A. Richard "Dick" Williams (1914-2016) was a professor at the University of Illinois's School of Architecture from 1946-1970 and a visiting professor of architecture at the University of Arizona from 1988-2016. During his long and distinguished career, Professor Williams established the Mid-Continent Modern style of architecture, which was characterized by minimalist simplicity, functional pragmatism, and environmental harmony. Williams was critical of the "vapid and pretentious" vanities of high modernism and postmodern architectural styles; he instead advocated a modest style of modern design that was in dialogue with nature. This style was reflected in many of his designs, including the College of Education Building on the University of Illinois's Urbana-Champaign campus, which earned him the prestigious American Institute of Architects Honor Award. Williams received numerous awards and accolades during his seventy-seven year career. He was a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and in 2013, the Design Futures Council recognized him with its Most Admired Educator Award.
His papers include biographical materials, correspondence, position papers, lectures, reports, photographs and slides, and publications related to his seventy-seven year as an architect and educator. This collection also includes designs, original drawings, schemes, and photographs of the various residences and buildings Williams designed.
This collection is arranged into five series: Series 1: Personal papers, organized chronologically; Series 2: Correspondence, arranged chronologically; Series 3: Professional Papers and Subject Files, arranged alphabetically; Series 4: Project Designs and Visuals, arranged alphabetically by project; and Series 5: Publications, organized chronologically.