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Richard Renfro IALD, IES, Assoc. AIA


Mr. Renfro, a lighting designer since 1979, received a Bachelor of Architecture degree with honors from the University of Arkansas. A summer IALD lighting internship brought him to NYC where a love of lighting design quickly redefined his career path. After 15 years as principal with the firm that lured him to New York, Renfro Design Group, Inc. was established in 1998. Inspired by how light moves through a building, Mr. Renfro favors manipulating forms through architectural lighting. Some of his earliest projects with daylight in building environments brought an intense interest in honing his expertise in this field. Mr. Renfro’s approach to lighting is tailored to define what is unique and special about the architectural elements. As founder and lead designer, his experience includes working with numerous architects in the design of many impressive museums, cultural, educational, civic, hospitality and exterior sites worldwide. Projects include the McKim Building renovation at The Morgan Library and Museum in New York, NY; Saint Thomas Church in New York, NY; the Bloch Building addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO; The Battery Park City Ferry Terminal in New York, NY; the architectural and exhibit lighting for Islamic Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum: Inaugural Exhibits.

Every project at Renfro Design Group is infused with Mr. Renfro‘s artistic and technical vision. Mr. Renfro has overseen the lighting design of the recently completed Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling in New York, NY; National September 11 Memorial and Museum - Memorial Exhibition in New York, NY; The Clark Museum building in Williamstown, MA; Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Brooklyn, NY; New York Historical Society in New York, NY; David Zwirner 20th Street in New York, NY and the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY.

Some of his current projects include the design of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY; New York Public Library in New York, NY; The Bridge at Cornell Tech in New York, NY; the Chapin School in New York, NY and the Bloch Gallery renovation at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 1933 Building in Kansas City, MO.

Throughout his career, Mr. Renfro has been recognized with many prestigious awards for his innovative designs both large and small. Some of his award winning projects include the Grand Central Terminal, Rose Reading Room at the New York Public Library, the New Amsterdam Theatre, Creative Discovery Museum, Hult Performing Arts Center, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The Robin Hood Library Initiative at P.S. 32, 21C Museum Hotel, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Art Cave and the Fragonard Room at The Frick Collection.

In June 2015, RDG was awarded an Illumination Award of Merit from the IES for the Frick Art & Historical Center. In 2014, Richard’s work on the Steven L. Anderson Design Center and Vol Walker Hall Renovation received a Lumen Award of Excellence from the IES New York City Section. The Architectural Lighting Magazine Design Award was awarded to SandRidge Energy Commons for exterior landscape and tower lighting. In 2011, Mr. Renfro was awarded five awards for the McKim building renovation of The Morgan Library and Museum and four awards for the Art Collectors Loft.

Mr. Renfro is a member of the American Institute of Architects, the International Association of Lighting Designers, the Illuminating Engineering Society and the IESNA Committee on Museum and Art Gallery Lighting. He formerly served on the advisory board of the University of Arkansas School of Architecture.

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