Inaugural Philip Freelon Fellow Announced

(Left to right) Perkins+Will CEO Phil Harrison; Philip Freelon Fellow Aria Griffin; and Phil Freelon.

Perkins+Will, Phil Freelon, FAIA, and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) have announced the appointment of the inaugural Philip Freelon Fellow. Aria Griffin, who is expected to graduate from the Harvard GSD in 2021, is the first recipient of the fellowship. The Phil Freelon Fellowship Fund, established last year to increase diversity within the field of architecture, is named after the design director for the Perkins+Will North Carolina office who is also Contract magazine’s 2008 Designer of the Year.

“The support from Mr. Freelon and Perkins+Will is absolutely incredible, and I am so humbled and honored by this fellowship,” Griffin says. “It enables me to pursue something that I love so much, and propels me in a direction to do the best work I can.”

“We are delighted to award this fellowship for the first time to such a talented, driven, and promising designer as Aria,” Freelon says. “Aria exemplifies the academic excellence and opportunity we were hoping to advance at the GSD when we established the fellowship. We look forward to seeing her grow academically and professionally in the years to come.”

A Los Angeles native, Griffin obtained her bachelor of science in architecture degree earlier this year from the Sam Fox School of Art and Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She also minored in African and African American studies.

“Through the Philip Freelon Fellowship at the GSD, we’re looking to make the biggest impact possible,” says Perkins+Will CEO Phil Harrison. “We want it to draw attention to the need for diversity in the architecture profession, and we want to inspire others to do the same thing at institutions all over the world.”