An accomplished architect with a career that spans over 25 years, Charles D. Knight, AIA, LEED AP, joins Cannon Design, with responsibility for leading the Phoenix office and advancing the firm’s healthcare practice. Chuck’s work reflects his affinity for social needs—creating and financing socially responsible sustainable medical campuses, children’s hospitals, hospice facilities and private sector communities. As a former educator and experienced practice leader, he will be a valuable resource and mentor to the firm’s aspiring architects.
Chuck comes to the firm after serving as Principal and Managing Director of Perkins + Will’s Minneapolis office, where he guided the region’s strategic initiatives, as well as served on its Board of Directors. His professional contributions include serving on the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Design/Research Committee, the AIA’s Competition Committee, and the Campus Architecture Landscape Architecture (CALA) Education Accreditation Committee. An Associate of the Historic Architecture Society, he has also served as a Design Critic at the University of Illinois, University of Arizona, Oklahoma State University and the University of Minnesota.
A frequent presenter both outside and within professional forums, Chuck has authored articles for Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, Building and Design, and Healthcare and Real Estate Review. He holds both a Professional Bachelors of Architecture from Oklahoma State University and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Illinois.
Q & A …
Minneapolis and Phoenix are on the opposite ends of the spectrum? Is this the first time you have lived in the Southwest?
Yes, at 53 it’s time to thaw out from the tundra. With family in Arizona and Colorado, we all wanted to spend more time together as we grow older. We will join the snowbirds, traveling back and forth between Minnesota and Arizona. Minnesota in the spring, summer and fall are world class! … in the winter season, though, a week is enough!
What do you feel will be your biggest challenge as you take on your new role at Cannon Design?
I believe that my biggest challenge is having the opportunity to teach, support and guide people versus “lead” them. I want to support our teams in creating beautifully designed/socially responsible environments—facilities that initiate innovative and leading engineering/architectural technologies. We need to value and demonstrate how design (architecture, engineering, interiors and strategies) will enhance business’s ROI. A mouthful!
Ultimately, I am following my father’s footsteps to teach people in all disciplines. Industries must invest in people and value design … innovative ideas versus responding to others’ mediocrity. We need to create responsible paths for others to follow that work operationally and environmentally—proven and endure over time.
What do you feel our profession can offer humanity?
For me … I create. I look for funding for ideas that improve our society. Our profession has the responsibility to lead the process, create the ideas and make an impact—i.e. hospice for children, family community spaces, education, social needs overseas, future medical environments for catastrophic conditions, etc. We need to take on what is difficult and make the facilities a reality. We need to lead by example and feel proud of the gifts we can give… design.
What do you do in your spare time?
Family first! I have known my wife since the 8th grade. It might sound sappy, but Patty is why I have accomplished the career I have. “Think” time keeps me young, but TIME is also the sacrifice. In our profession, we have to grow professionally via exposure to others outside our profession—new knowledge and life/environment experiences. We have to learn to be leaders in our industry, take risks and guide others. Again that takes time away from family priorities. Patty supported my career and now she gets the warm weather as a minor payback! My family took a backseat for over 20 years. I owe them for my success.
What is your favorite movie, and why?
Extremes: True Grit, Jeremiah Johnson and The Matrix. I am originally from Oklahoma—open west values where a handshake and your word are valued. Friends never leave a friend. New unchartered territory—open range. I like going where there are unknowns, yet need help.
Susan Welker, AIA - 18 May 2013
Exactly! I did research during my Masters in Architecture about how more w...
Yen Cao - 15 May 2013
Way to go Brian! Congrats.
Air Monitoring - 15 May 2013
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Don Wesley - 14 May 2013
Sara: What an honor, and so well deserved! You have always been a very sp...
Bob Farwell - 13 May 2013
Sara: Congratulations! I have always been impressed by your talents,work e...