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14 Tributes to Architect Michael Graves on His 81st Birthday

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Photo courtesy of Michael Graves

Often considered the flag bearer of the postmodern movement, the prolific Michael Graves devoted 60 years of his life to architecture, helmed three design movements, designed over 350 buildings and 2,000 products, and towards the end of his life, was appointed by President Barack Obama to the United States Access Board after a spinal cord infection left Graves paralyzed from the waist down. To quote Peter Eisenman, "Michael Graves was a hero." Born into the New York Five, Michael Graves mutinously decamped to the Memphis Group, taught at Princeton University, watched as Postmodernism fell out of fashion, and then, towards the end of his life, watched it return to favor as critics rallied around his Portland Building and reassessed his legacy in an retrospective exhibition.

Today Michael Graves, who passed away on March 19th, would have been 81. In his honor, we've assembled the words of critics, colleagues, and friends to paint a portrait of a man that had an indelible impression on the built world.


Paul Golberger, New York Times


Peter Eisenman, Metropolis


—Bill Clinton, 1999 National Medal of Arts


Andrea Sachs, Washington Post


Mark Lamster, Dallas News


Alan G. Brake, Design Observer


Charles Alexander Jencks, The Architectural Review


Blair Kamin, Chicago Tribune


Robert A.M. Stern, Metropolis


Inga Saffron, Philadelphia Inquirer


Karrie Jacobs, Architect Magazine


Alberto Alessi, Metropolis


Oliver Wainwright, The Guardian


Kenneth Frampton, Metropolis