Learn More About Moshe Safdie
What is a project’s inherent and deep purpose? For visionary architect Moshe Safdie, the answer centers on discovering the life intended inside. “If you can identify completely with those who will live, work and be [in that building], you are half way to victory.”
Throughout his 50+ year career, the Israeli-Canadian-American architect has embraced the relationship between architecture and society, creating designs that transcend the boundaries between building and nature, social and urban environment, private and public space – giving life to landscapes that fulfill both beauty and purpose. A self-described modernist, Safdie’s work and contributions to the dialogue on sustainable urbanism are unsurpassed in contemporary practice.
Safdie is founder and principal of Safdie Architects, the international architectural and urban planning practice headquartered in Boston, with offices in Jerusalem, Toronto, Singapore and Shanghai. His work spans cultural, educational and civic institutions, as well as neighborhoods, public parks, resorts, urban centers and airports across Israel, Canada, China, India and the U.S. With his firm, Safdie’s currently under construction or recently completed projects include Mamilla Center in Jerusalem; Marina Bay Sands in Singapore; Khalsa Heritage Centre in Punjab, India, the United States Institute of Peace headquarters in Washington, D.C. and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Born in Israel, Safdie earned his architecture degree from Montreal’s McGill University. After apprenticing with legendary American architect Louis Khan, he returned to Montreal to oversee the master plan for the 1967 World Exhibition and realize Habitat ’67, an adaptation of his master’s thesis at McGill that became a central feature of the World Exhibition. The Habitat ’67 project remains a groundbreaking design in the history of architecture, launching Safdie’s career on the international platform.
Also lauded as an influential theorist, author and educator, Safdie has held teaching positions at Harvard, Yale and McGill. Like his designs, his writings stress the need to create meaningful, vital and inclusive spaces that enhance community, informed by the geographic, social and cultural elements that define a place, while responding to human needs and aspirations. Safdie’s most notable books include, “Beyond Habitat” (1970), “Form and Purpose” (1972) and “The City After the Automobile” (1997), which details his ideas about urbanism and city planning. Several monographs of his work have also been published, and his designs continue to be the subject of films and exhibitions.
Widely recognized for his enduring influence on the built environment, Safdie has received numerous awards, honorary degrees and civil honors. Most recently, he was named the 2019 Wolf Prize laureate for architecture (Israel’s most prestigious international award) and was bestowed the 2015 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Gold Medal, the profession’s highest annual honor.
Moshe Safdie is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.