School of Architecture mourns loss of founding fifth-year faculty member

April 12th, 2017 Comments Off on School of Architecture mourns loss of founding fifth-year faculty member

Chris Risher Jr. (right) accepts an award from Associate Dean Chris Saccopoulos at the 1991 School of Architecture Recognition Day ceremony.

The School of Architecture is deeply saddened by the recent passing of Chris Risher Jr.

Risher was the intellectual leader of the school’s fifth-year program for its first quarter century.

“Chris was a ‘bigger-than-life’ figure, packing a highly-evolved philosophy of phenomena as it relates to architectural experience,” said F.L. Crane Professor Michael Berk, director of the School of Architecture. “This pioneering position clearly placed him at the forefront of our academic discipline . . . he will be missed.”

Risher continued his father’s pioneering work of creating exceptional modernism in Mississippi.

He served as invited critic, lecturer and visiting professor at numerous institutions, including Berkeley, the Cooper Union and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, where he was the Eliot Noyes Distinguished Chair.

Through these activities, Risher gained recognition as an inspiring educator, painter and non-professional philosopher in divergent places across the country.

“His was a singular and irreplaceable voice,” said Associate Professor Jassen Callender, the current director of the Jackson Center. “His loss will be felt by many for years to come.”

Vaughan Risher, Christopher’s son, has assembled some of his father’s art and invites friends to gather and view the pieces at the Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, on Sat., May 27, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Christopher left explicit directions that he wanted no memorial service. His son wants to show what his father was up to as an artist in the last ten years since leaving the practice of architecture.

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