Wes Janz, Ph.D.


Wes Janz is a Professor of Architecture at Ball State University.  He received his BS in Architectural Studies and his Masters of Architecture from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Michigan.  In 2006, he was the recipient of the university’s Outstanding Teaching Award. Wes has worked and traveled in Argentina, China, Ethiopia, Finland, India, Panama, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, and UAE; the Gulf Coast five times post-Katrina, and cities throughout the U.S. Rust Belt. Janz believes that people, in general, no matter how poor or apparently disadvantaged, are fully capable of making their way and that it is often the case that the interventions of well-intentioned persons bring both opportunity and harm to the lives of locals.  His beliefs are integrated into all facets of design including research, programming, technology, function, human behavior, scheduling, time management, communication, use of materials, and systems. 

Janz is the founder of onesmallproject, a collection of local initiatives from around the world, the U.S., and Indiana that highlights the lives of people that many observers consider to be in-need or at-risk. In 2008, Wes was a finalist for the Curry Stone Design Prize, which is awarded to breakthrough projects that “engage communities at the fulcrum of change, raising awareness, empowering individuals and fostering collective revitalization.” He is one of ten “social innovators” featured in The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator as edited by Ken Banks with a foreword by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (2013).  His book Leftover Rightunder: Finding Architectural Potential in Found Materials, was published by Half Letter Press in 2013.