Charles Renfro, AIA, is a Partner at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, a 90 person interdisciplinary design studio that integrates the performing arts, visual arts, and architecture. He is a graduate of Rice University and holds a Master’s degree in Architecture from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
Mr. Renfro serves as Partner-in-Charge of the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, Stanford University’s McMurtry Art & Art History Building, and the Dissona Factory and Housing Complex in Shenzhen, China. Previously, Charles served as Partner-in-Charge of the recently completed Creative Arts Center at Brown University, and as Design Partner for the High Line, the Museum of Image & Sound in Rio de Janeiro, and the redesign and expansion of the Juilliard School/Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Performance and art collaborations have included the recent Open House: Re-Imaging Suburbia with Droog and Be Your Self with the Australian Dance Theater and performed at the Adelaide Festival. Prior to becoming Partner, Charles served as Project Leader on Brasserie, the Eyebeam Museum of Art and Technology, the BAM Cultural District Master Plan (with Rem Koolhaas/OMA), Blur, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.
He joined DS+R in 1997 and became Partner in 2004. The studio has since received numerous awards including the National Design Award in Architecture from the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, multiple Progressive Architecture awards, the AIA President’s Award, the AIA Medal of Honor, and AIA Design Awards for numerous projects. The Guardian named Blur as one of the top 10 buildings of the decade, while The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The New Yorker named Alice Tully Hall and the High Line among the most culturally significant projects of 2009. Also in 2009, Charles was featured alongside Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio in a one-hour segment with Charlie Rose. In 2010, Fast Company named Diller Scofidio + Renfro the most innovative design practice in the profession and among the top 50 most innovative companies in the world. Charles was honored as a Rice University Distinguished Alumnus for 2012, making him one of the youngest alumni to ever receive this prestigious award.
Mr. Renfro's work with DS+R has been exhibited worldwide at many museums and institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum, the Netherlands Architecture Institute, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Centre Pompidou. Prior to joining DS+R, his independent art and architectural work had been exhibited in galleries nationwide including the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. His writing has been published in Bomb and A+U Magazine, and in 2009 he authored the essay, “Undesigning the New Art School” for Steven Henry Madoff’s book Art School:Propositions for the 21st Century. Charles lectures frequently both in the United States and abroad, and participated in the DLD conference in 2008, along with many other international conferences and symposia. In 2010, he was the Guest Judge for the New Zealand Home of the Year.
He has been on the faculty of Columbia University since 2000, was the Cullinan Visiting Professor at Rice University in 2006, and has taught at both Parsons the New School for Design and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s Design Directions Program. He was the first Scholar in Residence at the Friends Seminary during the 2009/2010 academic year. Charles has served as a Storefront for Art and Architecture board member since 2009, and has been President of the Board since 2011.