William T. Cannady

Professor of Architecture




Post-Graduate Research, Bartlett School of Architecture, University of London

M. Arch., Harvard University Graduate School of Design

B. Arch., University of California at Berkeley


Will Cannady is a teacher and practicing architect. As a Professor of Architecture at Rice University since 1964, he teaches both undergraduate and graduate design studios. The undergraduate studio is focused on sustainable design principles applied to real-world projects such as urban mixed-use housing complexes. The graduate Urban Design and Investment Building Design Studio investigates real estate investment projects such as mid-rise, high density, mixed use, mid-town transit oriented developments. This studio provides opportunity for cross discipline collaboration through the use of a wide array of consultants and experts from outside the university and team work with MBA students from Rice's Jones School of Management.
Professor Cannady has served as a visiting lecturer and critic at the following institutions: American Academy in Rome; Architectural Association of London; Hydra II Conference, Hydra, Greece; University College London; University of California at Berkeley; University of Kentucky; University of Tennessee; Utah State University; University of Michigan; Texas A & M University; The University of Houston; Texas Tech University; University of Texas at Arlington; Prairie View University; Harvard University; University of Texas at Austin and Iowa State University.
In his architectural practice, Cannady has designed and built over two hundred projects, which have been honored with sixty awards, both nationally and locally, for outstanding design including Educator of the Year Award from the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2010. His teaching pedagogy and built work is rooted in the philosophy "the poetry of pragmatism." This approach aspires to preserve tradition while pioneering change. His academic and professional experience covers a wide range of design problems and building types including residential, commercial, institutional and public. His constructed buildings are intended to be easy to build, use, maintain and enjoy.
Current projects in Will's private practice include a large house for a bachelor in the River Oaks subdivision, a mixed-use transit-oriented development on Main Street Houston which includes 365 apartment units, 50,000 sf of retail space, and a 750 car garage, and a single family house on 15-acres near Brenham, Texas.
Cannady was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 1983. He is active on campus as Chairman, University Transportation and Parking Committee, a member of the Rice University Athletic Committee, and a member of the Rice Tennis Club. He is a past president and member of the Houston Philosophical Society Executive Committee. Cannady is a member of the Menil Collection Real Estate Committee and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Fay School, Southborough, Massachusetts, the oldest junior boarding school in the country. On July 23, 2014, his design for the Bricker House in Bellaire won a Design Award,along with collaborators Murphy Mears Architects, from the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.