Prestigious honor for Cranbrook architect-in-residence

Cranbrook Academy of Art’s Architecture Department Head William Massie has been awarded the prestigious Architecture Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Massie was selected for the award — which carries a $7500 prize and is considered the highest-formal recognition of artistic merit in this country — in recognition of his groundbreaking work in architecture research, design and digital fabrication.

“Massie is a free-spirited constructivist inventor who has expanded the architectural canvas,” said James Polshek, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters 2011 selection committee.

The American Academy’s 250 members nominate candidates for the awards, and a rotating committee of writers selects winners each year. The winners this year were chosen from a group of 30 architects nominated by the members of the Academy.

Massie is highly regarded for his pioneering work in digital design and fabrication–the use of computers to design and then manufacture objects, furniture, and in Massie’s case, entire buildings. His exquisite houses have landed him on the pages of nearly every major design publication in the world, ranging from Architectural Record to Wallpaper. Dwell magazine recently included him in a ranking of the 10 most important architects alive today. At Cranbrook, he is leading the graduate Architecture Department with a focus on the practical application of digital design at full scale.

exhibition of work by Massie and the five architectural winners will be
on view from May 19 through June 12, 2011, in the American Academy’s
galleries on Audubon Terrace in New York City. For more information, visit