Thomas Kelley

Design Critic in Architecture

Thomas Kelley is an Assistant Professor in architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was raised in Canberra, East Berlin, Warsaw, Tegucigalpa, Oxford, Lima, and Washington D.C. and has worked in the architecture practices of Brasil Arquitetura Studio in São Paulo, Asymptote Architecture in New York, and Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill in Chicago. Kelley is the recipient of the Reyner Banham Fellowship from SUNY Buffalo and a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome (FAAR ‘13). His teaching focuses on the role of representation in architecture as a technological, cultural, and historical instrument, and explores new possibilities for representation in contemporary practice. His writing has been published by Log, The Avery Review, and the Architect’s Newspaper. Kelley received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture with Honors from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Architecture from Princeton University.

In 2012, Kelley co-founded the New Orleans and Chicago-based architecture and design collaborative, Norman Kelley, with Carrie Norman. The practice’s professional and theoretical work, which includes building additions, interior renovations, site-specific drawings and furniture, re-examines architecture’s relationship to perception through deceptive optics. Norman Kelley’s work has been published in Cultured, Domus, Dezeen, and Metropolis and exhibited at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennial (2014), the 1st and 2nd Chicago Architecture Biennials (2015, 2017), and the Whitney Biennial (2019). The practice was a recipient of the Architecture League of New York Young Architect’s Prize (2014), and the United States Artists Fellowship (2018). The practice’s design work, which includes a collection of early American furniture, is currently represented by Volume Gallery.