Theodore Landsmark, PhD, Assoc. AIA
Professional advocacy, architecture education
An architect, attorney, and academic, Theodore Landsmark, PhD, Assoc. AIA, received the Whitney Young Award for a multifaceted career dedicated to justice and inclusivity.
As a young civil rights lawyer, Landsmark was thrust into Boston’s racial turmoil in 1976 when he was walking to City Hall and was speared by a man wielding an American flag during a demonstration. The attack was captured in a well-known photograph and broadcast across the nation. Landsmark refuses to let that image define him. “My life has been a lot more interesting than the 20 second moment captured in that picture,” he told the Boston Globe in 2005.
Landsmark graduated from Yale University in 1973 with degrees in both architecture and law. When faced with the decision of which field to enter, he chose law after doubting the possibility of receiving a fruitful architecture internship, due in large part to his background. As an attorney concentrating on architectural law, he continued to watch the profession make little progress toward building a diverse workforce since his days as a young architecture graduate.
Landsmark has worked with major architecture organizations to open doors for underrepresented groups. As president of the Boston Architectural Center from 1997 to 2014, he initiated a high school mentoring program to address the lack of diversity within the design field. As chair of the AIA Diversity Committee, he established a data system to track diversity in the architecture profession and helped to initiate diversity programs for AIA chapters.