Honorary Degree Recipient
Doctor of Humane Letters
University of Minnesota, Duluth, May 12, 2007
David Salmela, a native of Sedeka, Minnesota, is considered one of the most widely published and awarded architects in Minnesota today. He attended the University of Minnesota for two quarters before dropping out. He then took a drafting course and tried to get a job in an architecture office, but nobody would hire him, so he took a job with an engineering firm where he learned how to build things. His early years were spent in small towns on the Iron Range where he designed town halls and fire stations. He since has become an internationally renowned architect who designs modern homes that draw upon Minnesota’s Scandinavian culture. He is the recipient of more than 30 state and national awards and has been published over 100 times in European as well as American books, magazines, and newspapers. In 2004, he was recognized as the first Architect of Distinction from the American Institute of Architects Minnesota. He was elevated to the prestigious College of Fellows of the National American Institute of Architects in 2002. He received the Honor Award in 1998 from the American Institute of Architects, which is considered the Pulitzer Prize of architecture, for his design of Ravenwood, the home and studio of acclaimed nature photographer Jim Brandenburg. A self-described modernist, he routinely creates sophisticated houses that blend his own preference for minimalism.
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.