MONICA CHADHA

Civic Projects

SAY IT LOUD - Illinois Exhibitor

Illinois Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

I’m inspired by several women in architecture, especially past mentors - Carol Ross Barney, Brinda Somaya, and Jeanne Gang. The people I work with inspire me. I’m not the expert in the room when we bring stakeholders into a project.

MONICA CHADHA

Bio:

Monica Chadha is founder and principal of Civic Projects, an architecture firm with a social impact focus. Prior to starting her firm, she served as director of Impact Detroit and led teams at both Studio Gang and Ross Barney Architects. Her approach to design is highly participatory, going beyond architecture to engage in processes of grant-writing, strategic planning, and development. Civic Projects works closely with clients and organizations to develop work that invigorates neighborhoods.

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?

I have been passionate about design and architecture since high school, but really came into social impact work in India working with Balkrishna Doshi. Attention to detail and appreciation of the finer aspects of architecture came in grad school.

What do you do?

I am an architect who owns a firm that focuses on quality design for everyone. My work includes teaching and mentoring and engaging with local communities in the pursuit of creating a better environment for all.

What excites you in the work you do?

Everything excites me about the work I do. I love interacting with people and creating dynamic spaces. Engagement is the most satisfactory part of my work. I get the privilege of hearing from stakeholders and working towards realizing their dreams.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

I’m inspired by several women in architecture, especially past mentors - Carol Ross Barney, Brinda Somaya, and Jeanne Gang. The people I work with inspire me. I’m not the expert in the room when we bring stakeholders into a project.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

Shortly after I applied to graduate school I found out that I was expecting twins. The girls were ten months old when I started grad school and they turned two while I was studying in Rome. Having my daughters at my graduation was my proudest moment.

Featured Project Name: 

Shared Office Space

 

Featured Project Location: 

Woodlawn, Chicago, IL

 

Featured Project Completion Date: 

June 2018

Role in Featured Project: 

Project Architect

 

Featured Project Description:

Experimental Station is a South Side non-profit that fosters cultural programs, small businesses, and community initiatives. Built within the remnants of a parking structure, much of their building was conceived by Dan Peterman and architect Tom Brock. In early 2018, Civic Projects was able to build out the last 1000 square feet for use as their shared office. The space was detailed with sustainability in mind, using recycled plastic lumber, reclaimed choir room windows, and repurposed doors.

Photography Credit:

Michelle Litvin

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