AIA Chicago Foundation


The AIA Chicago Foundation is an independent not-for-profit, charitable organization dedicated to supporting activities that benefit the Chicago-area architecture community.

The Foundation provides grants, travel scholarships and awards for activities that promote the profession and the larger architecture and design community.

With its own Board of Directors, the AIA Chicago Foundation operates separately from AIA Chicago.

Contributions made to the AIA Chicago Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, are fully tax deductible.



Architects in Schools is an initiative, managed through AIA Chicago's Community Interface Committee, that focuses on bringing architecture professionals into classrooms to introduce middle school students to the field of architecture and to discuss the broader theme of architecture as a changemaker. Volunteers engage the students in critically analyzing their neighborhood for opportunities to create positive change and utilizing architecture as a means for implementing solutions.  Learn more about the Architect in Schools Program here.  Funded, in part, by a grant from the Architects Foundation and Armstrong World Industries Foundation.



AIA Chicago’s Young Architect Award was established in 1983 to recognize excellence in ability and exceptional contributions by Chicago area architects between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-nine. In 2003, the Young Architect Award was renamed the Dubin Family Young Architect Award, due to the generosity of the late M. David Dubin, FAIA, his family and friends, who have endowed the honor with a cash prize.  See a list of previous winners here.

Congratulations to the 2017 Dubin Family Young Architect Award winner, Anthony Viola, AIA of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects.


Established in 1926 by architect Martin Roche, and administered by the AIA Chicago Foundation, the Martin Roche Travel Scholarship gives a student the opportunity to independently study architecture abroad.

Past awards have been granted to students who studied a diverse group of subjects, such as the transformation of brownfield sites in Germany; the relationship between design and crime in Medellin, Colombia; and modernist religious architecture in Italy. Read more about previous winners here.

A grant of $6000 is available to students enrolled in a NAAB accredited architecture program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology or the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

 Learn more about 2018 submission process.

2017 Roche Scholar, Ruta Misiunas (UIC) and AIA Chicago Foundation board president, Grant Uhlir, AIA.


The AIA Chicago Foundation organizes and oversees design competitions intended to engage the design community and general public.

The View Chicago program arose from an idea sparked by the 2009 Burnham Plan Centennial — to create a tribute to Daniel Burnham’s visionary spirit.

A Burnham Memorial Committee was formed to discuss the lasting legacy and impact of the plan. The AIA Chicago Foundation soon launched a design competition, sponsored by Richard H. Driehaus.

The winning design, submitted by Chicago architect David Woodhouse of Woodhouse Tinucci Architects, is now being implemented.

Stay up-to-date via View Chicago.


The Chicago Award in Architecture is an annual juried competition of student projects.

Recognition is given, at the jury's discretion, for First, Second, and Third Place and for Honorable Mentions. The project awarded First Place is honored with the the Benn-Johnck Award, in the amount of $500, Second Place is awarded $300, and Third Place is award $200.

2017 1st Place Ben Johnck Award winnerVeiled Museum: Museum of Wisconsin Art Milwaukee, a proposal from University of Wisconsin Milwaukee - School of Architecture and Urban Planning student James Worker. .

2nd Place winner, Resilient School for Migrant Population, School of the Art Institute, Derar Alchikh Ibrahim.

3rd Place winner, Stepped Library, Illinois Institute of Technology​, Il hwan​ Kim.

Honorable Mention, Breaking The Cycle, School of the Art Institute, Sara Pena and Rosario Lorenis


The AIA Chicago Foundation has supported the publication of important published resources, including the AIA Guide to Chicago, and an upcoming monograph of the career and work of John Vinci, FAIA, recipient of the 2014 AIA Chicago Lifetime Achievement Award.


Grant Uhlir, AIA
Vice President
Gina (JinHwa) Paradowicz, AIA
Fred Brandstrader, AIA
Christopher Chwedyk, FAIA
Laura A. Fisher, FAIA
Peter Schlossman, AIA
Jayshree Shah, AIA
Gracia Maria Shiffrin, FAIA
Chris-Annmarie Spencer, AIA
Walter D. Street III, AIA, NOMA
Public Trustees
​Lisa DiChiera
Roberta Feldman, PhD
Mary K. Woolver
Ex-officio members
Catherine Baker, AIA, ex officio
Zurich Esposito, Hon. AIA, Executive Vice President, AIA Chicago

All contributions to the AIA Chicago Foundation are fully tax-deductible.

If you would like to know more about how you can help or to pledge your support, please contact AIA Chicago Executive Vice President Zurich Esposito or call (312) 670-7770.