Bridge Mentorship Program

bridge logo

Bridge will soon celebrate its ninth year as the highly successful mentoring program sponsored by AIA Chicago, the College of Fellows and the Young Architects Forum. It was created to provide Emerging Professionals with access to local AIA Fellows (FAIA), leaders and designers from the architectural community.

This training and leadership program requires active participation in a mentorship setting. Emerging Professionals interested in participating should have proven leadership and a willingness to learn.

Overview of Program

This program intends to Bridge the gap between the need for mentorship in our profession and the ability of experienced architects to pass on what they have learned to the future generation of architects. 

Each selected Bridge participant will be paired with a local AIA Fellow acting as their mentor. The program will incorporate informal social events and organized mentorship discussions focusing the conversation on past experiences, career development, and the future of the architectural profession. Throughout the program, the mentors and their mentees will also meet in a one-on-one setting to informally discuss specific professional goals while further developing and strengthening their relationship.

The program benefits include an opportunity to be mentored by experienced professionals and FAIA members. Participants will develop communication and relationship skills, advance professional skills, expand professional and personal networks, experience team performance, and develop community leadership.

Ideal Applicants

The ideal applicant is an architectural designer with a minimum of 3 years of post-grad work experience, who is licensed or pursuing licensure. AIA membership is not necessary to apply, but all selected participants must be or become AIA members. 


Applications for Bridge 10.0 (2019) will be available in summer 2019. Click here to view the 2018 application form.

Submission Instructions:

  1. Combine the completed application and your resume in the same PDF file. Application first, followed by resume.
  2. The title of the file should be "Bridge 2018 Application_LastName, FirstName"
  3. Email the combined PDF to

Selection of Participants

A maximum of 16 participants will be selected by a committee made up of members of the AIA Chicago Board of Directors and representatives of the College of Fellows.

2018 Schedule

  • Introductory Session for Mentees: August 21, 2018, 5:30-7:30 PM

  • Meeting #1:  September 5, 2018

  • Meeting #2:  Week of September 17

  • Meeting #3:  Week of October 1

  • Self-Planned Gathering:  (week of) October 15

  • Meeting #4:  Week of October 29

  • Meeting #5:  Week of November 12

Throughout the program, we encourage a minimum of two informal, one-on-one meetings between mentor and mentee.


Bridge 2018 is sponsored by Hunter Douglas Architectural. Click here to view Hunter Douglas's blog which covers recent events in the design world.

Hunter Douglas logo