Congratulations to the 10 AIA Chicago members to receive the 2018 FAIA distinction.


AIA Fellows are recognized with the AIA’s highest membership honor for their exceptional work and contributions to architecture and society. The prestige of FAIA after your name is unparalleled and the judging is rigorous.

Architects who have made significant contributions to the profession and society and who exemplify architectural excellence can become an AIA Fellow. Approximately 3 percent of the AIA’s 88,000+ members have this distinction.


Object One: Promoted the aesthetic, scientific, and practical efficiency of the profession.
Object Two: Advanced the science and art of planning and building by advancing the standards of architectural education, training and practice.
Object Three: Coordinated the building industry and the profession of architecture through leadership in the AIA or other related professional organizations.
Object Four: Advanced the living standards of people through an improved environment.
Object Five: Made the profession of ever-increasing service to society.

Joseph M. Antunovich, FAIA
Founder, President, Antunovich Associates
Object One: Preservation

Joseph M. Antunovich, FAIA, is the founder and president of Antunovich Associates, a dynamic 125-person Architecture, Planning and Interior Design Firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, D.C. The firm, founded in 1990, possesses a broad range of professional expertise that encompasses both private and public sector work. Joe’s experience includes the master planning and design of university and corporate campuses, large mixed-use commercial developments, multi-family residential complexes and retail stores. Joe also has specialized in the design of historic preservation and adaptive re-use projects that celebrate the rich urban context and history of cities across America. Over the years, Joe has participated passionately in a number of significant preservation projects that have ensured that our marvelous historic buildings are preserved for future generations. Joe is a native of New Zealand and earned a Masters of Architecture from the University of Southern California.

Aimee Eckmann, FAIA
Associate Principal, Perkins+Will
Object Two: Practice (Technical Advancement)

Aimee Eckmann, FAIA, is the pre-K-12 practice leader in the Chicago office of Perkins+Will. As a global innovator in pre-K-12 programming and planning, her influence through design and engagement advocates forward-thinking solutions that change students, teachers, and communities. Consistently ahead of trends, Aimee customizes her work based on current research, building trust with clients and the community by making them partners in the project process. Her articles and presentations share knowledge with others both in and outside the profession, proof of her commitment to advancing thought leadership in the industry.

Her work has won numerous awards from the AIA and other organizations and has been honored by such publications as Architect, Architectural Record, Interior Design, and Learning by Design. In over a decade of service, Aimee has played an important role in leadership and mentoring with the ACE Mentor Program of Illinois, supporting low-income and minority high school students in their pursuit of careers in architecture, construction and engineering. Aimee's experiences mentoring students help inform her ideas for transformative, future-ready educational environments and continue to have a deep impact on her work.

Rand Ekman, FAIA
Associate Principal, Chief Sustainability Officer, HKS
Object Two: Practice (Technical Advancement)

Rand Ekman, FAIA, is chief sustainability officer at HKS. Rand has a passion both for projects and for driving broad-based, measurable change in practice. He has a bachelors in philosophy and a masters in architecture. Rand was the 2012 President of AIA Chicago, 2015 Chair of the AIA COTE and co-chair of the LFRT Sustainability Committee. He continues to be involved in the AIA’s 2030 Commitment program and is currently a board member of the Illinois Green Alliance and the Health Product Declaration Collaborative.
An engaging public speaker, he has presented at local, regional and national conferences on sustainable practice topics, always with the intent of improving the design practice and creating a more beautiful, sustainable, and healthy built environment.

Dina A. Griffin, FAIA
President, Interactive Design Architects
Object Five: Service to Society

Dina Griffin, FAIA, became president of Interactive Design Architects (IDEA) in 1999, a leadership role that she had envisioned since childhood. Determination and her innate drive to succeed continue to propel Dina to follow her passion. Dina’s belief that change is inspired by leadership has motivated her active involvement both within and outside the profession. In addition to past leadership positions with the American Institute of Architects, National Organization of Minority Architects and the International Interior Design Association, Dina currently serves on a number of boards, including the Illinois Architect Licensing Board as Committee Vice Chair; the Leadership Advisory Committee of the Art Institute of Chicago and many others.
Dina’s mission is to guide and encourage aspiring students interested in building valuable careers in architecture. She is a sought-after speaker, regularly presenting to schools and universities as well as to organizations nationwide.

Mark C. Hirons, FAIA
Design Principal, Interior Design, CannonDesign
Object One: Design

Mark Hirons, FAIA, is the design principal for CannonDesign’s Corporate/Commercial Interior practice and is recognized as one of the leading international interior architect/designers for corporate and higher education environments. Guided by creative optimism, he creates impeccably crafted interior architecture, while working within a greater context as a catalyst for engaging and enriching lives. He brings a powerful ability to listen and thoughtfully translate each client’s needs into meaningful and memorable places.  

Mark’s work has received several awards from AIA and IIDA and been published in numerous design publications including Architect, Interior Design and Contract and in business publications such as Fortune, Fast Company, Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

Mark graduated with honors from the University of Michigan with a Masters of Architecture, and from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelors of Science in Architecture. Mark has served on the AIA Chicago Board of Directors and chaired the AIA Chicago Interior Architecture Knowledge Committee. He is an active lecturer, panelist and juror.

Patricia Saldaña Natke, FAIA
Founding Partner & President, UrbanWorks
Object One: Design

Patricia Saldaña Natke, FAIA, is a founding principal of UrbanWorks, an award-winning architecture, planning, and interior design firm in Chicago. Pat is responsible for the design direction of the firm, leading to over thirty major design and planning awards. Pat has a passion for cities and neighborhoods, and in particular, the most vulnerable sections of urban populations. She is a firm believer that design solutions should be societal solutions. 
Pat has served as an adjunct professor at the UIC Graduate School of Architecture, has been a facilitator at Archeworks, worked as a part-time professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology School of Architecture, and is currently a thesis advisor for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago masters program. Pat is a past president of Chicago Women in Architecture, and currently on its foundation board. She previously was a board member and president of the Illinois/Sao Paolo chapter of the Partners of America, past Advisory Board member of Arquitectos and is currently a board member of AIA Chicago, having previously chaired the National AIA Diversity Committee.

Eric Tomich, FAIA
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Object Two: Practice (Technical Advancement)

A former AIA San Francisco member who has just joined the AIA Chicago chapter, Eric’s career has embraced project work in a broad range of geographical regions around the world, with a particular focus on three areas: Technical Expertise and Collaboration in the Industry, Design Documentation and Project Execution, and Teaching, Mentoring and Knowledge Sharing.

After practicing architecture for six years in the USA, he pursued a career that included a series of international assignments spanning over 28 years, including assignments in London, Dubai, and Shanghai. His overseas assignments took him to work on multiple international projects, with the rewarding opportunity to be a leader in the technical design and construction on the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai.

These global projects allowed him to share a highly localized, collaborative and hands-on approach to developing and executing good design that yielded excellence in craft, detail and quality in the built work in each city and region. 

Grant Uhlir, FAIA
Managing Director, Principal, Gensler
Object Two: Practice (Management)

Grant Uhlir, FAIA, brings more than three decades of design experience in mixed-use developments, corporate headquarters, adaptive reuse, and repositioning projects across the globe — including the world-renowned Shanghai Tower, for which he served as senior project director. Most recently, he is leading the repositioning of the 2.8 million-square-foot redevelopment of Chicago’s Post Office. As a co-managing director of Gensler’s Chicago office, Grant is responsible for leading more than 320 architects, designers, and consultants through the overall management of the office, representing Gensler in the market, and developing and fostering new business.
Grant’s ability to lead people, build consensus, and grow leaders serves the profession well. During his term as president of the AIA Chicago Foundation, his continued commitment to building a thriving organization built on all forms of social equity continues to create a thriving model for the future of the AIA at large. Grant is a past president of AIA Chicago, a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, and a member of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). He also serves as a product council member with ULI Chicago. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from Iowa State University and studied architecture and urban studies at the University of Bath, England.

David Urschel, FAIA
Principal, Loebl Schlossman & Hackl
Object Three: Led the Institute

David A. Urschel, FAIA, is a principal at Loebl Schlossman & Hackl, where he has been engaged for nearly 15 years on a variety of projects. An active member of AIA Chicago for more than 35 years, David has been extensively involved with a variety of Knowledge Communities and other task forces and has served on the AIA Chicago Board of Directors executive committee as treasurer.

Among David’s most significant accomplishments have been serving as host chapter chair for the 2004 AIA National Convention in Chicago; host chapter co-chair for the 2014 AIA National Convention in Chicago, and the AIA Chicago champion for the AIA National AIA150 (150th anniversary) programs and activities in 2007. David chaired the CES Task Force for AIA Chicago as continuing education became mandatory, and throughout the years has worked enthusiastically to engage members, emerging professionals, and promote the profession to allied organizations and the public.  

Stephen Wierzbowski, FAIA
President, Wierzbowski Limited
Object Two: Practice (Management)

Stephen Wierzbowski, FAIA, combines imagery, drawing and narrative to engage clients in choosing unexpected architectural solutions. His process marries design thinking and storytelling to broaden the scope of how architecture can be created collaboratively.

He founded Stephen Wierzbowski, AIA (now Wierzbowski Limited) in 2014. Wierzbowski also founded Florian Wierzbowski in 1984 and WDW Design in 1994. In 2007 he joined The Dobbins Group as Director of Architecture and Engineering and then went on to be a principal at Mekus Tanager in 2008.

Wierzbowski has taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Illinois in Versailles, France, Ohio State University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University in 1975 and a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1982.

His designs and drawings have been featured in numerous public and private exhibitions and collections.