Jeffrey Ollswang – In Memoriam



If there was ever one to see the brighter side of life, it was Jeffrey Ollswang, architect, teacher and a glowing light in our firmament, who passed away last week at the age of 80. His personality can be summed up in a quote from the book he authored, together with his partner in design, Larry Witzling, The Planning and Administration of Design Competitions:


“No man who has once heartily
and wholly laughed can be
altogether irreclaimably bad.”
                  -Thomas Carlyle


We at COMPETITIONS first encountered Jeffrey shortly after he was involved in the administration of the Matteson Public Library competition back in 1990 (below). This was shortly after plans were being made to launch the first issue of our quarterly magazine, COMPETITIONS. In that very first issue, Jeffrey agreed to write about the Matteson competition, choosing to frame the article around the theme of organization, choice of jury, and role of the client.
Subsequently, he was gracious enough as to allow me to be present at the jurying of various competitions where he was competition adviser. Although I had already learned much about competitions during my stay in Europe, it was through advisers like Jeffrey that it became a necessary learning curve from some of the best.

Without his knowledge and personality, we would be without many of the projects that Jeffrey was involved in, and which will benefit many communities for generations.