Jennifer Bonner (MArch '09), recently appointed assistant professor of architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, spoke with Archinect magazine for its online Design Manifestos feature this week. Among other topics, Bonner shared insight on her influences, design outlook, and the experience of starting her own practice.
“The exciting part about our profession is that you’ll never know everything about a building type, a building system, or properties of a material, so architects are constantly learning new things during each project,” Bonner said. “In a way, by embracing this disciplinary problem of endless, vast knowledge in architecture, if armed with curiosity there is a lot of potential for invention.”
Born in Alabama, Bonner is a recipient of an AR Award for Emerging Architecture (Architectural Review), Emerging Voices Award (American Institute of Architects/Young Architects Forum), and two Faculty Design Awards (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture). While at the GSD, she was awarded the James Templeton Kelley Prize for her project Assemblage of Twins. She founded her firm Studio BONNER in January 2009.
Bonner's work has taken her around the globe. Before her studies at the GSD, Bonner worked in the office of Foster + Partners in London and Istanbul on the Palace of Peace in Astana, Kazakhstan. Later, as project architect at David Chipperfield Architects, she worked on design proposals for Melnikov’s Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage in Moscow and the Turner Contemporary in Margate, UK.