Ben Thompson, Jane Thompson, and Design Research


Ben Thompson in front of his house on Moon Hill Road. Photograph by Phillip A. Harrington used by permission.


Ben Thompson was one of the key partners of The Architects Collaborative and one of the founding residents of the Six Moon Hill neighborhood here in Lexington. Then he went on to become a “shaper of cities,” including ther evitalization plan for Boston’s old Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall, South Street Seaport in Manhattan, and Harborplace in Baltimore. Architecture Boston Magazine has dedicated its current issue to him.

Of particular interest in this issue is the article by Thompson’s son, Anthony, declaring his house at 40 Moon Hill Rd., “perhaps the worst building Ben Thompson ever designed. The roof leaked. The house was drafty. There was no privacy. Form did not follow function. I should know. I grew up there.”

There will also be this event this week:

March 16 » Boston Public Library’s Rabb Lecture Hall, Copley Square
6:00 pm » Free

A retrospective of the life of the Design Research stores in Cambridge, New York and San Francisco (1953–1978), this presentation by 2010 National Design Award winner Thompson encompasses the larger story of modernism in architecture and everyday objects, evolving from the 1920s German Bauhaus into the midcentury vocabulary of American buildings, interiors, useful objects, textiles and graphics. This lecture is part of the Boston Society of Architects lecture series. You can read more about Design Research in the Spring issue of ArchitectureBoston magazine