways of coming back to the school and to be together as a community.  He speaks of his excitement to experience the knowledge of the excellent speakers.

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara both consider teaching to be a crucial part of the architectural practise as part of producing projects. Susan Barrett continues to play a major role in the art scene of St. Louis through his galleries and projects.


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