Tom Lee, AIA


"Great design is just as much about listening as it is about creating"

Tom Lee endeavors to create architecture that is thoughtfully simple, memorable and timeless. He is responsible for the overall design direction of projects in the firm’s Chicago architectural studio, where he also assists in recruiting and developing design talent and supports the management and strategy of the studio. Tom has worked on a broad range of building types and has served as a designer on numerous international and domestic commissions that have garnered local and national design awards and recognition. Learn more about Tom


Scaled to Fit

Through the lens of project work, Tom examines the influence and impacts of a shift between scales — both physical and cultural. Early in his career, Tom gained exposure to large-scale building typologies within a large firm environment. As his career progressed, he discovered a passion for smaller scale projects. This change in perspective has influenced his approach to design today as he leads a large office with a small studio culture that thrives on working at a variety of scales.

Tom excels at teaching and mentoring, believing they are the most genuine ways he can impact the future of the architecture profession.

Speaking + Publications

  • Publication: "A Big-Box Store Finds New Life as a Healthcare Clinic," Metropolis, February 6, 2020
  • Exhibition: Outside the Practice: Artworks Created by Architects and Designers, Bridgeport Art Center, January 2018 – March 2018
  • Exhibition: Between States: 50 Designers Transform Chicago’s Neighborhoods, Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago Architecture Biennial, September 2017 March 2018
  • Conference: "University-Industry Collaborations as a Tool for Investigating Campus Design Challenges," SCUP 2018 North Central Regional Conference, Indianapolis, IN, October 1-3 2018
  • Conference: “Research, Ideation, and Incubator Spaces for Entrepreneurship,” Tradeline: College and University Science and Engineering Facilities, St. Petersburg, FL, November 2017

Award Juries

  • Annual Design Council Awards, School of the Art Institute of Chicago AIADO (Architecture, Interior Architecture, Designed Objects)
  • Invited Critic - School of the Art Institute of Chicago Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects, 2016-ongoing
  • Invited Critic–Skyscraper! Graduate Studio, Professor Jerry Larson University of Cincinnati, Winter 2006
  • Invited Critic, Chicago Studio, Professor Kathryn Albright Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Fall 2005
  • Invited Critic–Fourth Year/Graduate Studio, Professor Neil Frankel, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Fall 2005