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John L. Wilson, FAIA




Affordable housing, community outreach

Recognizing a growing problem throughout his city, John Wilson, FAIA, launched the Boston Society of Architects Task Force to End Homelessness in 1985. Uniting 200 professionals across disciplines, the task force designed more than 80 projects in its 20-year existence, during which Wilson would be honored with the Whitney Young Award.


After receiving a master’s from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Wilson joined Boston’s Payette Associates in 1966. Eventually a principal and studio director, he led the firm’s health care team, designing projects from Maine to Ethiopia.


In creating the Task Force to End Homelessness, Wilson applied design-thinking beyond the architect’s studio. As the task force’s cochair, he assembled multidisciplinary teams to solve specific problems, from a cash-strapped church building a soup kitchen to a bank opening a drop-in center for people experiencing homelessness.

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