Darrel Williams, FAIA


I’m involved in several things – but my true passion lies in the transformation of urban communities and the opportunity to revitalize and bring about positive change through the use of architecture, planning and urban design. There’s no better reward.

Darrel J. Williams, FAIA, Principal

Darrel is a founding partner of Neighboring Concepts. Under his leadership, the firm has successfully improved the quality of life in urban communities through innovative architectural design, thoughtful urban planning and responsible real-estate development projects. An accomplished and award-winning architect, Darrel is motivated by a desire to influence positive change within socially and physically challenged urban communities.  For him, “transforming communities through architecture” is not simply a firm tagline, it is a calling.

Originally from Baton Rouge, Darrel graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Southern University in Louisiana. He received an award for the most outstanding Fifth Year Student in his class and has been the recipient of numerous additional awards and recognitions to date. He is the past President of AIA Charlotte, has served on the Board of AIA North Carolina, is a member of the National Association of Minority Architects (NOMA) and is also certified with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). In 2006, Darrel was elevated to the College of Fellows for the American Institute of Architects (AIA), one of the highest honors of the profession and an ideal acknowledgement of his significant contributions to architecture and society on a national level.

A true public servant, Darrel Williams has also made countless contributions to the Charlotte Mecklenburg community through years of unwavering dedication. He served four consecutive terms on the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners and continues today to passionately serve civic and community organizations on the local and state levels. Most recently, he chaired Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library Board of Trustees and currently serves on the Boards of Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and others too numerous to list. Darrel is a noted leader in the smart growth and sustainability movement and he has chaired several national committees on key initiatives (i.e. smart growth, housing, community/economic development, etc.).

As an architect and former elected official, Darrel has been very successful in bridging the gap between the physical and social challenges facing urban communities. He is highly experienced in leading project teams on large-scale projects with multiple disciplines and he is a natural organizer and facilitator, committed to using his experience to influence the design of quality architecture to improve the quality of life in urban environments.

We appreciate Darrel for his outstanding vision and for giving us all the opportunity to share and support it in all that we do. It is an honor to work along side a man with such unmatched integrity and immeasurable passion for transforming the communities of the past and future into better places for us all.

If I wasn’t an architect… I would work mostly outdoors on environmental/sustainability issues with a focus on the youth.

Darrel is married to Judge Karen Eady-Williams and has four sons.