September 14, 2022 School of Architecture Welcomes Ryan Jones, Lake|Flato, as BarberMcMurry Endowed Professor

The University of Tennessee School of Architecture in the College of Architecture and Design is pleased to announce that Ryan Jones, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, partner with Lake|Flato Architects, has been named as the 2022-2023 BarberMcMurry Endowed Professor.

headshot of Ryan Jones

Jones is a leader in the planning and design of performing arts, science and technology and mixed-use cultural districts. During his 18 years with Lake|Flato, he has designed some of the firm’s most sophisticated and award-winning projects that bring harmony to projects through a focus on discovery and collaboration.

“I am honored to represent Lake|Flato as the BarberMcMurry Endowed Professor this semester and extend a sincere thank you to BarberMcMurry Architects for supporting such an exceptional program for Architecture students at UT,” Jones said. “Knoxville is a remarkable place, and I am drawn to its undulating landscape, its calm confidence and the warmth of its people. I look forward to working with our students to strengthen cultural and urban cohesion through regenerative landscapes and planning strategies that transform lost spaces in Knoxville into community destinations that celebrate the uniqueness of this city and the Appalachian region.”

During the fall 2022 semester, Jones is leading graduate and fifth-year undergraduate students in the School of Architecture through an engaging studio that focuses on designing a mixed-use development on a riverside site in Knoxville. Through an emphasis on stewarding natural resources and improving the health and quality of life for citizens, students will design a conceptual urban ecology center at McWherter Riverside Landing Park on the Tennessee River. Their work will apply ecological restoration and sustainable design principles to enrich the relationship between people and nature.

Throughout the semester, students will reinforce the site’s identity as a unique civic destination that serves as a community resource, cultural center and tourist destination. Their work will incorporate requirements in the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge, with a focus on the use of a mass timber or hybrid steel/mass timber structural system, net-zero solar thermal and PV systems, water reclamation systems and regenerative landscapes.

“One of the key beliefs at Lake|Flato is the value of partnering with the communities in which our work will have an impact,” Jones said. “Since our semester’s project will focus on education, research, wellness and regeneration for citizens in Knoxville, we’re excited to embark on this type of project that intimately connects students with their community. Learning to design with the community in mind is essential for designers who will contribute to the lifestyles and livelihoods of the people in their communities.”

In October, students will travel to the offices of Lake|Flato Architects in Austin and San Antonio, Texas, an opportunity funded by the BarberMcMurry Architects Endowed Professorship. During the trip, students will engage with the firm’s professionals in a mid-semester studio review in addition to visiting projects designed by Lake|Flato and other respected members of the Texas design community.

“BarberMcMurry Architects envisioned the endowed professorship program with the goal of impacting our students by connecting with the most accomplished professionals in the country. I can attest to that impact and in that spirt enthusiastically welcome Ryan Jones as a colleague,” said Carl Lostritto, director of the School of Architecture. “The work of Lake|Flato Architects masterfully synthesizes the relationship of place, material, tectonics and community. I know Ryan is committed to the role of the architect as a designer and advocate. He’s a masterful spatial thinker and a skillful communicator. In practice he’s responsible for the cultivation of beautiful resilient spaces that serve communities while also leading research initiatives that change the way other architects understand their relationship to material and the climate crisis. I know our students are hungry to participate in Ryan’s studio and engage Ryan this semester.”

Jones joined Lake|Flato Architects in 2005 and currently leads their Higher Education Studio with a focus on high performance academic and research facilities. He earned a Master of Architecture degree from Rice University and a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree from Texas A&M University. Over his career, Jones’s work has earned several AIA COTE Top 10 Awards and national and state AIA Honor Awards including many LEED Platinum and Net-Zero Water + Energy projects.

Since its founding in San Antonio in 1984, Lake|Flato has designed buildings that respond to the culture and climate of each unique place. The firm believes in creating environments that enrich communities and nurture life. In collaboration with its clients, Lake|Flato creates buildings that are tactile and modern, environmentally responsible, artful and crafted. Among many regional and national awards, in 2019, Lake|Flato was named as the top firm overall in ARCHITECT Magazine’s Architect 50.

Since 2013, the BarberMcMurry Professorship has funded six internationally recognized architects as teachers and researchers for the benefit of students at the College of Architecture and Design.

The professorship was established by Knoxville-based firm, BarberMcMurry Architects, to promote design excellence through teaching and research by a prominent visiting professor who is an internationally or nationally recognized practicing architect. It is the result of a bequest from Blanche Barber and a match by BarberMcMurry Architects to produce the $1 million endowment.

Previous BarberMcMurry Endowed Professors include Lawrence Scarpa in 2013; Wendell Burnette in 2015; Billie Faircloth in 2018; Mitchell Squire in 2020; and Jenny Wu and Dwayne Oyler in 2021.


structure with outdoor courtyard and flowing water

Phil Hardberger Park Urban Ecology Center

  • San Antonio, TX
  • 2015 Texas Society of Architects AIA Design Award



interior lobby with seating area

Livestrong Foundation

  • Austin, TX
  • LEED Gold Certification
  • Photo credit: Frank Ooms and Bill Timmerman



exterior of brick and glass building

Georgia Tech Krone Engineered Biosystems Building

  • Atlanta, GA
  • 2018 AIA COTE Top 10
  • Cooper Carry Architects and Lake|Flato Architects