Back to Our People

Robert Benson

Design Principal


Architecture reflects us creatively, technologically, politically, socially — it represents our common values. Personally, I am motivated by beauty, the aspiration of improving the places we inhabit, and the opportunity to inspire the next generation of thinkers. There is nothing more exciting than imagining a space and then walking through its construction.

Robert Benson is a design principal in our Chicago office. He is identified by his peers for his creativity, passion, humor and talent for research. An adjunct professor for many years with a conceptual mind, Robert leads with a studio-driven philosophy and a strong belief in mentorship. He gravitates toward new opportunities, challenges and opportunities to learn.

“I love being in the middle of nowhere,” Robert says, calling the prospect of taking on a new challenge “exhilarating.” Robert is exhilarated by unique challenges and deftly synthesizes the interests of his client partners with architecture he creates. “Great architecture delights but should also possess a deeper meaning to be discovered. The pieces we create should be motivated by beauty, but should always be motivated by beautiful design.”

Robert’s passion for art and design extends into literature, film, music and classical performance, including a recent performance with the Lake Shore Symphony Orchestra combining architecture and music entitled “time in space, space in time”. His photography and paintings have been exhibited in galleries. All of this, he says, feeds into his design practice: “You never know which thing will connect with what opportunity. It’s all about making connections and transformations.”

With his distinct voice and influential design, Robert has won over 30 major design awards including many from the AIA and IIDA. He has been published and exhibited in a number of national/international design competitions and exhibitions and was named in Building Design + Construction’s 40 Under 40.