Randall Kober has been educated as an architect, carpenter, and historian. He holds a Master of Architecture from University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in history, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During and between undergraduate and graduate studies Kober worked with wood as a rough and finish carpenter, furniture and cabinetmaker in the USA and Germany for six years. He has hands-on experience with contemporary and historical light framing and heavy timber building practices as well as with many other materials. His development as an architect and educator is indebted to Douglas Garofalo with whom he studied and practiced over a span of twelve years in Chicago. Together they designed and at times personally built extremely contemporary nationally and internationally published work.
Randall is a Master Lecturer and founding faculty at Laurentian University’s McEwen School of Architecture which was established in 2013. Located in northern Ontario at the intersection of the vast great Lakes St. Lawrence and northern boreal forests the school has wood as a building material as a curricular foundation. At Laurentian he has taught undergraduate and graduate students wood design and building skills in design studio and fabrication courses. He has developed Structures 1: Wood as an introductory materials and methods course based on the values, static principles, and construction practices of the Native, French, and English cultures of the region. He has lectured internationally on this innovative hands-on course where students explore wood's potential by building wooden structures at 1:1. He has developed the course Building Case Studies to place the material history of iconic buildings within their larger cultural, social, and political contexts. He also leads spring semester design/build projects for Laurentian students within the medieval heavy timber building fabric of Dinkelsbühl, Germany. Prior to his appointment at Laurentian he has taught in Chicago, Rome, and Paris for University of Illinois at Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and Archeworks.
He maintains anarchitectures, a collaborative practice exploring the space between architecture, construction, art, and craft in Dinkelsbühl. His project there at Kapuzinerweg 9 earned an historic preservation award by the government of Middle Franconia. He serves as Architecture Academia Advisor to the Board of the Canadian Wood Council and on the editorial board of its Wood Design and Building magazine.
Master of Architecture, University of Illinois at Chicago
Bachelor of Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Visting Assistant Professor 2004-08
Archeworks, Chicago, Facillitator, 2004-07
University of Illinois at Chicago, Adjunct Assistant Professor, 2000-04
On The Web
Social, Cultural, and Material History
ACSA Here + Now 2019, housing competition, 2nd place: A Millennial Housing type, thesis student project of Theodore Wong, faculty advisor
Middle Franconia Historic Preservation Award, renovation and restoration of ensemble at Kapuzinerweg 9, Dinkelsbühl, Germany, March 2017
Bergen International Wood Festival, Laurentian students awarded 1st place, accompanying consulting timber construction expert, May 2016
Jerome Fellowship, for design and construction of housing “intern crates” at Franconia Sculpture Park, Schafer MN, with Christine Tarkowski, March 2004
Unbuilt Design Award, Chicago Chapter American Institute of Architects; Chicago Housing Authority/ National Endowment for the Arts Design Competition; Garofalo Architects, Chicago, 2002.
Guth Illumination Design Award, Illinois Engineering Society of North America; Time Exhibit, Museum of Science and Industry; Garofalo Architects with Charter Sills Lighting; Chicago, 2002.
AIA Chicago Design Award, Offices of Thornton Tomasetti Engineers; Garofalo Architects, Chicago, 2001.
Honorable Mention, Chicago Housing Authority/ National Endowment for the Arts Design Competition; Chicago, 2001.
Gold Medal, Bienal 2001 Miami+Beach E-Competition; Florida International university & Miami Chapter AIA; Garofalo Architects/Michael McInturf Architects, Miami, 2001.
Chicago Architecture Club, Chicago Evolution Competition, 1st prize, Stolon project w/ Doug Garofalo and Julie Flohr, July 1999.
Swanke, Hayden, Connell, Ltd. Award for excellence in interior design, UIC, May 1995
Helen Hano Morgante Award for outstanding academic achievement, UIC, May 1994
Parnham School for Workers in Wood Program Scholarship, UIC, March 1994
American Institute of Architects Scholastic Pursuit Award, UIC, May 1994
School of Architecture Archivist tuition waiver and stipend, UIC, May 1993-May 1999
ARCH 2316: Structures 1: Wood
ARCH 4006: Building Case Studies
ARCH 5326: Fabrication II
ARCH 5505: Grad Craft Studio
ARCH 5915 & 5925: Grad Coop
Dinkesbühl Spring Program
Building Community on Frozen Lakes, Architecture Connects Proceedings, UK, 2017
Teaching Structures 1: Wood, Hands On in Northern Ontario, World Conference on Timber Engineering (WCTE 2016) Proceedings, TU Verlag, Vienna, Austria
Research Terrain; Text, 2d, 3d ,4d, 1:1. Working Out: Thinking While Building: Project Proceedings. Ted Cavanagh, Ursula Hartig & Sergio Palleroni editors, 2014.
Garofalo Architects in Wisconsin, The Plan Magazine-Architecture and Technologies in Detail, Issue 41, Bologna, Italy, 2010
Don’t You Forget About Me: Chicago’s Anonymous Buildings, Proximity Magazine, Issue Number One, 2008