Moshe Safdie, designer of Savannah's Jepson Center for the Arts, will address the SCAD graduating class of 2013 this Saturday, June 1, at commencement ceremonies.
Safdie will speak to graduates at SCAD’s 33rd Savannah commencement ceremony at the Civic Center, and then will address graduates at SCAD Atlanta’s 7th commencement ceremony at the Georgia World Congress Center.
Born in Israel in 1938, Safdie moved with his family to Canada at a young age, later studying at Montreal's McGill University. His experimental town of stacked housing units in Montreal, known as Habitat 67, is widely considered a revolutionary design in the history of architecture.
In 1970, Safdie established a Jerusalem branch office and began an intense involvement in rebuilding Jerusalem. He was responsible for major segments of the Old City’s restoration and reconstruction of the new city center. Over the years, his involvement expanded and included creation of the new city of Modi’in, the new Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and the Rabin Memorial Center.
Many of his firm’s buildings have become regional and national landmarks, including Exploration Place Science Center, Wichita, Kansas; Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City, Utah; Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts; Springfield Federal Courthouse, Springfield, Massachusetts; Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, California; Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He also designed six of Canada’s principal public institutions including the Quebec Museum of Civilization, the National Gallery of Canada and Vancouver Library Square.
Major international projects Safdie Architects is currently constructing or has recently completed include a national museum of the Sikh people in the Punjab, India; the United States Institute of Peace Headquarters in Washington, D.C.; a high-density residential project in China; the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri; and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, in Bentonville, Arkansas, for Walmart heiress Alice Walton.