Cullinan Visiting Professor


Charles Renfro is the Cullinan Visiting Professor at Rice University School of Architecture. He joined Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) in 1997 and became a partner in 2004. He was the project architect for many of DS+R’s most significant works including the Brasserie in New York City, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and the expansion and renovation of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He led the design and construction of the studio’s first concert hall outside of the US—the Tianjin Juilliard School in China—as well as the studio’s first public park outside of the US, the Zaryadye Park in Moscow.

Renfro has also led the design of much of DS+R’s academic portfolio, with projects completed at Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, Brown University, the University of Chicago, the College of the Holy Cross, and the recently completed Columbia Business School. He is currently leading the renovation and addition to the Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas, Frank Lloyd Wright’s only free-standing theater in the world. He is also leading the design of multiple interdisciplinary arts centers, including the new home for the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance in Harlem, New York, and the Susan and Fayez Sarofim Hall for Rice University’s Visual Arts and Dramatic Arts department. Most recently, he completed Blue Dream, DS+R’s first private residence.

Renfro’s architectural work with DS+R has been recognized with multiple awards including the Wall Street Journal’s Innovator Award, AIA New York’s Medal of Honor, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Design Award. The studio has been included in Surface magazine’s Power 100 and Fast Company’s List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies. He has been included twice in the Out100 list, and since 2012, he has been deeply involved with BOFFO, a nonprofit organization that supports the work of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC artists and designers.

He has taught at Rice University, Parsons School of Design, and Columbia University. He lectures frequently both in the United States and abroad. He is a faculty member of the School of Visual Arts.


  • M.S. Columbia University
  • B.Arch. Rice University
  • B.A. Rice University

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