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.

Read the AIA Chicago Foundation Bylaws.


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. Funded, in part, by a grant from the Society of Architectural Historians.  Currently we have programs in Cameron Elementary (Humbolt Park), Chavez Multicultural Academic Academy (Back of the Yards), George M. Pullman Elementary (Pullman),  Whittier Dual Language Academy (Pilsen).

Learn more and sign up here

diversity scholarships

As a part of AIA Chicago’s 150th anniversary celebration in 2019, the AIA Chicago Foundation has launched the AIA Chicago Foundation Diversity Scholarship Initiative: An opportunity to attract and retain diverse, talented young professionals in Chicago, recognizing the value of new and unique voices to the profession. One $10,000 graduate scholarship and one $10,000 undergraduate scholarship will be awarded each year. The first recipients will be awarded in 2019. The scholarship program stipulates:

  • Each $10,000 scholarship will be awarded over two years, $5000 per year, per recipient
  • Eligible students include those enrolling in or enrolled at the Illinois Institute of Technology, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, or the University of Illinois at Chicago 
  • Each awardee will also receive guidance and ongoing mentorship from AIA Chicago throughout their educational tenure

Learn more about the scholarship here

chicago architecture + design College and career day

Chicago Architecture + Design College Day is a free event open to high school and college students, parents, teachers, and counselors interested in learning more about careers in Architecture, Interior Design, Construction Management, and Landscape Architecture.

More than 30 colleges and universities will be present from all over the United States. Representatives will be available to provide information and answer questions on their respective degree programs.

For more information on how to participate as a school or to register as a student visit 



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. 

Previous Young Architect winners. 

Congratulations to the 2021 Dubin Family Young Architect Award winner, Alzira Maldonado Protsishin, AIA


Established in 1926 by architect Martin Roche, FAIA, 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.


Ethan O'Kane, a MArch student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has been named the 2022 recipient of the AIA Chicago Foundation Martin Roche Travel Scholarship.

O'Kane's research focus's on the Pearling Path, a 3.5m pathway that winds through Muharraq, Bahrain and has been undergoing restoration work since 2011. His work will research how the protected sites are carefully renovated, how new buildings incorporate historic typologies, and identify political motivations in emerging preservation practices.


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.

Image from 1st Place Benn-Johnck Award winner, Urban West Dance Center, a proposal from Yash Mehta of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

2021 winners

1st Place Benn-Johnck Award winner, Urban West Dance Center, a proposal from Yash Mehta of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

2nd Place winner, Lamination: A New Chinatown Market, a proposal from Noah Donica & Zhiqiang Shi of the Illinois Institute of Technology

3rd Place winner, A Pantone Pixelscape: Negotiating Thresholds Through Gradients, a proposal from Tasmia Kamal and Cesar Gomez of the University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign

Honorable Mention, Adaptive Reuse as a Tool for Combating the Affordable Housing Crisis, a proposal from Amanda Fusion of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Honorable Mention, The Sieve: Uptown Chicago Apartments, a proposal from Yiti 'Alice' Gao & Albert Santoso of the Illinois Institute of Technology

Honorable Mention, Open UpTown - Exploring Porosity, a proposal from Austin Bower, Spencer Goff, and Pengbo Liao of the Illinois Institute of Technology

Honorable Mention, Under the Umbrella: Chinatown Market Hall, a proposal from Rama Alsaid-Souliman, Austin Bower, and Lauren Tudor of the Illinois Institute of Technology


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.

AIA Chicago Foundation BOARD


Chris-Annmarie Spencer, AIA, NOMA

Vice President

Christopher Chwedyk, AIA


Grant Uhlir, FAIA

Interim Secretary

Gracia Maria Shiffrin, FAIA


Elliott E. Dudnik, PhD, FAIA

Roberta Feldman, PhD, Assoc. AIA

Kerl LaJeune, Assoc. AIA, NOMA

Julia Mosqueda, Assoc. AIA

Gina (JinHwa) Paradowicz, AIA

Walter D. Street III, AIA, NOMA

Danielle Tillman, AIA, NOMA

P.K. (Trish) VanderBeke, AIA

Mary K. Woolever

Past President

Fred Brandstrader, AIA

Ex-officio members

Mindy Viamontes, AIA, President elect, 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 Allison Garwood Freedland,