Larry focuses on projects with ambitious social, economic, and environmental goals. His experience includes Chicago’s first high school designed for students with Learning Differences – Wolcott School, and Inspiration Kitchens Garfield Park, which won the national 2013 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence. Recent projects include the LEED-Gold home for The Chicago Children’s Theatre, new blended learning charter schools in Chicago and Southern California, and The Momentary—a visual and performing arts project for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.
A native Floridian, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Miami in 1985 and joined SOM in Chicago. In 2008, Larry Kearns was named Chicago Tribune’s “Chicagoan of the Year” in Architecture and in 2016, he was elevated to a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
In 2017, Larry authored “New Blueprints for K-12 Schools” published by Education Next, a journal sponsored by Harvard’s Kennedy School. He presented at the 2017 AAE’s Great Ideas Conference, the 2016 SXSWedu Conference, the 2016 HEQCO Conference, and at the 2014 SCUP Conference.
For the past decade, Larry has lectured on Building Systems and Materials and Methods for AIA Chicago and UIC, to help individuals prepare for the Architectural Registration Exam. By invitation from the Chicago Cultural Facilities Fund, Larry has lectured numerous times to not-for-profit groups in the City of Chicago who are contemplating new construction projects.
Larry is a registered architect in the State of Illinois, a certified LEED professional, a member of the International Code Council, and a licensed soccer coach. Since 2014, he has won twelve international innovation challenges hosted by InnoCentive, including ones aimed at closing the nation’s skills gap and sustaining adult learning. In 2017, he founded YOURistics, a software company that supports a human-centered ecosystem for recruiting.
Larry and his wife Winnie Kearns, a social worker, live in Oak Park. They have two grown children and one in middle school.