A Celebration of Better Illinois Communities by Design

The AIA Illinois Honor Awards recognize people and projects epitomizing the contributions of the architecture profession, the transformative power of design, and the dedication of individuals to service and excellence. All award winners have positively impacted citizens throughout the state of Illinois by helping create communities in which people are drawn to live and work, and to live healthier and happier. 

Gold Medal for Outstanding Lifetime Service
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2021: Robert I. Selby, FAIA

Professor Selby has been a member of AIA since 1970. He served as President of AIA Champaign-Urbana in 1987, AIA Central Illinois in 1990 and President of AIA Illinois in 2002. In 2005 he served as the AIA 150 Champion for AIA Central Illinois. His work has been published in Progressive Architecture, Inland Architect, and elsewhere. He is co-author and illustrator of The Hawkweed Passive Solar House Book, and he has written numerous papers on housing, urban design, and design education.


Professor Selby taught in the design division of the School of Architecture at University of Illinois and has taught both undergraduate and graduate architectural design studios and several graduate seminars. He received the undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award in 1987 and the Outstanding Faculty Award, College of Fine and Applied Arts in 1997.

2019    John Ochoa, AIA

2018    Linda Searl, FAIA

2017    Gaines Hall, FAIA

2016    James L. Nagle, FAIA and John F. Hartray, FAIA
2015    Carol Ross Barney, FAIA
2014    R. Thomas Jaeger, AIA
2012    Gary W. Anderson, AIA
2010    Donald J. Hackl, FAIA
2009    Walter J. Hainsfurther, III, FAIA
2008    Stanley Tigerman, FAIA
2007    Louis J. Garapolo, FAIA
2006    John M. Syvertsen, FAIA

Richard Nickel Award for Non-Architects
For (non-architect) citizens who lift up architecture and the profession
2021: Krisann Rehbein

As the Executive Director of ACE Mentor Program of Chicago, she oversees program operations for the organization. Working with a dynamic and committed core of volunteers from the architecture, construction and engineering industries, the program provides out-of-school programming for 300 teens annually, gives out over $150k in scholarships and 60 paid summer work experiences.


Prior to joining ACE Mentor, Krisann spent over a decade at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. During her tenure, she implemented city-wide programming for teens, piloted a fully funded community outreach initiative, placed over 150 students in paid internships, and developed a suite of new adult programs to expand the conversation about the built environment in Chicago. She spearheaded and directed a major institutional project, the development and writing of a textbook to teach high school students about architecture published as The Architecture Handbook: A Student Guide to Understanding Buildings. The award-winning curriculum is part of the official career curriculum for the Chicago Public Schools and is used in schools across the country.

Jury Comments:  

Krisann’s career represents a mission of this award - to celebrate those who lift up architecture and the profession. Among her achievements: Krisann’s long-term commitment that engages youth to learn about the fields of design and construction, promotes opportunities to discover their interests, and working with industry professionals to help support that learning and discovery, all deserve this recognition. 

2020    David Doig

2019    Mike Waldinger, Hon. AIA

2018    Lynn Osmond, Hon. AIA

2017    Corda Murphy

2014    Ida "Pinky" Noll
2012    Gianfranco Grande
2009    Shirley J. Anderson, Hon. AIA

Charles W. Nothnagel Award for Public Service
For Illinois architects involved in public service
2021: Karen Shoup, AIA

Karen Shoup's career in Public Service encompasses multiple communities, agencies, programs and initiatives spanning over 34 years.

As a Subject Matter Expert, Karen is currently working with the United States Virgin Islands Department of Public Works/ Witt O'Brien's hurricane recovery team to rebuild the four islands of the Territory. As Bureau Chief of Urban Program Planning for the Illinois Department of Transportation, Karen led the development of the Illinois Long Range Transportation Plan, Transforming Transportation for Tomorrow.  Focusing on State Capital Planning, Karen served as Associate Director for the Governor's Office of Management and Budget. This required development of the annual Capital Budget for the State of Illinois. Karen was responsible for building the legislation and implementation of Governor Quinn's Illinois Jobs Now and Jump Start capital programs. School Construction and planning has been a focus for Karen. As Supervisor at the Illinois State Board of Education and Administrator of School Construction at CDB, Karen led the development of a 6 billion dollar school construction, school energy efficiency, maintenance grant programs and the development of guidelines for communities. She also served on the Springfield RUDAT, Habitat for Humanity Board, AIA Illinois and Prairie Chapter Boards.

Jury Comments:

Karen has served our profession well, not just in her roles at the Capital Development Board and Illinois Department of Transportation, but also in her service to the AIA.  She has served on committees, both state and chapter boards and is the current AIA Prairie President, guiding the chapter (even through a pandemic) with strength and vision. Karen is a deserving recipient of this award.

2019    Scott Nacheman, AIA

2017    Jim Law, FAIA

2016    Holly Gerberding, FAIA
2015    Michael A. Dixon, FAIA
2014    Gracia Maria Shiffrin, AIA
2012    Mike Jackson, FAIA
2010    Martin A. Alblinger, AIA
2009    Edward K. Uhlir, FAIA
2008    Paul W. O'Shea, FAIA
2007    Enrique Unanue, Illinois Department of Public Health
2006    Michael Rogers, AIA

R. Buckminster Fuller Award for Social Good
For Illinois architects involved in humanitarian, social impact or community endeavors
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2021: Shabbir Y. Chandabhai, Assoc. AIA

Architect Shabbir Y. Chandabhai founded BURHANIDESIGN in 2011 on the philosophical basis that architecture must be conscious and respectful of context and utility while enriching the human experience.


Having received his Undergraduate degree from Mumbai University, he moved to Chicago for his Graduate degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.


Shabbir has worked on various high-rise, mixed-use projects at firms in Chicago. He has a keen interest in the Contemporary Design Ideology and Community projects and thus has been involved in designing urban community-based projects in the Chicago land area.

Shabbir is an Associate member of the AIA and member of NCARB and a licensed Architect with the Council of Architecture, India. He is also one of the Directors of CTBUH-India Chapter, continuing the rich tradition of research and development of high-rise building design and technology in the Indian subcontinent with his counterparts.

He currently sits on the Board for two local neighborhood organizations which monitor local zoning and developments so that the proposed developments in those neighborhoods are scaled to meet the local needs and not only benefit that area but the city at large.

Jury Comments:

Mr. Chandabhai’s efforts to improve the play areas at three public schools raise the bar for civic involvement by architects.  In each case he used his creativity and professional training to transform a community’s desire for basic safe outdoor play areas into fully-realized recreation spaces characterized by joy and exuberance. 

2020    Dave Gerald Broz, AIA

2019    Bryan Hudson, AIA

2017    Lamar Johnson, FAIA

2016    Helen J. Kessler    
2015    Nora Ames & Katie Soven   
2014    Philip J. Enquist, FAIA
2013    Charles R. Newman, AIA    
2012    Katherine Darnstadt, AIA
2010    Jon Daniel Davey, AIA     
2009    Kevin K. Pierce, AIA    
2008    Douglas Milburn, Assoc. AIA    
2007    Martha A. Bell, AIA    
2006    Peter Lind, AIA    

President's Award
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2021: Arquitectos, Chicago Women in Architecture and I-NOMA 

The Illinois Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (I-NOMA), Arquitectos, and Chicago Women in Architecture (CWA). These organizations have very similar mission themes to AIA Illinois, and by working together we can only increase our impact to our members.


  • I-NOMA creates a platform of inclusion and growth to support all minority designers; as defined by ethnicity, gender, religion, and sexual orientation.


  • Arquitectos’ goal is to be a valuable resource for Latino & Latina architects – offering opportunities for career and professional development and is an organization with membership hailing from across the globe - architects, engineers, designers, contractors, landscape architects, and urban planners from all backgrounds and nationalities.


  • CWA is a forum for women in architecture and related professions that exists to advance the status of women in this profession by increasing the visibility of women in architecture, guiding and encouraging women to consider a career in architecture; establishing liaisons with other professional organizations; networking for job placement and career advancement; advocating for issues of concern to women within the profession.


Following up on the challenges and experiences in 2020, this year showed us that the lesson learned from those challenges needed to be addressed as we continue to move forward with a sharper focus on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in all aspects of our lives. AIA Illinois, along with these three organizations, have made extra efforts to collaborate and develop a more integrated approach to work together in the best interest of our profession, both for our current membership but as well as with an emphasis on helping to develop a diverse future for our profession. The four organizations are committed to strengthening this momentum by developing and cross-promoting scholarships, grants, educational programs as well as professional development networking events.

These organizations have very similar mission themes to AIA Illinois, and by working together we can only increase our impact to our members.

2020    Chicago Architecture Biennial - Student Design Competitions

2019    Wright in Kankakee: The Bradley House

2018    Landmarks Illinois

2017    PechaKucha Chicago

2016    AEC Cares
2015    National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
2013    archi-treasures
2012    Public Building Commission of Chicago
2010    Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP's Chicago office
2009    Environmental Law and Policy Center
2007    Healthy Schools Campaign by the Illinois State Board of Education
2006    Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

2004    Kevin Sido, Esq.
2003    Illinois Building Research Council
2002    Mayor Karen Hasara, City of Springfield
2001    Corda Murphy, AIA Northeast Executive Director
2000    Albert W. Voirin, AVA Insurance Agency
1998    Newhouse Architecture Competition, Chicago Architecture Foundation
1997    Attorney General Jim Ryan
1996    Lawrence Kirkegaard, Hon. AIA
1995    Alice Sinkevitch, Hon. AIA
1994    Illinois Historic Preservation Agency   
1992    James Nowacki, Esq.
1991    Graham Foundation
1990    Chicago Architecture Foundation
1989    Landmarks Preservation Council
1988    Women's Architectural League
1987    Gary J. Skoien
1986    Shirley Norvell, Hon. AIA
1985    Museum of Science & Industry
1984    Chicago Architectural Assistance Center

John Wellborn Root for Emerging Professionals
2019: Damon Wilson, AIA
Damon Wilson, AIA

DAMON WILSON, AIA, HAS ALREADY ESTABLISHED himself as a thought leader and innovator within the educational design community. Through constant dedication, inquisition, and creativity, Damon exemplifies what it means to achieve success in education environmental design. Above all, he brings an enthusiasm for architecture that deliberately teaches and informs everyone. 

"I believe that good education architecture is a human endeavor that is forward-thinking, recognizes ecological consequences, and realizes the social impact of design for students of all ages."

- Damon Wilson, AIA

2016    Marc Teer, AIA

2015    Alexander P. Block, AIA
2014    Adam Lund, AIA
2013    April Hughes, AIA
2012    Jack Schroeder, AIA
2010    Brian J. Vitale, AIA
2009    Julianne Scherer, AIA
2008    Jeff Huck, AIA
2007    Mark J Ladd, AIA
2006    Lilija B. Gelazis, AIA

Nathan Clifford Ricker Award for Architecture Education
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2020: Curtis J. Sartor, Jr. Assoc. AIA

Dr. Curtis J. Sartor Jr. became Assistant to the President for Diversity and Spiritual Development, a role that was an outgrowth of Judson’s ongoing Strategic Plan, in January 2016. He was named Associate Vice President for Diversity and Spiritual Development. In this capacity, he provides overall leadership, direction, advocacy, communication and assessment of diversity and inclusion issues on campus and leads internal and external diversity committees. From 2008 through 2015, Dr. Sartor served as dean of Judson’s School of Art, Design and Architecture, and he continues to teach courses in the Architecture Department as a tenured professor.

2019    Linda Nelson Keane, AIA

2017    Dan Wheeler, FAIA

2014    Mark Taylor, Assoc. AIA
2013    Al Rusch, AIA
2010    Jack A. Kremers, AIA
2009    Michael Andrejasich, AIA
2008    Constantine D. Vasilios,  AIA
2007    Robert I. Selby, FAIA
2006    Anne Sullivan, AIA

Alan Madison Award for Diversity Work
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2020: Maya Bird-Murphy, Assoc. AIA

Maya Bird-Murphy, Assoc. AIA, is an architectural designer, educator, and maker from Oak Park, Illinois. She is also the founder and Executive Director of Chicago Mobile Makers, an award-winning nonprofit organization bringing design-focused skill-building workshops to underrepresented communities.

Maya believes that architecture should not be a privilege and must expand to accommodate more people through teaching and community engagement. Chicago Mobile Makers creates programming that encourages Chicago youth to become advocates and change makers in their own communities through design focused skill-building workshops.

2019    Danielle Tillman, AIA

2017    Walter D. Street III, AIA

2016    Oswaldo Ortega, AIA
2014    Eben C. Smith, AIA, NCARB, NOMA, RRO
2013    Aurelien Tsemo, AIA
2012    Kenneth E. Casey, AIA