1916 Born June 29 in New York City, New York.

1917-4l Primary residence New York City; summers in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. 

1925 Travels with family to England, France, Italy; continuous drawing, painting, lessons in piano.

1926-35 Attends John Dewey School then transfers to Choate School in Wallingford, CT.

1930 Builds and sails 16-foot boat.

1935 Early oil paintings; frequent attendance at theater and symphony performances.

1936 Travels to England.

1936 Designs and builds furniture.

1936-39 Attends Harvard College; member of Harvard Varsity Track Team, Captain of soccer team.

1938 Paintings exhibited in Stockbridge, Mass., Toledo Museum of Art, National Academy of Design, NY

1938 Portrait painting by Johansen accepted by the Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington, D.C.

1939 Graduates from Harvard College; degree of B.S. Cum Laude

1939-42 Attends Harvard Graduate School of Design; studies with Marcel Breuer, Walter Gropius, Josef Albers.

1942 Masters of Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design.

1943 Employed as draftsman for Marcel Breuer.

1943 United States enters World War II.

1943-45 Employed by Fuller Construction Company, National Housing Agency, Washington, DC. building Navy barracks in connection with war effort.

1943-45 Member of the American Institute of Architecture and Planning.

1943-45 Conversations with Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Eric Mendelsohn, Mies van dec Rohe, László Moholy-Nagy, Alvar Aalto, Buckminster Fuller.

1945 Returns to New York City.

1946 Marries Mary J. Longcope.

1946-49 Design assistant to the United Nations Project through office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

1947 Acquires license to practice architecture.

1947 Daughter Deborah (Harris) Johansen born.

1948 Designs Manhattan House New York City for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

1948 Establishes John M Johansen architectural practice.

1948 Designs Coggeshal House, Schenectady, New York. 

1949 Teaches architecture at Pratt Institute,  NYC.

1949 Moves with office to New Canaan, Connecticut, joining professional friends: Marcel Breuer,

Eliot Noyes, Philip Johnson, Landis Gores (later known as the “Harvard Five”).

1950 Johansen House #1, designed and built in New Canaan, Connecticut.

1950 Son Christen Johansen born.

1951 Barlow House, New Canaan, Connecticut.

1952 Dunham House, New Canaan, Connecticut.

1953 Goode (“The Cave House”) House, New Canaan, Connecticut.

1953 Campbell House, New Canaan, Connecticut.

1953 Huvelle House, Litchfield, Connecticut.

1954 Spray House Project #1.

1954 Travels to France, Greece, Italy.

1954 Dickinson House, New Canaan, Connecticut.

1954 Visiting critic at School of Architecture, Harvard University.

1955 McNiff House, Stockbridge, Mass.

1955 Stillman House, Newburgh, New York.

1955 Spray House Project #2.

1955 Article: "Space-Time Palladian" (pub. Architectural Record).

1955 Manual: Sprayed Concrete Construction.

1955-60 Adjunct Professor at the Yale School of Architecture

1956 Goodyear House, Neo-Paladian, Darien, Connecticut.

1956 Presents sprayed concrete construction on TV.

1956 Design and construction of sprayed concrete pavilion in Zagreb, Yugoslavia International World's Fair, representing the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.

1957 TV appearance "Concepts of the Future”: Warner House (Bridge House), New Canaan, CT.

1957 Sprayed Concrete Projects: house, church, restaurant.

1957 Lecture: "Poetics of Architecture"  (unpublished).

1958 Roe House. Greenwich. Connecticut.

1959 Durst House, Mt. Kisco, New York.

1959 Article: "Sculpting with Sprayed Concrete" (pub. Architectural Forum).

1959 Addressed Philadelphia Chapter of AlA, introduced by Louis Kahn.

1960 Speaker at National AlA Convention, San Francisco, California, published in AlA Journal.

1960 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial competition project (with John McVitty), honorable mention.

1961 Museum of Art, Science, and Industry, Bridgeport, Connecticut.

1962 Norwich, Connecticut Church.

1962 Work included in "International Exhibition of Architecture," Berlin, Germany.

1963 U.S. Embassy, Dublin, Ireland.

1963 Schwarzenbach House, Norwalk, Connecticut.

1963 Simon House, Bedford, New York (project).

1963 Speaker at National AlA Convention in Florida, lecture published in AlA Journal.

1963 Paintings oil on canvas exhibited at Avery Gallery, Columbia University, New York City.

1963 Joins march to Washington, DC, for Civil Rights. Previous conversation with Rev. Martin Luther King, New Haven, CT.

1964 Clowes Memorial Hall and Opera House (with Evans Woollen Ill), Butler Univ. Indianapolis, IN.

1964 Design of Clowes Hall included in Fortune Magazine article, "Buildings that Point to the Future".

1964 DePiolenc House, Greens Farms, Connecticut.

1964 Article on Dublin Embassy published in Architectural Forum.

1964 Article: "The Avant·Garde in Architecture Today” (Arts in Society).

1965 Florence Virtue Housing, New Haven, Connecticut.

1965 Helen Grant Elementary School, Dixwell Renewal Area, New Haven, Connecticut.

1965 Honorary Doctorate Degree from Maryland Institute.

1965 First concept of Oklahoma Theater Center “Mummers”.

1965 Vassar College Theater Center Project, Poughkeepsie, New York.

1965 Wallingford Cultural Center Project, Connecticut.

1965 Lecture: "Architecture, the Environmental Art," Clark University (unpublished).

1966 “Leapfrog City” Project, New York City, exhibited at Metropolitan Museum of Art.

1966 Taylor (Labyrinth) House, Westport, Connecticut. 

1966 Master plan for State University of New York College at Old Westbury, N.Y.

1966 Public Library, Orlando, Florida.

1966 Article: “An Architecture for the Electronic Age” (pub. American Scholar)

1966 Article: “John M. Johansen Declares Himself” (pub. Architectural Forum).

1966 Interview included in book “Architect on Architecture” by Paul Heyer, revised 1990.

1967 Morris Mechanic Theater, Baltimore, Maryland.

1967 Paintings exhibited at Mechanic Theater, sponsored by Baltimore Museum of Art.

1967 Article: "New Town" (pub. Architectural Forum).

1967 Hoch House, Tarrytown, New York.

1967 Review of book Action and Plan by Peter Cook (pub. Architectural Forum).

1968 Ritts (Telephone Pole) House.

1968 Intermediate School, Litchfield, Connecticut.

1968 Goddard Library, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts.

1968 Receives Brunner Award from American Academy, Institute of Arts and Letters.

1968 President of the Architectural League (1968-70).

1969 Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church, New Haven, Connecticut.

1969 KQED TV studio Project (with George Rockrise), San Francisco, California.

1969 Twin Parks Housing Project for NYC Housing Authority.

1969 Car Body Office Building Project, Baltimore, Maryland.

1969 Elected associate member of National Academy of Design.

1969 Article by Sibyl Moholy-Nagy on Goddard Library (Architectural Forum).

1969 L. Frances Smith School, Columbus, Indiana.

1969 Correspondence with Walter Gropius just before his death.

1970 Mummers Theater Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

1970 Mechanic Theater mentioned in "New Shapes & New Spirit" (Time; Aug. 2).

1970 Mummers Theater mentioned in "Antiarchitecture" by Robin Boyd (Architectural Forum).

1970 Article: "The Mummers Theater: A Fragment, Not a Building" (Architectural Forum).

1970 Receives honorary doctorate degree from Clark University, along with Senator Ted Kennedy, Rocket Designer Werner Von Braun, Astronaut Buzz Aldren, and Microbiologist Rene Dubois, at dedication of Goddard Library.

1970 Work included among “Best Architecture in USA" at U.S. Pavilion, Osaka, Japan, and in U.S. architecture exhibition in Warsaw, Poland.

1971 Article by Robert Hughes, "Toward a New Slang" (pub. Time; May 31).

1971 Pope House “The Tube House”, Salisbury, Connecticut.

1971 Introduction to book: Islamic Architecture. 

1972 Receives honor for Oklahoma Mummers Theater Center as finest building of the year 1971, at national AlA Convention, in Houston, Texas.

1972 State University of New York College at Old Westbury (with Alexander Kouzmanoff and Victor ChristJaner).

1972 TV appearance: "Portrait of an Architect". 

1972 Article: 'Esthetic of the City" (unpublished).

1974 Johansen House #2 (The Tent House) Stanfordville, NY, substantially built with own hands.

1974 Johansen House #2 The Tent House destroyed by fire.

1974 Lectures in Rome, Bari, Milan, Turin and Genoa, sponsored by Association of Italian Culture.

1974 Lecture: "Technology and Humanism" at Louisiana University (on videocassette).

1975 Architect-in-residence, American Academy in Rome.

1975 Drawings of Italy.

1975 Project for Library and TV Resource Center for Staten Island Community College, New York.

1975 Coordinated with work of Paul Rudolph, Alexander Kouzmanoff, and Max Urbahn.

1975 Johansen House #2 (The Tent House) rebuilt.

1976 Roosevelt Island Neighborhood, New York City (with Ashok Bhavnani).

1976 Ellsworth House (The Greenhouse House) Salisbury, Connecticut.

1976 Receives the Bard Award from New York City.

1976 Receives Gold Medal !rom AlA, New York City.

1977 Pope House, Sawbury, Connecticut.

1978 Schwarzenbach House #2, Vieques, Puerto Rico.

1979 Work included in "Transformations in Modern Architecture," the Museum of Modem Art.

1979 Barna House, Bedford, Connecticut.

1979 Elected member of American Institute of Arts and Letters.

1979 Article on Roosevelt Island by Steven R. Krog (pub. in book l’Arca).

1980 Article: “By Their Own Design”, ed. Abby Suckle (Whitney Library of Design).

1981 Marries Beate (“Ati”) Gropius.

1981 Quincy Office Building #1 for SCI, Quincy, Massachusetts.

1981 Recording of 10 jazz pieces. John M Johansen composed music and lyrics. Performed by professional musicians.

1981 Interview: Southern California Institute of Architecture (taped).

1983 Monograph: L'Architettura Frantumata (University of Architecture, Rome, Italy).

1983 Taped interview: "Ad Hoc Architecture" by Pidgeon Audio-Visual, London, U.K.

1983 Speaker at Harvard Graduate School of Architecture reunion: “Changes Since Graduation 1942”.

1984 Article: "Architecture: Three Imperatives" (AlA Architecture).

1985 Quincy Office Building #2 for SCI, Quincy, Massachusetts.

1985 Project: Resort Hotel, Miami, Florida.

1985 Project: Resort Hotel, New York City.

1986 Lingotto Project entry, sponsored by FIAT.

1986 Conference in Turin, Italy.

1986 Article: "Observations and Deductions" (pub. in Monograph l’Arca).

1986 Discussant at National AlA Convention in San Francisco.

1987 "Johansen-Retrospective-Prospective," exhibition of architecture, sculpture and paintings dating from 1953 to 1987, at National Institute of Architectural Education, New York, accompanied by videocassette of symposium.

1987 Dissolution of partnership with Ashok Bhavnani.

1987 Begins research into experimental architecture.

1987 Lecture: “ElectroTech", Southern California Institute of Architecture (on video).

1988 Quincy Office Building #4 for SCI, Quincy, Massachusetts.

1988 Project #1: Froth of Bubbles, Book of Clouds (pub. Princeton Architectural Press).

1988 Lecture: Master's Seminar, Columbia University, New York City.

1989 Project #2: Suspended Web.

1989 Grant from Graham Foundation for project #3 model (Maglev Theater).

1989 Article: "The New Modernity" (A+U Japan and Italy).

1989 Speaker at Sao Paulo Biennale '89, Brazil, on 'Cities of the Future".

1989 Book #1: 50 Limericks 50.

1989 Speaker at Harvard 50th Reunion "Art and Architecture, 1939-1989."

1989 Interview: (l'Arca). Article by Bruno Zevi, “John I'eretico" [“John the Heretic”] (pub. L'Espresso).

1990 Project #3: Maglev Theater.

1990 Lectures at University of Copenhagen and Institute of Architects, Copenhagen, Denmark, and in the Hague, and also at the Architectural Association, London.

1990 Presents paper on "Electromagnetic Levitation" to the Research Institute for Experimental Architecture.

1990 Book #2: More Limericks.

1990 Retires from AlA.

1990 Article, "A Mummers' Tale: A True-Life Story," by Barbara Koerble (pub. Architecture Design Review).

1991 Publication of Maglev Theater in L'Architettura, Italy.

1991 Lecture: Master's Seminar, Columbia University, New York City.

1991 Lectures: University of Oklahoma and Berkeley, California. 

1992 Project #4: Space Labyrinth (with geometrist Haresh Lalvani).

1992 Start of project #5: Metamorphic Capsule, computerized model.

1992 Publication of projects #2, and #3 in l'ARCA, L'Architettura, L'Espresso Italy, and A+U Japan.

1993 Lecture tour: University of California, Los Angeles, Southern Cal Institute of Architecture, Pomona Tech.

1993 Conducts course in "Eco-Tech" at Pratt Institute.

1993 Project #6: Flexstrut.

1994 Project #7: Air Quilt.

1995 Book #4: John M. Johansen: A Life in The Continuum of Modern Architecture, published by l'ARCA Edizioni. 

2001 Honorary Member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland

2002 Book #5: NanoArchitecture: A New Species of Architecture, published by Princeton Architectural Press.

2006 Production of “Nanoarchitecture: A New Species of Architecture” DVD - 20 minutes in length.

2006 Speaker at Harvard Graduate School of Architecture Symposium, “Beyond the Harvard Box.”

2007 Two oil paintings and an acrylic print by John M Johansen accepted into the ownership of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

2007 Lecture on the future of architecture and nanoarchitecture at Mummers (Stage Center) Theater, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

2007 Video interview with IM Pei in New York City.

2008 Principle speaker at the International Architectural Conference on “The City of the Future”, Rome, Italy.

2010 Moves in 95th year from the Plastic Tent House in Stanfordville, NY to Wellfleet, Cape Cod.

2010 Lecture at the Arts Association, Provincetown, Cape Cod.

2010 Continues production of monoprints, a comic book, “My Misadventures”.

2010 Records and interprets “Book of Dreams”.

2010 Writes verses “Seasons of the Soul” and “Buildings of the Seasons”.

2010 Video interviews in NYC with Richard Rogers for Seasons of the Soul: The Innovative Mind of John M Johansen a documentary film by John Veltri and Marguerite Lorimer www.earthalive.com

2011 Frank Gehry video Interview in Los Angeles, “Save the Mummers Theater”.

2011 Book #6: “Being of the Cosmos - Insights by Great Minds” (published at age 95!)

Johansen painting age 17, New York City

Bridge (Warner) House 1957, New Canaan, CT

The Spray House 1954

Mummers (Stage Center) Theater 1970

Clark University Goddard Library 1968

Metamorphic Capsule 1992

Nanoarchitecture: A New Species of Architecture 2002

The GreenHouse House 1976


Telephone Pole House 1965

Clowes Memorial 1964, Butler University, Indianapolis IN

L Francis Smith School 1969

Upside-Down House 1952, New Canaan, CT

Labyrinth House 1966

Roosevelt Island Neighborhood 1976

Morris Mechanic Theater, Baltimore, MD 1967

Air Quilt 1994

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MagLev Theater1990

Space Labyrinth 1990

Flexstrut 1993

McNiff ‘Glass Box’ House 1955

United Nations (design assistant) 1946-49

Johansen Tent House #2 1974

Miami Resort Hotel Project 1985

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Orlando Public Library 1966

Multi-Story Noanoarchitectural Apartment Building 2002

Suspended Web 1989