John Chipman, AIA, LEED AP
CEO / Founding Principal
Founding Principal JohnChipman began creating a new direction for his father’s interiors firm in 1979. While fulfilling a two-year overseas contract in the late 1970s, John had lived in the Middle East as Vice President of an international architecture firm headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. When he returned to the United States, John joined his father, a retail interior designer, in his small Chicago design practice.
Building upon an existing base of regional main-street retail clients, John led the firm into a position of national recognition for sporting goods store design. In addition to speaking appearances and writing articles for trade publications, he authored a planning workbook for retailers that was distributed nationally, bringing in sales figures that swept it into a second printing. With his father’s retirement from the business, John expanded the architecture firm’s retail direction into the national arena, boldly utilizing the developing computer technology of the mid 1980s to keep up with the unprecedented expansion of corporate retail clients.
With the firm’s retail expertise solidly established, he and his new partner, Daryl Adams, completed the Golf Clubhouse Programming, Planning and Design Seminar at the Harvard Design School in Cambridge. This area of expertise led to such commissions as the award-winning Lost Dunes Golf Club and Butler National Golf Club. At the same time, he began to lay the foundation for unparalleled excellence in restaurant design, a distinction for which the firm now possesses a national reputation.
John earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois/Urbana, reinforcing his studies at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Versailles, France, and at the Ecole Nacionale d’Art Decoratif de Nice, France. Throughout his professional life, he has traveled extensively for both business and research throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, he is a registered Architect in states throughout the country, maintains professional membership in the American Institute of Architects and holds LEEP AP professional registration for sustainable design.
In addition to his commitment to the business of architecture, John served as an elected official on his local City Council as well as on the City’s Planning and Zoning Board and Building Board of Review. Founding that City’s forward-thinking Appearance Commission, he was then appointed its Chairman for a six-year term. The sensitivity to community that he gained during this period was most responsible for his evolving dedication to philanthropic ventures and sustainability in architectural practice.