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Michael Willis, FAIA, NOMA

Portland State University School of Architecture and the Center for Public Interest Design are proud to welcome Michael Willis as speaker at CPID Talks on Thursday, April 26, 2018.

Michael Willis will be speaking on a range of topics related to public interest design in professional practice, offering unique insights gained throughout his distinguished career. Mr. Willis founded MWA Architects Inc. in 1988 and served as a principal until 2016. Since 2017 he has been an independent design consultant, and teaches at his alma mater Washington University (BA 1973/M.Arch 1976/MSW 1976). 

MWA has created master plans and designs for mixed income affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization projects in San Francisco, Oakland, Portland, Detroit, St. Louis, Memphis, and post-Katrina New Orleans, demonstrating that good design does not have to be expensive to be comprehensive. He has facilitated planning studies in St. Louis’s Downtown, North Central, and JeffVanDerLou neighborhoods.

Mr. Willis has served as principal on large public projects including the New International Terminal at San Francisco Airport and the new Central Subway Yerba Buena/Moscone Station for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. "Making Water Present" via water infrastructure projects has been central to his practice. This work includes planning and design for water and wastewater plants from 8-750 million gallons a day (mgd) in Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Stockton, and Richmond, California. 

Mr. Willis served as President of the San Francisco Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIASF) in 1995 and was elevated to Fellowship in 1996. He is a 2013 Distinguished Alumni of the Washington University School of Architecture, Distinguished Alumni of the Washington University Brown School of Social Work, and a holder of a National Black Achievement award of the Black Alumni Council (1996).