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Architecture & Design Society

Explore architecture and design in the city that pioneered them—join the Architecture & Design Society today.

The Architecture & Design Society is a group of professionals and enthusiasts dedicated to making architecture and design available to a wider audience through a dynamic program of lectures, tours, special events, receptions, and viewings. Member benefits include:

  • Invitations to all of the society’s educational events. The society has recently hosted Michael Bierut, David Adjaye, Zaha Hadid, and Jeanne Gang.
  • Opportunities to connect with esteemed practitioners and thinkers in architecture and design at exclusive receptions.
  • Access to private tours of notable sites both inside and outside of Chicago.
  • Opportunity to support the Art Institute's Department of Architecture and Design and to engage with its curators.

Choose the membership level that’s right for you:

Upper-Tier Benefits

Benefactor ($2,500)
Benefactors of the Architecture & Design Society provide the highest level of philanthropy to the Department of Architecture and Design. Benefactors enjoy:

  • All Patron-level benefits
  • Preferred access to exclusive travel opportunities with curators
  • Special invitations to view and understand the permanent collection, interact with visiting scholars and artists, and visit exhibitions and private collections

Patron Level ($1,000)

  • All Sponsor-level benefits
  • Special opportunities to engage with the chair and curators of the Department of Architecture and Design
  • Access to exclusive travel opportunities with curators

Sponsor Level ($500)

  • All Contributor benefits
  • Special access to architecture and design exhibitions at the Art Institute
  • Opportunities to gather with other patrons at post-lecture special events
  • Private excursions to acclaimed Chicago-area architecture and design locations
  • Upper-tier listing in A&D Society materials

Standard Tier Benefits

Contributor ($250)

  • Invitations to lectures, special exhibition openings, and events.

Friend ($125)

  • All Contributor benefits for individuals aged 35 and under.

Join the A&D Society:

  • Sign up online (for those purchasing or renewing their Art Institute membership at the same time).
  • Call (312) 443-4751.



Bess Tremonto Cook

Vice Presidents, Programming

Audrey Fosse
Maria Smithburg

Vice President, Membership

Hal Kugeler

Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations

Lisa Skolnik


Heiji Choy Black


James N. Alexander*
Dana Arnett
Heiji Choy Black
Ally Bulley
Nick Cave
Dirk Denison
Deborah Doyle*
Ikram Goldman
Stuart Grannen
Philip Hamp
Marvin Herman
Deborah Jahn
James Jankowski
Jordana Joseph
Jessica Lagrange
Eva Maddox
Tony Manzari
Margaret McCurry
Karen Lilly Mozer*
Kate Neisser
Maria Pinto
Yumi Ross
Thomas Rossiter
Alice Young Sabl*
Pauline Saliga*
Bruce A. Simons*
Maria Smithburg
Dana Terp
Martha Thorne*
John VanderLinden*
Steve Wiesenthal
Paul Zucker*
John Zukowsky*

* Denotes Life Director

Department of Architecture and Design

Zoë Ryan 
John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design

Alison Fisher
Harold and Margot Schiff Associate Curator

Maite Borjabad
Neville Bryan Assistant Curator

Kim Chin
Assistant to the Chair and Research Assistant

Lori Boyer
Department Exhibitions and Collections Manager

Elizabeth Mescher
Manager for Inventory and Assessment

Christopher Rosenberg
Department Technician and Collection Coordinator

Trevor Schmutz
Program Coordinator, A&D Society

Upcoming Events

Opening Reception for Past Forward: Architecture and Design at the Art Institute
Monday, September 11, 2017 
6:30 p.m.
Griffin Court
A&D Society members are invited to join us for a reception in Griffin Court and an exhibition viewing of the Art Institute’s new Modern Wing galleries for architecture and design prior to their public opening.
Symposium: Taking Positions—Architecture and Design Exhibitions
Friday, September 15, 2017
9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Fullerton Hall
Free and open to the public, registration required 
A symposium led by curators Zoë Ryan and Alison Fisher exploring the history of exhibitions in architecture and design.

Presented in collaboration with the Chicago Architectural Biennial

Curator Tour of the New Permanent Architecture and Design Galleries
October, date TBD
Tour: 5:30-6:30 p.m., Reception: 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Upper-tier A&D Society members are invited to explore the museum’s newly expanded, world-class architecture and design collection with a behind-the-scenes look from the curators, followed by a reception in Terzo Piano.

Lecture with World Renowned Designer Stefan Sagmeister
Monday, November 13, 2017   
6:00 p.m.
Rubloff Auditorium
Free and open to the public
AIGA winner and designer provocateur Stefan Sagmeister reflects on design and practice during this special Art Institute lecture.

Presented in collaboration with SAIC’s Visiting Artists Program and Department of Visual Communication Design

Reception with Stefan Sagmeister
Monday, November 13, 2017
8:00 p.m.
Location TBA
Patron-level members are invited to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with Stefan Sagmeister at a private Chicago residence following his lecture at the Art Institute.

Lecture: Johnston Marklee, curators of the Chicago Architecture Biennial
Wednesday, November 15, 2017   
6:30 p.m.
Rubloff Auditorium
Free and open to the public
Artistic directors of 2017 CAB speak on the trajectory of their artistic vision of “Make New History.”

Presented in collaboration with the Chicago Architectural Biennial

Highlights of Recent Events

Member Events

  • Tour of Writers Theatre with Jeanne Gang
  • CHGO DSGN WEST LOOP: Design Tour with Rick Valicenti
  • Reception in Pritzker Garden with Michael Bierut
  • Reception at Chicago Athletic Association with Studio Formafantasma
  • Exhibition preview of Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye


  • Who Builds Your Architecture?
  • Studio Formafantasma
  • Designer and Artist Max Lamb
  • Tour: Writers Theatre Tour with Jeanne Gang
  • Architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien
  • Architect Jeanne Gang
  • Designer Michael Bierut in Conversation with Dana Arnett
  • Pritzker Laureate Lecture with Zaha Hadid
  • Pritzker Laureate Lecture/The Butler-VanderLinden Lecture on Architecture with Thom Mayne
  • Conversation: David Adjaye and Zoë Ryan