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Emily Grandstaff-Rice FAIA (2019)


Emily is an architect with experience on a broad range of academic, hospitality, institutional, and commercial projects. Her leadership includes serving as 2014 president of the Boston Society of Architects and chairing a national commission on equity and diversity in architecture.

Full Biography

Emily Grandstaff-Rice FAIA
Senior Associate and Architect, Arrowstreet
Women in Design Award of Excellence, 2019 winner

EGR Speech 2017 Todd Winters Photography

Architecture has led me to amazing relationships, learning, travel, design, and discoveries. Often an individual is celebrated through their completed work, glossing over the millions of steps it takes to get there. My journey is not finished—for as long as I can move—there is more to do.

Credit: Todd Winters Photography

Arrowstreet Hildreth Media Center watermark

We are all the summation of the steps we take—forward, backwards, and sideways. Sometimes the momentum propels us to new places, and sometimes we fall flat on our face.

Hildreth Elementary School, Arrowstreet.

Arrowstreet Hildreth Learning Stair watermark

My professional journey embraces both professional work and professional service to the AIA and the community of Boston. Blending these has developed my voice as a designer, and more important, my advocacy and connections to the people I serve through the built environment. I truly believe architects change the world.

Hildreth Elementary School, Arrowstreet.

Arrowstreet Brooke Charter High 013

In school, I learned the power of a single brick. When I become a Fellow in the AIA, I made sure there was a brick with my name on it in Washington, DC. Every time I visit this place, I reflect on the steps I took to get where I am, but more importantly how there are more in my future.

Brooke Charter High School, Arrowstreet.

Arrowstreet Hildreth Exterior watermark

A couple of years ago I met Sir Ken Robinson, an educator and expert in creativity. After hearing him speak, I approached him and introduced myself. Later he asked me what I did. I said, "I'm an architect." His response: "that's it?" In that moment, he reminded me I was more than a title or job description, just as architects do more than design buildings. We are advocates, family members, citizens, educators, and more. We see the world through our unique lens. It is our power and responsibility to use our voice in society. The next time someone asks you, “What do you do?” How many ways can you answer?

Hildreth Elementary School, Arrowstreet.

Ongoing Journey Reduced