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KPF Creates Editorial Director Position to Advance Thought Leadership

Clifford A. Pearson brings unique expertise from Architectural Record, USC, and positions abroad.

KPF has named Clifford A. Pearson as Editorial Director, bolstering the studio’s ongoing efforts to identify and leverage critical ideas influencing the future of architecture. His role will be to oversee a series of publications that examine the forces driving global urban development, positioning KPF’s work within this context. He will also help the firm tell the stories of its projects and its people both internally and externally.

“I’ve admired KPF for many years and written about its buildings,” says Pearson. “The firm has shaped the skylines of such cities as London, Frankfurt, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen and is a major player in the transformation of New York with projects including Hudson Yards and One Vanderbilt. Right now, KPF is designing an amazing group of projects around the world. I’m excited to help craft stories about the thinking behind and impact of this work.”

Pearson served as Deputy Editor of Architectural Record for many years before joining the University of Southern California in 2016 as a lecturer at its School of Architecture and Director of its American Academy in China. He remains a contributing editor at Record and also serves as a Director of the Asia Design Forum, a nonprofit think tank that promotes discussion of all types of design and the built environment. He has written for publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Travel & Leisure, Metropolis, and Art & Antiques. He is the author of Indonesia: Design and Culture (Monacelli, 1998) and the editor of Modern American Houses (Abrams, 1996 and 2005).

James von Klemperer, KPF President and Design Principal, reflects on Pearson’s potential: “Cliff brings to KPF a deep background of critical thinking about architecture and urbanism. He will function as a writer and critic, helping us to frame and debate the vital issues that inform our designs. We’re thrilled to welcome him to our studio.”

In 2004 and 2006, Pearson was co-curator of the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. In 2003, he received a media fellowship from the U.S.-Japan Foundation and spent two months in Japan investigating technology and tradition across its local architecture. Pearson earned a Master’s in Architectural History from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s in Urban Studies from Cornell University.