College of Environmental Design alumnus and Santa Barbara-based architect Dennis Thompson (M.Arch ‘74) has been elected to to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for his longtime work in sustainability advocacy in the field. This is the AIA’s highest membership honor and is awarded to those who demonstrate “exceptional work and contributions to architecture and society.” Approximately 3% of the AIA’s 88,000+ members have received this distinction, which is based on rigorous judging by previous Fellows.
Thompson, the founding principal of Thompson Naylor Architects, has been a speaker, teacher, and advocate for green building and sustainable design in the Santa Barbara region since he moved there in 1974. He has been a participant in, and leader of, organizations such as the Community Environmental Council, The Sustainability Project, Santa Barbara Architecture 2030, and the Mesa Architects. He was a member of the Santa Barbara County Board of Architectural Review and was founding president of the Green Building Alliance. His firm has designed many residential and institutional projects, including several award-winning and LEED-certified buildings.
Much like a lifetime achievement award in other industries, the elevation to fellowship is testament to the value architects bring to the community, and their own personal contributions to society. The College of Fellows was created in 1952 to provide a means to honor those architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession. Election to the College of Fellows not only recognizes the achievement of the architect as an individual, but also honors before the public and the profession a model architect who has made a significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level.