John Syvertsen, FAIA, Joins AIA Chicago as Interim Executive Vice President


We are pleased to announce that our 2019 AIA Chicago Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, John Syvertsen, FAIA, has accepted the position as Interim Executive Vice President of AIA Chicago. He will work to oversee Chapter, Staff and Membership duties until a new Executive Vice President is appointed.

John is a visionary leader committed to improving the built environment, often with an emphasis on community outreach, social impact, and environmental sustainability. In his forty-year career, John has devoted himself tirelessly to design excellence, focusing much of his time working with colleges and universities across the United States.

For ten years John was President of OWP/P Architects. He led the merger with Cannon Design where he was a member of the Executive Leadership Team. He left Cannon in 2015 to spend full time in support of several not-for-profit organizations.

Civic engagement is a hallmark of John's philosophy. He has served as Chair of the American Institute of Architects National Committee on Design, as President of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Study in the Arts, as President of the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Chicago Architecture Foundation. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of Archeworks, an alternative, socially-focused design educator. In 2006, John was the inaugural recipient of the AIA Illinois Gold Medal in recognition of a career of service.

John received a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Georgetown University; a master's degree in Architecture from Princeton University, and was a Loeb Fellow in Advanced Environmental Studies at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

John is currently teaching in the Chicago Studio of the Virginia Tech School of Architecture and Design. We are thrilled to have John join us in this capacity.