Julian Bonder

Design Critic in Architecture

Julian Bonder was born in New York and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is principal of Julian Bonder & Associates, partner at Wodiczko + Bonder (both in Cambridge Massachusetts), and professor of architecture at Roger Williams University.

Bonder is an active contributor to international debates on memory, architecture art and representation, historic trauma and the design of public spaces, monuments and memorials. His work is often found outside the traditional boundaries of architecture, and has received numerous awards, and has been widely published and exhibited worldwide. Bonder’s work and proposals about Argentina’s Desaparecidos, civil rights, the Holocaust, September 11, and Slavery include the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University and with Wodiczko the Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery in Nantes, France, which transforms 350 meters of the coast of the Loire River in the center of Nantes, and has received more than 2 million visitors. The memorial earned a Special Mention at the European Prize for Urban Public Space, was shortlisted for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award and received Boston Society of Architects honor awards. Wodiczko + Bonder were selected among the six finalists for the Canadian National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa, and, with Maryann Thompson and Walter Hood they were among the three finalist teams for the Martin Luther King Jr & Coretta Scott King Memorial in Boston. Bonder and Thompson are currently developing the Middle Passage Memorial for Newport, Rhode Island.

Bonder delivered the keynote address at the 4th Annual Human Rights Conference in Lima, a special presentation at the Memorial Democratic Conference in Barcelona and a plenary presentation at the Slavery and the University conference at Emory. Bonder has lectured extensively and was speaker at the 2017 Radcliffe Conference Universities and Slavery: Bound by History. He participates of various endeavors at the EUROM (European Observatory of Memories) and is a member of the Symbolic Reparations Research Project –a group of scholars working in Central and South America on issues related to reparations for gross violation of human rights through law, art and architecture. His work has been published in a variety of journals such as C3 Architectural Magazine (Corea), Bauwelt (Alemania), ARQA (Portugal), Intar-RISD, Archiscopie (Paris), AMC (Le Moniteur), Competitions, Arquis, ArchitectureBoston, Plot, Places, Memoria, Clarin Arquitectura, ACSA Proceedings, Clarin, Boston Herald, El Cronista, Sociedad de Arquitectos, Memoria (Lima, Peru), and others.

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) has presented Bonder with Faculty Design Awards (2001- 2007), and a 2020 Faculty Design Commendation for the Martin Luther King, Jr. & Coretta Scott King Memorial (with Walter Hood, Maryann Thompson, Krzysztof Wodiczko). He received a 2016 ACSA Creative Achievement Award for his design studios ‘Unearthing traces of Rhode Island Slavery and Slave Trade’, held at Roger Williams University. Bonder is also recipient various awards from the Boston Society of Architects such as 2010 Housing Design Honor Award and 2010 Small Firm/Small Projects Award for the design of two residences in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Bonder received degrees from Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo and Harvard University, Graduate School of Design.