2024 Investiture Information

David A. Macaulay


Author & Artist

The award-winning author discusses the synergies between teaching and drawing. (Video by Chris Johnson)


Born on December 2, 1946, David Macaulay was ten when his family moved from England to the United States. An early fascination with simple technology and a love of model making and drawing ultimately led him to study architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. He received his degree in 1969 after spending his fifth year with RISD’s European Honors Program in Rome. The next four years were spent working in interior design, teaching junior and senior high school art and tinkering with the idea of making books.

Research Interests

Architecture; design thinking; science writing and illustration; STEM education


  • B.Arch, Rhode Island School of Design 1969


  • MacArthur fellow, 2006
  • Distinguished Educator in the Arts, Society of Illustrators, 2004
  • Pell Award, Trinity Square Repertory Co, 2002
  • Charles Frankel Prize, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2002
  • The Bradford Washburn Medal, Boston Museum of Science, 1993
  • The Caldecott Medal, American Library Association, 1993
  • The James Smithson Medal, Smithsonian Institution, 1993
  • Science Writing Award in Physics and astronomy, American Institute of Physics, 1990

Professional Activities

  • Vice President and founding board member, National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance

Selected Publications

Books Written and/or Illustrated

  • The Way Things Work Now, DK/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016
  • Zoo Break; How Machines Work, DK, 2015
  • Eye, the way it works, David Macaulay Studio/Macmillan, 2013
  • Toilet, the way it works, David Macaulay Studio/Macmillan, 2013
  • Castle, the way it works, David Macaulay Studio/Macmillan, 2012
  • Jet Plane, the way it works, David Macaulay Studio/Macmillan, 2012
  • Built to Last, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010
  • The Way We Work, (with Richard Walker) Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008
  • Mosque, Hougton Mifflin Co., 2003
  • Angelo, Houghton Mifflin Co., 2002
  • Building Big, (companion book to PBS series) Houghton Mifflin Co., 2000
  • Building the Book Cathedral, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999


  • ENGS 11: The Way Things Work - A Visual Introduction to Engineering