AMES, Iowa — James P. Cramer, co-founder and chairman emeritus of the Design Futures Council and its journal, DesignIntelligence, is the recipient of the 2019 Christian Petersen Design Award presented by the Iowa State University College of Design.

Established in 1980, the award is given annually to alumni, staff and friends of the university for distinguished work that advances the design and art professions. It is named for the noted artist Christian Petersen, who was Iowa State’s sculptor-in-residence from 1934–1955.

Cramer, Atlanta, Georgia, will be honored during Homecoming at the ISU Alumni Association’s 88th Honors and Awards Ceremony at 1:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, in Benton Auditorium, Scheman Building, Iowa State Center. A dessert reception will follow.

Cramer co-founded the Design Futures Council with Jonas Salk in 1994 and began publishing DesignIntelligence, which conducts the only national college ranking survey focused exclusively on design. He is a past chief executive officer of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

An expert on trends in design and technology, Cramer has authored eight books, including How Firms Succeed: A Field Guide to Design Management (with Scott Simpson), now in its fifth edition, and The Next Architect: A New Twist on the Future of Design, now in its third edition. His latest book, Small Firm Success, is forthcoming in 2019.

Cramer is a Richard Upjohn Fellow of the AIA, a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council and an honorary member of the International Interior Design Association. He is a founding board member of the Aerial Futures Foundation and has served on the boards of dozens of organizations, including the National Building Museum and the Society of Architectural Historians.

Among Cramer’s consulting clients over the past 25 years are top architecture and engineering firms including SOM, Perkins and Will, Foster and Partners, BIG, HDR and many others. Currently a lecturer at the Georgia Institute of Technology, he has taught at Arizona State University, the University of Minnesota and the Savannah College of Art and Design. He is a frequent commencement speaker and visiting lecturer at universities throughout the US.

Cramer has received more than 70 awards in design and environmental stewardship. In 2009, he was honored with the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.

Cramer holds a bachelor of science in education from Northern State University, which honored him with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995, and a master of arts in community education/higher education from the University of St. Thomas.


James Cramer, cramerarch@gmail.com
Rachel Moylan, Design Events and Alumni Relations, (515) 294-5791, rmoylan@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu