Phil Freelon | Keynote


Phil Freelon is the founder and President of The Freelon Group, Inc. In 2014, Freelon joined forces with global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will. As the Managing and Design Director of the North Carolina practice, he leads both Perkins+Will North Carolina offices in Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte and has joined the Board of Directors.

 Freelon has led multi-faceted design teams on museum projects in Washington DC, Baltimore, MD, San Francisco, CA, Philadelphia, PA, Atlanta & Augusta, GA and Greensboro & Charlotte, NC. Library projects include facilities in Chicago, Il, Atlanta, GA, Washington, DC and Durham, NC. The team of Freelon Adjaye Bond / SmithGroup is leading the design for the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture currently under construction on the Mall in Washington, DC.

Freelon's work has been published in national professional journals including Architect, Progressive Architecture, Architectural Record, and Contract magazine where he was named Designer of the Year for 2008. Metropolis and Metropolitan Home magazines and the New York Times have also featured Freelon and his firm’s work.

A native of Philadelphia, PA, Freelon earned his Bachelor of Environmental Design degree in Architecture from North Carolina State University and his Master of Architecture degree from MIT. Phil also received a Loeb Fellowship and spent a year of independent study at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at North Carolina State University’s College of Design and has lectured at Harvard, MIT, the University of Maryland, Syracuse University, Auburn University, the University of Utah, the University of California - Berkeley, Kent State University, SCAD and the Cranbrook Academy of Art, among others. Phil is currently on the faculty at MIT’s School of Architecture + Planning where he was appointed Professor of Practice in 2009.

Freelon is a Peer Professional for the GSA’s Design Excellence Program and has served on numerous design award juries including the National AIA Institute Honor Awards jury and the National Endowment for the Arts Design Stewardship Panel. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and the recipient of AIA North Carolina’s Gold Medal, its highest individual honor. Phil is a LEED Accredited Professional and the 2009 recipient of the AIA Thomas Jefferson Award for Public architecture. In 2011 President Obama appointed him to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.