Tait Johnson is an architect and architectural historian with a primary research focus on the history and theory of modern architecture and materiality in the twentieth century, specifically concerned with the image and instrumentality of aluminum in architecture. For the 2020-21 academic year, he teaches: 1) Modern and Contemporary Architecture – an architectural history survey and discussion course; 2) Architecture of the United States - a course exploring the history of architecture in the United States from 1650 to the present; 3) Architectural Design & Performance - a studio for fourth year students focused on building performance. In addition, Johnson has taught Architectural Theory for graduate students, graduate/undergraduate architecture studios and Design and Construction Futures – a course exploring futurist architecture and construction practice.
(Read Johnson's interview in the Ricker Report.)
Johnson’s research is published as an essay entitled, "The Decorative Modernism of Aluminum Cladding: Architecture and Industry" in the book Constructing Building Enclosures: History, Technology and Poetics in the Post War Era (Routledge, 2020), and in the International Journal of the Constructed Environment, presented at the Vernacular Architecture Forum, the Society of Architectural Historians annual conference, and meetings of the Construction History Society of America. His ongoing research explores the history of speculative design and futurist architecture, initiated by curating the exhibition, “Speculative Design of Future Cities: The Drawings of Gerald Exline,” at the Architecture Gallery, Illinois School of Architecture (2017.)
The majority of Johnson's work in professional practice has been in the hospitality sector, designing hotels, theaters, and resort facilities/amenities in the Midwest and Southeastern United States. His architectural journey began by apprenticing with A. Richard Williams, FAIA, after which he became a partner and licensed architect in the small Midwestern firm General Design. In this firm he has practiced for over 20 years.
Doctor of Philosophy - History and Theory of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2017.
Master of Education - Higher Education, Harvard University, 2010.
Master of Architecture - The University of Arizona, 1998.
Bachelor of Architecture - Oklahoma State University, 1997.