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.

aia chicago foundation diversity scholarships

As a part of AIA Chicago’s anniversary celebration, 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


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 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), Gunsaulus Scholastic Academy (Brighton Park), Sidney Sawyer Elementary School (Gage Park),  Whittier Dual Language Academy (Pilsen).

Learn more and sign up here



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.  2019 submissions open in July. See guidlines here

Congratulations to the 2018 Dubin Family Young Architect Award winner, Matthew McGrane, AIA of Farr Associates.


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 2019 submission process.

2019 Roche Scholar, Andrea Hunt (SAIC) and AIA Chicago Foundation board president, Gina Paradowicz, AIA.


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. Quirky in Ordinary: Urban Stacking​, Travis Rukamp of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

2019 winners

1st Place Benn-Johnck Award winner, Quirky in Ordinary: Urban Stacking, a proposal from Travis Rukamp of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

2nd Place winner, Hybrid Network, a proposal from Yu-Lun Hsu and Ali Gholamabbas of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

3rd Place winner, The Arboreal, a proposal from Mary Kathryn Briatta of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Honorable Mention, Contour Island, a proposal from Alexander Aparicio, Qin Lu, and Yilie Wang of 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.


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.

AIA Guide to Chicago

AIA Chicago Foundation BOARD


Gina (JinHwa) Paradowicz, AIA

Vice President

Fred Brandstrader, AIA


Chris-Annmarie Spencer, AIA


Christopher Chwedyk, AIA


Jayshree Shah, AIA

Gracia Maria Shiffrin, FAIA

Walter D. Street III, AIA, NOMA

Grant Uhlir, FAIA

Public Trustees

Lisa DiChiera

Roberta Feldman, PhD

Mary K. Woolever

Ex-officio members

April Hughes, AIA, First Vice President/President-elect, AIA Chicago

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.