Ralph E. Johnson FAIA, LEED AP, received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Illinois and his Master of Architecture from Harvard University. He began his career at Stanley Tigerman's office and in 1976 joined Perkins and Will, where he currently serves as its Global Design Director and is a member of its board of directors. Projects he has designed have been honored with more than 150 awards, including 10 National Honor Awards and more than 80 Regional Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects and a Progressive Architecture Design Award.
He has lectured at numerous universities and has been a visiting critic at the Illinois Institute of Technology, the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and the University of Illinois. He is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Illinois Institute of Technology School of Architecture, the Committee on Design Architecture of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Illinois Architectural Alumni Strategic Board.
His work includes Temple Hoyne Buell Hall and the Chemical and Life Sciences Building at the University of Illinois and the Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center, the Walter Athletics Center, and Ryan Fieldhouse at Northwestern University. He has also designed academic research buildings for MIT, UCLA, and the University of Pennsylvania. Major public projects that he has designed include the International Terminal at O'Hare Airport, the Boeing Tower, and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, all in Chicago; the Museum of Natural History in Shanghai, China; and the headquarters for the U.S. Coast Guard in Washington, D.C. Currently under construction is a science and technology museum in Suzhou, China.
His work has been published in Architecture, Architectural Record, Domus, Architecture and Urbanism, L'Architecture D'Aujourd’hui, and other international journals. Monographs on his works were published by Rizzoli in 1995, L'Arca in 1998, and Oscar Riera Ojeda in 2013. Ralph's work has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Paris Biennale, the Architecture League of New York, the National Building Museum, and the São Paolo Biennale. He participated in the Emerging Voices lecture series and the Young Architects Forum, both sponsored by the Architectural League of New York, and he received the Plym Traveling Fellowship from the University of Illinois School of Architecture. Ralph has received the Award for Excellence in Design, Planning, and Sustainability from the Society of Architectural Historians, and he is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. In 2015, he was elected into the National Academy of Design.