Michael McKay honored as a 2023-24 University Research Professor

Michael McKay, an associate professor in the University of Kentucky College of Design.  Photo credit:  Jeremy Blackburn | Research Communications
Michael McKay, an associate professor in the University of Kentucky College of Design. Photo credit: Jeremy Blackburn | Research Communications.

UKNow is highlighting the University of Kentucky’s 2023-24 University Research Professors. Established by the Board of Trustees in 1976, the professorship program recognizes excellence across the full spectrum of research at UK and is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research. 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 14, 2023) — Michael McKay, an associate professor in the University of Kentucky College of Design, is one of 16 University Research Professors for 2023-24. The University Research Professorships honor faculty members who have demonstrated excellence that addresses scientific, social, cultural and economic challenges in our region and around the world. 

College leadership develop criteria for excellence within their area of expertise and then nominate faculty who excelled at these criteria. Each University Research Professor receives a one-year award of $10,000. 

"I am immensely grateful to the university for acknowledging the value of creative scholarship and for their unwavering support of the arts,” said McKay. “This recognition not only validates the importance of artistic endeavors but also encourages further exploration and innovation in the field."

McKay’s research focuses on the intersection of design, collage and process-driven investigations that explore the relationship between form, material and perception.

McKay received his bachelor’s degree in architecture from UK and his master’s degree in architecture from Princeton University. His projects range in scale from urban landscapes to installations and two-dimensional work, and have been exhibited in Europe and throughout the United States.

Over the course of his career, he has sought opportunities to examine how formal processes of design can have an immediate and visceral impact upon the viewer/user of its outcome. Currently, McKay is invested in his research “Relative Positioning” which explores how opportunities for programming and space could arise from the collision or collage of otherwise autonomous forms. 

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.