Australian Institute of Architects Fellowships are given to members who have demonstrated a significant contribution to the architecture profession beyond architecture practice. It is our pleasure to announce that Grant Marani has been named a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects.
With his extraordinary accomplishments as an architect, educator, mentor, and global practice leader, in addition to his commitment to and leadership across numerous architectural organizations and associations in the USA, Asia, and Australia, Grant Marani has made an indelible mark on the profession of architecture and as a Partner at Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA).
Practice and education have been closely intertwined throughout Grant’s career and form the cornerstone of his design philosophy-that architecture should build connections between people, history, culture, and place.
In his writings and public appearances, Grant advocates for applying principles of urbanism, as well as sensitivity to local culture, to achieve a distinctive and appropriate sense of place in his architecture, and in doing so, imparts his knowledge and experience to future generations of architects.
Grant maintains a broad range of work, including spiritual, cultural, and institutional buildings, affordable and supportive housing, high-end single-family and multi-family residences, as well as town plans and mixed-use developments.
Outside of RAMSA, Grant is involved in student and public programs at The Architectural League of New York,
the Cooper Hewitt Education Committee, The Design Trust for Public Space, as well as Open House New York and The Urban Design Forum. His decades-long involvement with the Melbourne School of Design continues with his contributions in the form of a scholarship, mentoring students, as well as establishing an internship opportunity at RAMSA.
As RAMSA’s global practice leader, Grant has helped represent the United States abroad with projects in Africa, Australia, and Europe for the State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Building Operations. While simultaneously growing the firm’s international presence, Grant has worked domestically to enrich communities and shape civic space. He has developed a deep expertise in the design of federal and state judiciary courthouses. He has designed supportive and affordable housing projects for non-profit organisations, Breaking Ground and Habitat for Humanity.
As an undergraduate student in Melbourne, Australia, Grant embarked on a three-month ‘walkabout’ in Asia. This formative experience not only exposed him to a variety of new architectural styles and cultures, which would influence his professional work there decades later, but also solidified for him the importance of travel and research.
In 1979, Grant founded the Half-Time Club Forum, which hosted lectures by young professionals to keep “minds alive and ideas afloat” and remained a force on the vibrant architectural scene of Melbourne for almost two decades. Grant’s interest in the intersection of discourse and practice continued at Cornell University, where, while pursuing
a master’s degree, he turned to teaching. After immersing himself in American architectural practice and joining RAMSA, he continued to teach at Columbia University GSAPP from 1989 to 2001, where he inspired students as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Design, directed the infamous second-year housing studio, and served as a guest juror at Harvard GSD, the Yale School of Architecture, and the Pratt Institute.
Grant serves as an informal mentor to many designers at RAMSA; he takes joy in offering guidance about the profession as well as fostering professional development in the design studio. More formally, over two decades he has led the firm’s robust and extensive continuing education and research program. Grant also established and has served as a member of the three-person jury of the RAMSA Travel Fellowship, which funds an extensive project abroad for a graduate student every year. This has been an important opportunity for Grant to give back to students, in full recognition that his own early travels as an undergraduate were critical in his development as an architect.
Grant is also a Chapter Councillor of the International Chapter.