Chris-Annmarie Spencer

Chris-Ann, Jamaican by birth, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies from the Caribbean School of Architecture at the University of Technology in 1998. Shortly after receiving her degree, her family relocated to Massachusetts and in 2001 she moved to Chicago to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago. During her studies there, Chris-Ann spent a semester in Rome studying historical design and its application to contemporary design.

Chris-Ann has served as Project Architect for an award winning project for Inspiration Kitchens as well as the Chicago region’s only high school for students with Learning Differences, Wolcott School. She was the Project Architect for Goodman Theatre’s education and outreach facility – The Alice, and the new Noble Mansueto High School on the Southwest side of Chicago.

Her work has been recognized numerous times. In 2008, Chris-Ann and her husband Grant Gibson, an architect at Garafolo Architects won third place in the White House Redux Competition. In 2012, Chris-Annmarie was recognized as a local innovator by the Chicago Urban League during their Economic Empowerment Summit. In 2015, Chris-Ann received the AIA Chicago Dubin Family Young Architect Award, and in 2017 she was honored with the AIA National Young Architect Award. Most recently, Chris-Ann was among 40 accomplished and diverse individuals nominated as a 2019 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, joining a legacy of building and strengthening the pipeline of civic leaders who will influence the future of Chicago.

Chris-Ann participates in the Architects in Schools (AIS) program, Green Apple Day of Service, and annually hosts students from Wolcott School for a career day. She is Treasurer on AIA Chicago Foundation’s Board and has worked to establish the Diversity Scholarships program. Chris-Ann lives in Logan Square with her husband, Grant Gibson, and their two children.

2004                    . MArch, University of Illinois at Chicago
1998 BArch, Caribbean School of Architecture
Professional Experience
2019 Wheeler Kearns Architects, Chicago, Principal
2004-present Wheeler Kearns Architects, Chicago, Project Architect
2003-2004 Xavier Vendrell Studio, Chicago, Intern Architect
2003 Worn Jerabek Architects, Chicago, Intern Architect
Professional Registration
Professional Affiliations
2017-2019 AIA Chicago Foundation, Board Member
2013-present American Institute of Architects
2013-present National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA)
2012-present Chicago Women in Architecture (CWA)
Individual Honors
2019 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow – Class of 2019
2017 AIA National Emerging Professional – Citizen Architect Exhibition, Washington D.C.
2017 AIA National Young Architect Winner
2015 AIA Chicago Dubin Family Young Architect Award Winner
2012 Chicago Innovator “Thinking Beyond the Box, Empowerment through Innovation”
Chicago Urban League
2008 White House Redux Competition, Third Place
2008 CAC Burnham 2.0 Exhibition
2004 10 Visions Exhibition with Garafalo Architects
2004 Roche Traveling Fellowship, UIC
2004 Schiff Fellowship, Nominee, UIC
2004 SOM Traveling Fellowship, Nominee, UIC