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Timothy Alexander Phillips

I create life changing

communities, buildings and events.

Join me

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2016 to present



As an architect I design the narrative people live by, removing friction points, crafting the possibility for meaningful interactions and shaping the course of people's movement throughout their day.

I’ve never felt truer to my calling than I have designing our coliving buildings. We are changing people’s lives  for the better in ways
I never could have imagined.


2015 to present

Everyday I wake up in search of courage and authentic expression. And on this journey, I've been met with opportunities to create impact in ways I'd never imagine.

Since co-founding Lightning Society in 2015 with my friend Joe, I’m continually grateful to find myself surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals. What we’ve created is platform for the creativity of others, the safe space to be vulnerable, to simply be yourself. What an incredible gift to be free.


 2005 - 2014

In 2005 I founded my first real estate development company. It was my first experience working with investors and running a company. We led the market in Williamsburg and designed and built unique, beautiful condos that were heavily sought after by creative professionals.

Since then I have enjoyed working on numerous commercial, residential and hospitality projects in the US and abroad.


2001 to present

My first job as a designer honed my passion for design with the technical requirements of a working designer. I worked closely with hospitals and universities to create nourishing, life-affirming spaces while I developing my creative voice and learning to stand for ideas I believe in.

My final design at SLAM, a 100 million dollar facility at Montclair State, went on to win awards and doubled every spatial metric on campus for offices, lecture halls, teaching spaces.

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2003 to present

The Burlesquerade began as my birthday party and has grown to nearly 3000 attendees annually. I wanted to create an opportunity to bring together people from all the amazing and diverse communities I found myself to be a part of.

It’s a burlesque themed masquerade. Those who are comfortable with costumes are ‘burlesque dancers’ and those who aren’t come as ‘masqueraders’. The community that formed around this event eventually became the seed audience for Lightning Society.



In 2009 I picked up a camera and started shooting. Photography is more than image creation, it represents an opportunity to celebrate others and a chance to grow as an artist and collaborator. After years of hard work and entrepreneurship it allowed me to reconnect with my creative side.

With every shutter snapped and pixel laid,
I learned more about myself.

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Before my first Burn, I never knew what it was to be part of a community. The bonds that formed in the desert were often free of preconceptions and full of acceptance. It was a chance to feel childlike wonder again and experience play for the first time as an adult and enjoy conversations that unfolded for days about the things that nourished our hearts and souls.  


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2003 - 2006

I moved to New York to be a founding member of UnionDocs, a co-living building dedicated to supporting documentary film. Those early days of the culture revolution opened my mind to a potential I never imagined existed. It was my first taste of the beautiful possibilities of collaborative living.

It continues to thrive to this day, creating projects in collaboration with the MOMA and other international cultural institutions.

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 1998 - 2013

Yale taught me to think deeply about purpose, diligently overcome obstacles, and to be proud of my story. Following graduation I was honored to be invited back as visiting lecturer on real estate and urban development.

The beginning

Growing up in rural mississippi and Arkansas I never would have imagine the all the surprises the future would hold. I’ve evolved to be a city dweller but I there are days I miss hunting for eggs, fresh cow’s milk and exploring far and wide in the southern forests.

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© 2019 Timothy Alexander Phillips

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