William Ming Cheong Lam (known as Bill Lam )
born May 1924 in Honolulu, Hawaii
son of prominent physician and public citizen Frederick Kwai Lam
Attended Punahou School, Honolulu; Centenial class of 1941 (g 1-12)
co-editor of the school newspaper Ka Punahou and covered high school sports for Honolulu Star Bulletin
Entered Massachusetts Institute of Technology just before Pear Harbor. Studies interrupted 1943-6 by service in the USAAF ... B-25 bomber pilot with the 13th Air Force in the Southwest Pacific campaign.
Returned to MIT and graduated with a degree in Architecture 1949.
Strayed from starting planned architectural career, first by development work on his invention of a soundproof wall system-project @MIT Acoustics Lab..abandoned because of patenting problems.
Then, inspired by the example of visiting professor Alvar Aalto and Charles Eames, began a sideline career.... manufacture of his lamp and furniture designs. Lam Workshop designs won a number of GOOD DESIGN awards from the Museum of Modern Art, and in the first year were exhibited in 50 museums throughout the US. Almost from the beginning, Lam products were sold almost everywhere that sold contemporary furniture. In all designs, the formgiving principle was function and the manufacturing process.
Incorporated as Lam Inc 1951
Lam light diffusers and lamps were among the first consumer products made from fiberglass reinforced plastic (and shown alongside with Eames chairs in institutional advertising of the materials). Other products pioneered the use of vacuum formed thermoplastics and the manufacturing processes needed. With manufacturing capacity outstripping the design store market, some Lam Inc products were marketed by Lightolier.
Lam Inc of Wakefield, MA acquired by Jac Jacobsen Industries and moved to Santa Ana CA, Is now a division of Philips
William Lam Associates 1959
The desire to retire from design/manufacturing of lamps and return to architecture led to a shift to design and manufacturing of prefabricated built in lighting systems for buildings. Years of providing free consulting services to architects on the integration of these products into buildings provided a natural transition to the planned retirement and establishment of a consulting practice in 1959 William Lam Associates for the Integration of Lighting with Architecture and Urban Design.
Consulted/collaborated with architects, urban designers and governments on over two thousand projects of many types on several continents.
Lam Partners Inc 1980
Added younger partners in transition towards retirement . Retired 1985
Lam Partners Inc continues a robust practice.
William Lam Inc 1985
Active semi-retirement one person practice