Johnpaul Jones (BArch U. of Oregon 1967), a Native American Indian (Choctaw/Cherokee) born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma July 24, 1941, has created a nationally significant legacy of projects that honor the land and cultural heritage, while nurturing a culture of professional inclusiveness based on regard for the human spirit.
Johnpaul takes his strength and guidance from the land – a design philosophy which he attributes to his roots in the Choctaw/Cherokee tradition. His designs for museums, cultural centers, and zoological facilities, including influential work at the highly-regarded San Diego Zoo and Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo, have won recognition for heightening human sensitivity to cultural and environmental issues.
As a Founding Principal (1972) of Seattle-based Jones & Jones Architects and Landscape Architects - honored in 2003 as the first recipient of the ASLA Landscape Architecture Firm Award - Johnpaul has contributed to the quiet alteration of the direction of zoological design beginning in the late 1970s. With his co-principals and clients including San Diego Zoo, he has helped foster an integrated approach to built environments and the conservation of natural resources, further educating the public about how we all must live with nature. His designs have won recognition for heightening human sensitivity to cultural and environmental issues.
An area of concentration involves the interpretation of indigenous peoples' values, ways, and beliefs in creating projects celebrating Native American Indian cultures. Johnpaul has worked closely with Native American tribes throughout the US, incorporating their architectural and cultural heritage into the structures designed specifically to honor them. This direction had a special culmination in Johnpaul's design leadership with others over the dozen years of effort to realize the National Museum of the American Indian, which opened on the Mall in Washington, DC on September 21, 2004.
Johnpaul's design philosophy grew from his Native American heritage, and he returns that gift by volunteering with Native American tribes and mentoring young Native Americans and others of diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds to enter the design field. As a Founding Member of the AIA Seattle Diversity Roundtable, Johnpaul has offered a consistently strong, thoughtful example of inclusiveness in practice, and has helped many people of "different" backgrounds find their place in architecture and design.
Honors to Johnpaul include the Lawrence Medal, presented by the University of Oregon's School of Architecture and Allied Arts. The School cited Johnpaul Jones as the first recipient of its highest honor to a distinguished alumnus, "in recognition that his accomplishments transcend architecture, landscape architecture, and historic preservation, and with enduring respect for his dedication to practice and to a life that honors social and cultural integrity at their foundation."
Articles about Johnpaul Jones and his work: •9/21/04 The Seattle Times front-page article by Sara Jean Green: "Architect helped create place for Indians to share their stories"
•9/21/04 Architectural Record, by Andrea Oppenheimer Dean: "National Museum of the American Indian Opens in Washington, DC"
•The Seattle Times 9/25/03: "Local firm presents 3 designs for land-bridge project"
•The Seattle Times 7/20/03: "Indians achieve a dream: lodge at Discovery Park"
•The Seattle Times 8/12/01:
"The People's Lodge fits Discovery Park"
•8/1/99 The Seattle Times Pacific Magazine cover feature by Blaine Newnham: "Conversations With The Land -- Architect Johnpaul Jones Infuses A New Smithsonian Museum With `The Way Of The People'"
•ISDesign 8/97: "Resort to Nature: Sleeping Lady wakes up to green design"
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