James Petty Leed AP | pettydesign

New York, New York

B.Arch (U. Houston ’08)
M.Arch (Yale ’14)
United States Citizen

In 1994 the movie Richie Rich was released. I was ten years old and infatuated with the main character of the movie, a kid with a city that virtually ran around him. I decided at that point that I was going to be an architect. I began to design a city that would run around me and developed the self named Morgan City. I researched and picked out a site in Stephens County, Texas and over the course of several years, I drew hundreds of plans of this non-existent metropolis from master-planning to details of sports arenas, downtown high rises, urban developments and two major airports. My friends thought I was crazy. It was the beginning of my obsession with design.

Prior to 2006, I left Texas four times while consistently living within a three-mile radius of the hospital in which I was born. Since then, I have been a visitor to 24 countries and a resident of four. I have resided in the most sprawling of metropolises [Houston], a remote Tuscan hill town [Castiglion Fiorentino], two global cities with an assemblage of cultures [London and New York City], a self-sustaining, financially vibrant small town [Biberach], and a city widely regarded as one of the most livable cities on earth [Munich]. This has given me opportunities to integrate into other cultures, discover how they construct buildings, and understand how they view and study the professional practice of architecture.