AIA Chicago Foundation

The AIA Chicago Foundation is an independent not-for-profit organization which supports scholarships, grants, awards, and initiatives to strengthen Chicago’s architectural community and the future of the profession. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees are elected annually by the AIA Chicago membership. All AIA Chicago members are also members of the AIA Chicago Foundation.

Contributions made to the AIA Chicago Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, are fully tax-deductible.

American Institute of Architects Scholarships


AIA Chicago Foundation Diversity Scholarship

The AIA Chicago Foundation Diversity Scholarship seeks to attract and retain diverse, talented young professionals in Chicago and recognizes the value of new and unique voices in the profession. Scholarships are for students attending IIT, SAIC, and UIC. 

Awards: Up to two recipients. Each receive $10,000 over two years
Submissions open: Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Submissions close: May 12, 2023 at 11:59 PM
Established: 2019
Funding: Corporate and individual donations

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Martin Roche Travel Scholarship

Established in 1926 by architect Martin Roche, FAIA, the Martin Roche Travel Scholarship gives a student the opportunity to independently study architecture abroad.

Awards: $6,000
Submissions open: Paused for 2023
Submissions close: Paused for 2023
Established: 1926
Funding: AIA Chicago Foundation donations

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Community Outreach

American Institute of Architects Community Outreach

Architects in Schools

Managed through AIA Chicago's Community Engagement Affinity Group, Architects in Schools (AIS) focuses on bringing architecture professionals into middle school classrooms to introduce students to the profession.

Volunteers engage the students in critically analyzing their neighborhood for opportunities to create positive change while utilizing architecture as a means for implementing solutions.

Programs are currently active at the following schools:

  • Cameron Elementary (Humboldt Park)
  • Chavez Multicultural Academic Academy (Back of the Yards)
  • George M. Pullman Elementary (Pullman)
  • Whittier Dual Language Academy (Pilsen)
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Chicago Architecture + Design College Day

Chicago Architecture + Design College Day

Held annually in the fall, the Chicago Architecture + Design College Day is a free event open to high school and college students, parents, teachers, and counselors interested in learning more about careers in Architecture, Interior Design, Construction Management, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning.

With over 50 colleges and universities represented, this is fantastic one-stop-shop for any student considering this career pathway.

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Chicago Student Award in Architecture

The Chicago Award in Architecture is an annual juried competition of student projects.

Awards: $200-$500
Deadline for professors to nominate: Early May, 2023
Deadline for students to submit work: Early June, 2023
Funding: Donations to the AIA Chicago Foundation

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Disruptive Design

Disruptive Design was a three-part design competition that sought to address challenges associated with designing and building affordable, owner-occupied housing.

Awards: $200-$500
Timeline: This competition occurred in 2018-2019.
Funding: AIA Chicago, Northern Trust, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, LISC Chicago, NHS

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AIA Competitions
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Board of Trustees

"I'm inspired by those who embrace and explore differences. By doing so we can find common ground and hopefully stronger richer solutions."

Chris-Annmarie Spencer,
AIA, NOMA, AlA Chicago Foundation Board