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Kelley Van Dyck Murphy

Kelley Van Dyck Murphy is an assistant professor of architecture in the College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research explores themes of identity, authorship, and context through an investigation of how materiality is entwined with larger cultural narratives. She is a co-lead in the Mellon Foundation–funded interdisciplinary research project “Beauty in Enormous Bleakness: The Design History of the Interned Generation of Japanese American Designers.” The research project explores architecture’s relationship to issues of immigration, exclusion, and cultural identity in the 20th century focusing on the design legacies of the mass incarceration of individuals of Japanese descent during World War II. The interdisciplinary symposium “Moonscape of the Mind: Japanese American Design after Internment,” which Murphy co-led in 2023, expands upon this research. Her work has been funded by the Regional Arts Commission and the Downtown Public Partnership of St. Louis, the Ann Arbor Arts Commission, HOK, and Washington University. Recent work has been shown at Usagi Gallery, the Des Lee Gallery, the Farrell Teaching and Learning Center, and the Sheldon, and featured in arcCA, the journal of AIA California; the Architects’ Newspaper; and E-flux. Murphy is also the co-director of Fox Fridays, an interdisciplinary workshop series encouraging experimentation with tools, processes, and technology.

She also leads Van Dyck Murphy Studio, a design collaborative based in St. Louis. The practice engages in built and speculative projects at the scales of objects, installations, and environments with a focus on the coupling of place with material systems and material craft. Recently, they completed the design and fabrication of a 3D-printed terracotta screen wall at the site of Louis Sullivan’s iconic Wainwright Building in downtown St. Louis.

Murphy earned a master of architecture degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a bachelor of arts degree from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She has practiced architecture in St. Louis and Atlanta, where she worked on projects ranging from exhibitions to urban planning.

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Work by Kelley Van Dyck Murphy