Professional News

UK College of Design's Mike Jacobs Elevated to AIA College of Fellows

photo of Mike Jacobs at Omni Architects
Michael Jacobs, instructor at UK School of Architecture in the College of Design and president of Omni Architects

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 13, 2017) Michael Jacobs, instructor at University of Kentucky School of Architecture in the College of Design, has been elevated to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) prestigious College of Fellows, an honor awarded to members who have made significant contributions to the profession.

Jacobs will be honored this April at the AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando.

Election to the fellowship is a distinction that recognizes both the individual and national achievements of architects. Out of a total AIA membership of over 90,000, approximately 3 percent are distinguished as fellows. Jacobs' nomination makes him one of only 33 AIA Fellows ever from the state of Kentucky.

Jacobs was nominated for this honor for his promotion of the aesthetic, scientific and practical efficiency of the profession. He is a charter member of Omni Architects, and currently serves as president of the firm. Under his leadership, Omni Architects gained recognition as one of the state’s most prominent design firms, becoming the first firm to twice earn AIA Kentucky’s Distinguished Firm Award (1987 and 2008). Of the firm’s 25 design awards, 20 were personally garnered by Jacobs. Nationally recognized designers applaud Jacobs for his passion and innovation in creating diverse projects that vary in scale, typology and context.

Janet Pike, executive vice president of AIA Kentucky, spoke highly of Jacobs’ work, saying, “His designs elevate the appreciation of architecture, engender awareness and positively impact a cross-section of communities: urban and rural. His design innovation, process and teaching advance the state of design with clients, students and peers.”

As an instructor in the School of Architecture in the UK College of Design, Jacobs is known for incorporating real-world issues into the studio and encouraging innovation from students. His design influence has equipped students with the skills they need to work in high-profile offices within the state, across the nation and around the world. This recent honor, he says, serves as a reminder to promote the value of design by mentoring the next generation of architects.

Jacobs credits his experience at UK as a factor for his great success. "I can attribute this elevation to fellowship to many things including the quality of my education at the University of Kentucky, the shared vision of advocacy by my colleagues at our firm in promoting the value of design, and for the opportunity to give back as a studio design instructor within the College of Design," he said.

College of Design Dean Mitzi Vernon was quick to celebrate Jacobs’ honor. “Mike is a longstanding studio professor in the School of Architecture, and an award-winning architect in Lexington,” Vernon said. “He is one of only 13 current AIA Fellows in Kentucky. We are both delighted for Mike and gratified that another of our extended family has been given this exceptional honor.”

Founded in 1857, members of the American Institute of Architects consistently work to create more valuable, healthy, secure and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public well-being. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders, and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing communities, institutions, the nation and world.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue