John Spence, CEO and Chairman of Karma Royal Group, has been honoured by the Yale University School of Architecture by being appointed the Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Architecture Fellow for the fall semester of 2013/2014.
Established through the generosity of Edward P. Bass, the fellowship enables the School to invite distinguished private and public sector leaders in the development community to participate as integral teaching members in advanced studios and seminars. John joins a distinguished list of developers to have been similarly honoured that includes Gerald Hines, Stuart Lipton, Roger Madelin, Nick Johnson, Charles L. Atwood, Katherine Farley, Vincent Lo and Isaac Kalisvaart.
Spence, a leading figure in the development of timeshare and fractional properties, has been invited to deliver the opening lecture of the school year, as a part of its public lecture series.
He said: “It is a tremendous honour to be the Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Architecture Fellow at Yale University. To excel in a given field, you have to love what you do. I look forward to sharing my passion for seeking, recognising and realising opportunities in some of the most diverse global environments with the students.”
Architecture as an art was taught at the Yale School of the Fine Arts in the late 19th century and in 1869 the Yale School of the Fine Arts was opened, the first college-affiliated art school in the country. The department of Architecture was established in the School of the Fine Arts in 1916. In 1959 the School of Art and Architecture, as it was then known, was made a fully graduate professional school. In 1972, Yale designated the School of Architecture as its own separate professional school.
Architecture is the creation of human environments, seeking through the design process to address the complex interrelated behavioral, environmental and cultural issues that underlie the foundation of built form. Spence’s passion for architecture and, in particular, its relationship with the cultural and physical environment it inhabits, has seen him develop stunning properties throughout the world that both complement and enhance their environments. A deep understanding and respect for building creation and a keen eye for acquisition of classic architecture such as Le Preverger in the medieval village of Le Garde Freinet, has been central for John throughout his career in the development industry.
At the cornerstone of the Karma Estates collection, Spence handpicked Le Preverger himself. He describes Le Preverger as ‘an opportunity to entertain in one of the most beautiful places in the world, in a chateau that has entertained some incredible people over the years’. The perfect complement to Le Preverger, Karma Estates also offers privileged access to Pelikanos, an Aegean dream custom-designed on the island of Mykonos.
Spence was named the Australian Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 by Ernst & Young after building his multi-million dollar business from scratch. In June 2013 he joined an exclusive group of international champions of industry and leaders of their professions to become just the fourth Australian member of the judging panel for the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, held in Monaco.