Craig Borum is a Professor at the University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and the founding principal at Ply Architecture in Ann Arbor, MI. He teaches in the area of design and construction. As a teacher, he has spent his career committed to blurring the distinctions often drawn between the academy’s focus on theoretical ideas and the profession’s practical concerns with the design and production of buildings. He balances a fulltime faculty position at the University of Michigan with his own award-winning professional practice, PLY Architecture. The name of the firm is an active statement of his desire to move ideas developed in his teaching and research into the world of built work. To ply is to practice or perform diligently, “to ply a trade”.
Since founding PLY he has served as equal or principal designer on projects that have won numerous design awards and distinctions, including, a P/A Award and an R&D Award from Architect Magazine, eight Michigan AIA Design Awards, an American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum, and a Wood Design Award from Wood Design and Building Magazine. In 2006 he was a winner of the Young Architects Prize from the Architectural League of New York, and in 2007 he was included in Wallpaper Magazine’s list of “101 of the world’s most interesting new architects.” Through these awards he has earned an international reputation as an outstanding designer with wide recognition in major award programs, publications and exhibitions in the US and abroad.
Borum’s practice and teaching shed light on the spatial relationships that tie architecture to the landscape. This is achieved through a deep understanding of broader historical and cultural contexts, close readings of the immediate physical characteristics of site as well as an expertise in the logic and culture of construction. Through his work, new relationships are established between our daily lives and all aspects of our environment by reformulating methods of assembly to achieve novel spatial and material configurations tied directly to the landscapes that his projects inhabit.
Mr. Borum is from Portsmouth, Virginia and received his architectural training from the University of Virginia. He joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 1996 as the Walter B. Sanders Fellow. He was promoted to full Professor in 2010, and served as Director of the Master of Architecture Program from 2010- 2012.
Mr. Borum has also taught visiting studios at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and the University of Cincinnati. He has served on design juries and lectured at a number of institutions including SCI-Arc, the University of Virginia, MIT, Yale, Tulane, University of Minnesota, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne, University of Colorado, the University of Illinois Chicago as well as internationally in Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Argentina.