Larry King, AIA, exemplifies commitment to growing the practice of interior architecture at IA that dovetails with his alma mater’s commitment to education and professional development.
IA Principal Larry W. King, AIA, NCARB, was recently named as the 2016 Alumni Fellow of Kansas State University’ College of Architecture, Planning, and Design, (APD), and spent several days with students at the growing Manhattan, Kansas-campus to celebrate the honor. King earned his undergraduate degree in architecture from the College of Architecture, Planning, and Design in 1971, and has opened and managed IA offices across the US during his 25-year career with the firm.
“The K-State Alumni Association was honored to welcome Larry back to campus as the 2016 Alumni Fellow from the College of Architecture Planning and Design,” says Amy Button Renz, president and CEO of the K-State Alumni Association. “Larry has been so involved with K-State for many years — serving on the college’s Dean’s Advisory Council, as a KSU Foundation trustee and in other capacities. His professional experience and guidance are invaluable to our students and faculty. We were thrilled he could come back to campus as the 2016 Architecture Planning and Design Alumni Fellow and serve as a mentor to our students.”
Ongoing alumni commitment to KSU is one of the university’s primary differentiators, particularly with the College of APD, states Dean of College Timothy de Noble, AIA . “Alumni engagement at our College is something I’ve never seen anywhere else,” he tells IA. “They have an appreciation for their education and the pay-it-forward attitude that they encountered during their time as students here.” The college’s new APD Pro Mentoring program is a testament to consistently high levels of engagement and is formalizing the dynamic foundation inherent to the institution since its beginning in 1863.
De Noble’s philosophy on education resonates with King and embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of his career with IA. “Fifty percent of those who study design end up in careers outside their studied profession, but if you ask me, that’s a virtue,” de Noble says. By preparing KSU graduates to apply core competencies from the study of architecture and design to peripheral causes and disciplines, industries from finance to production have benefited from the program’s foundation in creative problem solving.
“When I look at the firms that thrived during the Great Recession of 2008/2009, it was those who built out from the narrowly defined center of design practice, similar to the practice developed by IA and its dedication to interior environments,” de Noble says. “[Our education philosophy] is very much about that entrepreneurial spirit, going beyond accreditation criteria, and preparing students to expand beyond the periphery of those practices.”
In addition to leading IA offices in New York, Chicago, and Denver, King has spent the majority of the last three decades working with the APD College to support growth and evolution. Of the more than $250 million in new projects currently underway at the University to facilitate growth, he is particularly excited about the new building for KSU’s APD College. “They just moved to a new building one year ago, which was a really exciting project that I was part of for the past eight years,” King says. “Work is also underway on the existing APD building—almost 20 years of planning—that will centralize all students of AP Design disciplines on the Manhattan campus.”
This boundless enthusiasm for his alma mater is a hallmark of the school, and part of what prompts de Noble to call King a “triple threat of alumnus. He is financially supportive of our college and students, he’s a great advocate for us on- and off-campus, and he is involved in sharing professional and personal expertise,” lists de Noble. “That’s what I ask of our alumni, and he’s on the forefront of that.”
King is an active member of the American Institute of Architects; past-Vice President of the Denver Chapter, Urban Land Institute Colorado Chapter; a member of the International Facilities Managers Association; and the Economic Club of Chicago. He is the past Illinois State Chairman and National Board of Directors member of the Council of Growing Companies; and a past board member of the University Club, the Tower Club of Chicago, Heartland Alliance, and Harrington College of Design. He is a current board member of the Kansas State University Foundation and College of Architecture, Planning and Design Dean’s Advisory Council, the Denver Art Museum Design Council, and CoreNet Global, Colorado Chapter.
Learn more about KSU’s Alumni Fellows at www.k-state.com/fellows.