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In Memoriam
Terence Riley

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May 21, 2021

Columbia GSAPP sadly shares the loss of Terence Riley ‘82 MSAUD, who passed away on Tuesday, May 18, at the age of 66. His contributions to the fields of architecture and design were groundbreaking and in many ways immeasurable.

Following his graduation from Columbia University, Riley formed his firm Keenen/Riley in 1984 with fellow GSAPP alumnus John Keenen '83 M.Arch. In 1990, he opened the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery with the inaugural exhibition The Filter of Reason: Work of Paul Nelson, co-curated with Joseph Abram and Ware Professor Emeritus Kenneth Frampton. The show led to a job offer at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), where he served as the chief curator of Architecture and Design from 1992 to 2006. MoMA Director Glenn D. Lowry credited Riley for bringing the architect Yoshio Taniguchi to their attention, eventually leading to Taniguchi’s commission for the museum’s groundbreaking 2004 renovation. Also at MoMA, Riley curated the exhibition The Un-Private House, which featured contributions by Professor Michael Bell, Diller + Scofidio (Charles Renfro MSAAD '94), Archi-Tectonics (Winka Dubbeldam '92 MSAAD), Professor Steven Holl, Adjunct Faculty Gordon Kipping, Joel Sanders M.Arch ‘81, and Professor and Dean Emeritus Bernard Tschumi.

As the director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (2006–2009), Riley’s leadership led to a seminal new building by Herzog & de Meuron Architects. In addition, his practice Keenen/Riley has left an indelible mark on Miami, most recently through Craig Robins’ Museum Garage development in the Miami Design District. He is remembered by the GSAPP community as a steadfast and generous champion of young designers and a kind friend. He will be greatly missed.