Robert Kelly, Ph.D., AIA, NCARB

Director, Architecture Graduate Program
Professor of Architecture
202E ET
B. Arch – University of Kentucky
M. Arch – Syracuse University
Ph.D. Architecture – McGill University
Curriculum Vitae: 

Bob’s early sensibilities were formed while exploring the territory between the Falls of the Ohio and the domesticated landscapes of Frederick Law Olmstead.  He was more formally educated through a Bachelor of Architecture degree at the University of Kentucky; a Master of Architecture degree at the Syracuse University program in Florence, Italy; and a Ph.D. in Architectural History and Theory at McGill University in Montreal.  At these institutions, his thoughts were further shaped by a host of Rangers and their progeny, refugees from the rue de Sèvres, folders of space, miners of mica, and multi-dimensional hermeneuticians. Since the late 1980s he has worked as an architect, maker, and educator, frequently teaching design studios, history/theory courses, and travel programs at the University of Kentucky, and now at Fairmont State, while also acting as a visiting critic and lecturer at a number of other universities in the US, Canada, and abroad.  Bob’s research and teaching interests span a continuum from the micro to the macro: from the making of furniture to the making of cities; while exploring the texts that illuminate their meaning and form.  He has lectured on a range of topics including Michelangelo, Le Corbusier, design pedagogy, architectural making, and community engagement at international, national, and regional conferences. His architectural practice has been the recipient of awards for both new design and historic preservation efforts, and his creative work has been exhibited both regionally and internationally.  He has served on a number of community boards and has worked for many years to improve the relationship between campus and city, the conditions of student housing, and the quality of life in neighborhoods surrounding universities.  He advocates an architectural education that cultivates a thorough knowledge of history and theory to provide an ethos from which to question meaning and appropriateness in the face of the ever-urgent issues of greater speed, economy, and technical manipulation.  He urges his students to travel widely, draw every day, read voraciously, and to take part in the process of construction.  He challenges students to consider how their work might respond to the cosmic context while simultaneously contributing to the well-being of their more immediate community: postulating that global problems may be more tangibly addressed through local deliberation, creative praxis, and the equitable engagement of all citizens.  Beyond architecture, he enjoys nearly all manifestations of the Fine and Performing Arts, a multitude of modes and destinations of travel, and the satisfaction of making things with his hands.