William O’Brien Jr. is Associate Professor at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning and is principal of WOJR, an independent design practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is also one of the founding members of Collective–LOK.
In 2013 Architectural Record awarded him with the Design Vanguard Award, a prize given to ten firms internationally. Also this year, Wallpaper* named him one of the top twenty emerging architects in the world, and included him in the 2013 Architects Directory. He is the recipient of the 2012-2013 Rome Prize Fellowship in Architecture awarded by the American Academy in Rome. His practice was awarded the 2011 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects. In 2010 his practice was a finalist for the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program.
O’Brien has taught previously at The University of California Berkeley as a Bernard Maybeck Fellow and was the LeFevre Emerging Practitioner Fellow at The Ohio State University. Before joining MIT, for two years he was Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Austin, where he taught advanced theory seminars and design studios in the graduate curriculum. At MIT O’Brien currently holds the Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Chair and teaches design studios in both the graduate and undergraduate programs.
O’Brien pursued his graduate studies at Harvard University where he was the recipient of the Master of Architecture Faculty Design Award. Prior to graduate school he attended Hobart College in New York where he studied architecture and music theory and was the winner of the Nicholas Cusimano Prize in Music. After completion of his graduate work he studied in Austria as the recipient of the Hayward Prize for Fine Arts Traveling Fellowship in Architecture under the sponsorship of The American Austrian Foundation. He has been named a MacDowell Fellow by the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and a Socrates Fellow by the Aspen Institute.