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New Jersey Institute of Technology Appoints Architect Karen Nichols, FAIA, Principal of Michael Graves & Associates, To School of Architecture Board

NEWARK, October 10--The New Jersey School of Architecture (NJSOA) at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) recently announced the appointment of architect Karen Nichols, FAIA, to the NJSOA Board of Visitors.

Nichols is a principal of Michael Graves & Associates, Princeton and New York City. She graduated from Smith College in 1974 with a degree in art history and later received a Masterís of Architecture from MIT, where she taught interdisciplinary courses in the architecture department.

Nichols joined Gravesí architecture firm in 1977. In addition to overseeing the practice as a whole over the past 26 years, she has been responsible for numerous architectural and planning projects, primarily for educational and arts-related institutions. Among these are the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, the master plan for the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the ongoing renovation and expansion of the Newark Museum, which received a National AIA Honor Award in 1990. Nichols is part of the team that developed the firmís product design department, which has designed more than 1000 consumer products for manufacturers such as Alessi and retailers such as Target.

Nichols was elevated to the College of Fellows of the AIA this year in recognition of her career achievements and contribution to the profession. She has dedicated her career to developing and implementing innovative operational and practice models that have influenced how architects practice and are engaged with the public. Working with Graves and her five other partners, she has built the firmís practice around the integration of architecture, interior design and product design. Within the firm, this strategic diversification of services and financial structures has counteracted the architecture professionís vulnerability to economic fluctuation. Externally, the product design practiceówhich ranges from architectural to tabletop productsóhas broadened the role of the architect in the publicís eyes and has raised awareness of the value of good design.

Nichols has consistently been interested in educating the public about architecture and design. In addition to preparing lectures and articles, she developed the firmís website and designed over 35 exhibitions, including the exhibition entitled ďThe Language of Michael Graves: Architecture and Product DesignĒ held at the NJSOA at NJIT in 2000. She has also edited seven monographs on the work of Graves and the firm, including a new volume being published by Rizzoli in December 2003. She has been a board member of New Jersey AIA and the Arts Council of Princeton.


NJSOA is one of the largest degree accredited architecture schools in the U.S. granting both bachelorís and masterís degrees in architecture, the only architecture school in New Jersey offering the bachelorís degree in architecture, and a national leader in the integration into the studio curriculum of computer-aided design (CAD).  

NJIT is a public, scientific and technological research university enrolling more than 8,800 students. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees to students in 80 degree programs throughout its six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Albert Dorman Honors College and College of Computing Sciences. The division of continuing professional education offers adults eLearning, off campus degrees and short courses. Expertise and research initiatives include architecture and building science, applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and science, information technology, manufacturing, materials, microelectronics, multimedia, telecommunications, transportation and solar astrophysics. NJIT ranks in Tier 2 of U.S. News & World Reportís list of national doctoral universities.

Contact Information:   Sheryl Weinstein
Public Relations
(973) 596-3436 




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