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 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).



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.

2018 Roche Scholar, Melis Isil Simsek (SAIC) and AIA Chicago Foundation board president, Gina Paradowicz, 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.

2018 1st Place Ben Johnck Award winnerBridgeport Innovation Center, a proposal from Illinios Institute of Technology students Graham Bowman, Junghyo Woo, Keigo Yamazaki, 

2nd Place winner, Gradient, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Jason Lawler & Amanda Wagner

3rd Place winner shared, SCS (Scientific Customized Station) / Prefabricated Field Station, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Yuan Liao & Yueshen Mei

3rd Place winner shared, Social Magnet: Activating voids socializing cities, School of the Art Institute, Lina Fahad Alsharif


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


Gina (JinHwa) Paradowicz, AIA

Vice President
Fred Brandstrader, AIA

Chris-Annmarie Spencer, AIA

Christopher Chwedyk, FAIA

Jayshree Shah, AIA
Gracia Maria Shiffrin, FAIA
Walter D. Street III, AIA, NOMA
Grant Uhlir, AIA

Public Trustees
Lisa DiChiera
Roberta Feldman, PhD Mary K. Woolver

Ex-officio members
April Hughs, 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.