University of Manitoba - University Governance - Robert McKee Ledingham, LL.D., June 1, 2006
Robert McKee Ledingham, LL.D., June 1, 2006

Robert Mckee Ledingham
B.I.D.(Man.); F.I.D.LB.C.; F.I.D.C.; F.I.I.D.A.

Mr. Robert Ledingham of Vancouver-based Ledingham Design Consultants has held a distinguished career in Interior Design. Born in Ottawa and raised in Saskatoon, Mr. Ledingham attended the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Architecture where he graduated with a Bachelor of Interior Design in 1964. He began his consulting practice in the mid-1970s in Vancouver where he has become one of Canada's most celebrated interior designers.

Mr. Ledingham has been widely recognised by his peers and by the community for an extraordinary career; distinguished by excellence and service. He represents the finest example of the Interior Design professional with projects ranging from extraordinary residential development to Whistler's Westin and Pan Pacific Hotels. His 25 awards for excellence in local, national and international design attest to his sustained leadership in the field of Interior Design practice in North America. In 1998 he received the International Interior Design Association Leadership Award; the first time this honour was bestowed upon a Canadian. The award recognises his contribution to the Foundation of Interior Design Research, including developing the Interior Design professional accreditation process - this process reviews university programmes for the purpose of determining if the programmes meet professional standards and, hence, professional accreditation. He has served on numerous accreditation field teams and as Chair of the Board of the Foundation. In 2003, he received three design awards; one from the International Interior Design Association and two from the American Society of Interior Designers. Most recently, in October 2004, he was named the second inductee i nto Western Living magazine Hall of Fame. The Western Living award noted that his work is "brilliant" and "timeless." Mr. Ledingham has been recognised by his peers in Canada where he is a Fellow and past president of the Interior Designers of Canada. He has also received City of Vancouver Heritage Awards for his contribution to heritage design. Mr. Ledingham provides a model of leadership in the field of Interior Design that is inspirational to our graduates.

Mr. Ledingham's design practice is based upon a design ethos that inspires. It is a philosophy that proposes good design must express function and comfort, and project individual style. Mr. Ledingham has raised the profile of Interior Design in Canada and North America by establishing one of the largest Interior Design practices in the Pacific Northwest specialising in Residential Interiors. His work is international in scope. As one award citation stated, "Perhaps, because styles come and go so quickly few interior designers can lay claim to a long career, let alone a brilliant one. Robert Ledingham is one of these few." He is a designer first and foremost, which means he is concerned as much with function as with form. It has been said that, "beyond its perfect detail and profound sense of order, the thing that becomes apparent with Robert Ledingham's work is its timelessness."

At a time when quality of life is being more closely linked to the design professions, the Faculty of Architecture takes great pride in Mr. Ledingham's success in promoting design excellence in North America. He is the single most published Interior Designer in Canada with his work represented in 20 publications. That profile has not only celebrated his own work, but also the role of the University of Manitoba as his alma mater.

Mr. Ledingham has consistently been involved with the arts community and charitable institutions, as a board member and benefactor. Beneficiaries have included the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Symphony orchestra, Vancouver Opera and Seattle Opera. On behalf of the Dr. Peter Centre in Vancouver, he co-chaired the Capital Campaign responsible for raising $1.7 million for a new AIDS facility. As Project Chair of the Diamond Centre for Living, he spearheaded the rehabilitation of the historic Vancouver Weeks House which now serves hundreds of clients living with life-threatening illnesses. In 1996, he was the recipient of the Friend in Deed Award, given out by the Vancouver Friends for Life Society. The award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary compassion in the Vancouver community through his or her action or deeds.

Mr. Ledingham has not forgotten his roots in the Faculty of Architecture and has continued to be a friend of the Faculty by serving on advisory committees, mentoring graduate students and supporting the Faculty's Capital Campaign. 

-citation delivered by Dr. David Witty, Dean, Faculty of Architecture

Robert McKee Ledingham