People
Jay Wickersham

Jay Wickersham, an architect and lawyer, is an Associate Professor in Practice of Architecture at the Graduate School of Design, where he has taught since 2000. He teaches courses in the law, ethics, and history of architectural practice. Course offerings include “Issues in Architectural Practice and Ethics” and “The Architect in History: The Evolution of Practice from the Renaissance to the Present.” Jay has also taught courses in international design practice and planning and environmental law. 

Wickersham is a founding partner in the Cambridge, MA law firm Noble & Wickersham LLP, which represents over 200 architectural and design firms around the US and worldwide. Current clients of the firm include Adamson International, Moshe Safdie & Associates, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, and Robert A.M. Stern Architects. Jay has worked in all aspects of design, planning, and development as a private lawyer, a government regulator, an architect, and an urban planner. Between 1998 and 2002 he served as Assistant Secretary of Environmental Affairs for Massachusetts. As director of the state’s environmental impact review program, he oversaw the review of all major public and private projects, including the Central Artery, the expansion of Logan Airport, and Cape Wind. Jay is a registered architect with ten years of professional experience, and he has been elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Wickersham has written widely on design and planning issues for general and professional journals. He is a contributing author to Rathkopf’s The Law of Zoning and Planning, Urban Sprawl: A Comprehensive Reference Guide, and Public Construction Law of the 50 States. Recent articles include “The Financial Misadventures of Charles Bulfinch” (New England Quarterly) and “Learning from Burnham: The Birth of Modern Practice” (Harvard Design Magazine). Jay’s current research and writing focus on H.H. Richardson and his clients, the Ames family of North Easton, MA, and evolving models of firm practice during the twentieth century.

Wickersham received his BA from Yale University, his MArch from the GSD, and his JD from Harvard Law School. 

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People: Jay Wickersham

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