Award-winning architect Aimee Eckmann (MArch ’99) has been named a prestigious Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Every year, a jury meets to assess which AIA members have furthered the practice of architecture and benefited society as a whole. Since the program’s founding in 1952, juries have inducted only three percent of the AIA’s total membership.
Eckmann is a principal and the pre-K-12 practice leader in Perkins+Will’s Chicago office, where she helps sustain the office’s legacy of inclusive and creative facilities for education by changing how teachers teach and students learn. Across the 30 built projects in her twenty-year career, she has developed a participatory, equitable design process based on consensus-building. School district leaders see this approach as instrumental in the passage of bond referendums funding new construction.
A natural extension of Eckmann’s work as an architect has been her mentorship of budding designers from low-income households in Chicago. Through the architecture, construction, and engineering industry’s preeminent mentorship group, the ACE Mentor Program of America, she has impacted the lives of hundreds of budding designers and raised more than $1,300,000 in scholarships. As a thought leader on how schools can strengthen communities, Eckmann is an author and frequent speaker at education-planning conferences.
Eckmann—along with the entire Class of 2018—will be honored at the national AIA Conference in New York City in June.