Robert Perry AIA, SCUP
Bob Perry, with his broad experience in programming, planning, and designing buildings around the world, brings a valuable international perspective to design and problem solving. Through close collaboration with all project stakeholders, he provides rational and cost-effective design solutions with an appropriate creative flair. Recently, Bob’s emphasis has been on higher education projects for major colleges and universities, both domestic and foreign.
Bob’s work frequently takes him abroad for projects requiring a studied sensitivity to local culture, such as the gender separation that is mandated in much of the Middle East. Yet, while regional customs might differ, he begins his investigation of design solutions the same way: first, by talking to students and other stakeholders. He’s learned that regardless of the cultural overlay, young people thrive in settings that encourage social interaction, which is necessary to foster positive emotional growth.
“I try to work on the emotional growth of students through building design, how our social spaces are organized so that young adults who are more skilled socially have places to perform and where those who are not as skilled still have places to participate in social interaction. So that the kind of space, the size of the space, the exposure of that space to other spaces, all become important to how we grow emotionally,” he says, adding, “While I understand the culture, I don’t let it affect my approach to the client or the other stakeholders.”
Some of his key work includes serving as a special advisor to Virginia Tech University, UCLA, New York University, Sheikh Zayed University, The American University in Oman, and other distinguished academic institutions. His work for clients in higher education has been recognized for design excellence by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the American School and University, and the Hampton Roads Association.
Bob is quick to acknowledge that he uses a collaborative approach stemming from his study of group dynamics, which also helps him organize studio environments to promote creative interaction within his design teams and delivery teams, and creative exchanges with clients.
Among the most significant projects in Bob’s portfolio is the new 450,000-square-foot campus for the University of Dubai, a master plan selected by the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates in a prestigious international competition. With its nine buildings erected in two phases, the new university will ultimately house 10,000 students.
Bob’s collaborative approach stems from his study of group dynamics, which also helps him organize studio environments to promote creative interaction within his design teams and delivery teams, and creative exchanges with clients. This clearly pays off as demonstrated by his impressive portfolio, which also includes the Houston Islamic Center (El Farouq Foundation) in Houston, a 55,000-square-foot building encompassing a mosque, library, and classrooms and the Nortel Networks Phase 2 Enabling Building and Commons in Harlow, Essex, England, which provided the existing campus with amenities such as cafeteria and conference center, as well as interior connections to surrounding buildings.
In 2012, Bob returned to work with PageSoutherlandPage after several years with DMJMH+N in Arlington, Virginia. He had previously worked with PSP from 1999 to as Director of Operations in the Washington, DC office.
Bob holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Masters in Architecture, both from the University of Michigan. He’s a member of the American Institute of Architects and the Society for College and University Planning, and is licensed to practice architecture in the District of Columbia. He also has earned “Top Secret” security clearance with the U.S. Department of Defense.