Phil Harrison

Principal, Chief Executive Officer

Phil never dreamed he’d become an architect, let alone the President and CEO of the second largest architecture firm in the world. Born in Switzerland—the son of classical musicians and culinary enthusiasts—Phil always had a love of the arts. He immersed himself in oil painting, sculpture, film, and philosophy. But when he discovered that architecture allowed him to blend his passion for creative expression with his aptitude for math and organization, his professional path began to crystallize.

Phil has led Perkins&Will as CEO since 2006, overseeing the firm as it has tripled in size, expanded into new geographies and markets, and deepened its focus on design excellence and research.

Phil lives in Atlanta with his family, with whom he spends his free time travelling, cycling, cooking, and playing music.

Then and now, leading us into the future
In 2010, Phil accepted a National Building Museum Honor Award on behalf of our firm. The award recognized our legacy of socially relevant design, our commitment to well-being, and our civic responsibility—values we still uphold to this day.
“It is one thing to have ambitious ideas, but something else to actualize your aspirations. When we are talking about big challenges, we have to break them down into smaller, more actionable solutions. I’m passionate about the connection between dreaming and doing.”
Phil on "Collaboration," 2010
Art and the human experience

Immediately after graduating from college, Phil traveled to West Africa on a visual arts fellowship. For a year, he embedded himself in traditional villages in the Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Nigeria, using 16mm film to document the role of art in their society. Phil saw that art was an essential part of the life in these places—from pictographs hand-painted on the mud walls of thatched huts, to hand-carved ceremonial masks, to music and dance. This understanding would leave a lasting imprint on Phil, helping to shape his view that art and design are inherently democratic and integral parts of human experience.