Joe Coriaty Accepted into AIA College of Fellows
The 2018 Jury of Fellows from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) elevated 152 member-architects to its prestigious College of Fellows, an honor awarded to members who have made significant contributions to the architecture profession. The fellows were honored at a ceremony on June 22 at the AIA Conference on Architecture in NYC.
Author: Larisa Forester, CPSM, Associate AIA, Frederick Fisher and Partners
Joe firmly believes his designs positively impact the lives of its users by encouraging users to interact, create, hack, and disrupt the mundane to discover new ideas and better their surrounding communities.
For Joe, the city has always been an exhilarating place. Energy, people, shops, offices, factories - they all combine to create an interactive synergy unique to an urban environment. This is the atmosphere Joe infuses in his design. He embodies Ray Oldenburg’s “Third Place” in the makerspaces of civic, academic and cultural realms, making them naturally spaces where people gather. Socially vibrant, Joe’s designs foster the open exchange between public and private areas, indoor and outdoor, and community.
Joe attended the University of Detroit for architecture in 1974 at a time when there were few architecture jobs, so during the summers he worked at his father’s factory. One year he ran blue prints. The next he detailed parts for industrial machinery. Another year he ran the machines that produced the Bricklin rubber bumpers. When vinyl-covered foam became standard for car seats, Joe worked with the R&D team to conceptualize, design, and create the new machines.
“This crazy ingenuity that exists in Detroit using a group of diverse individuals to figure out a process that creates something new to get extraordinary results is what I strive to recreate with visionary placemaking and innovative makerspaces. Buildings themselves are simply a collection of wood, steel, brick, and glass, but great buildings become an anchor in the community and create their own harmony of culture, interaction, and memories.”
Joe is known for spreading his love and passion of getting “hands-on” with architectural design. From bringing Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences students into work sessions to help design and construct their school science pavilion to inventing a built stack cast concrete factory atop the shifting ocean sands of the Annenberg Community Beach House site to working directly with an overseas building skin manufacturer to cut production cost by 50% at Caltech’s Annenberg Center for Information Science and Technology, Joe’s influence on creative space design and the individuals who use them continues to influence and shape the architectural world. He sees the big picture of the importance of minute differences in user interactions within his spaces and how those associations impact their future success.
Even while participating in international design competitions, volunteering in post-disaster reconstruction, leading projects on some of the world’s most prestigious ivy league campuses and serving on various design juries, Joe has always found time to be a mentor. He guided young architects through the intricacies of collaborative design for cultural institutions in Berlin and Japan and as a first responder after their devastating earthquake, he developed the system for Haitian engineers to reconstruct their school structures quickly, safely, and efficiently. He is leading revolutionary facility design with the University of Southern California’s new Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy of Arts, Technology, and the Business of Innovation, the renovation of Princeton University’s historic Firestone Library, and the construction of the world’s first Living Building Challenge civic building. He also sits on juries and lectures at the University of Southern California, UCLA, Woodbury University, and the University of Detroit.
Joe doesn’t let his busy schedule prevent him from connecting with the younger generations, no matter if they are poised to be future designers, entrepreneurs, or food critics. He has helped now-colleagues discover their love of architecture over law school, political science, even over a promising golf career.
“It’s one of the best feelings to know I made a difference in someone’s life just by sharing something I love with them.”