Journalist of dreams; animation artist; author; designer of buildings, bowls and benches; Kyna Leski has dedicated her lifework to the creative process. At an early age she witnessed her father design projects from sketches through to their realization and reception by the public. It was an education in process, the workings of intuition-to design-to building, the difficult relationship of stated intention to experience and the trans-subjectivity between. These early ponderings underpinned her work as a student at The Cooper Union and Harvard’s GSD; and her winning design in the Architectural League of New York’s 1997 Young Architects Competition. In 1998 Leski’s house of visual shadows, Dream House, won first place out of 480 entries in the Shinkenchiku-sha Residential Design Competition.
She is a principal (with Chris Bardt) of 3SIXØ Architecture since its founding in 1997. In 2002 Architectural Record named 3SIXØ one of 10 “vanguard” architecture firms emerging worldwide and in 2008 Architectural Record recognized 3SIXØ for “Record Interiors.” Faith and Form awarded their chapel design in 2009. Their work has been awarded multiple times by the Boston Society of Architects and the RIAIA as well as being widely exhibited and published in the US, Europe and Asia.
Leski directs students back to their own inquiry as the source for generating ideas. Her pedagogy is the basis of The Making of Design Principles, a book she authored in 2007. Leski served as department head for Architecture as well as graduate director and chief critic of the RISD European Honors Program in Rome. She was a visiting professor at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, China.
She is the author of The Storm of Creativity, published by The MIT Press in five languages and paperback. The illustrations made by Leski for this book are the basis for her animation Storm’s-eye View. Leski has given talks across the country and abroad, including the Korea National University in Seoul; the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA; Pop!tech in Camden, ME; and at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.
Kyna Leski has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement by designxri and was inducted into the Rhode Island Hall of Fame in 2017.