Dan Wheeler

Dan works and practices to educate colleagues, clients, students and himself about the never-ending potential for architecture to elevate every-day experience, and to the responsibility that comes with this every optimistic endeavor.

Dan Wheeler is a founding principal of Wheeler Kearns Architects, and is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his education at the Rhode Island School of Design, including two years study in Rome. Prior to establishing his own practice in 1987, he was an Associate and Studio head at Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Chicago (1981-87).

Dan is the recipient of a NEA Traveling Fellowship (1979), the CCAIA Young Architect Award (1984), AIA Fellowship (1998), the Chicago Tribune’s “Chicagoan of the Year” in Architecture along with Lawrence Kearns (2008), and the AIA Illinois Nathan Ricker Clifford Award for Architectural Education (2017). Among numerous design awards of the firm, he is most proud of the two CCAIA Firm Awards WKA has received (1996, 2016), for overall significance and legacy of the practice.

Dan has served as Interim Director for both the Graham Foundation and the UIC School of Architecture. He has been a consulting architect / educator to the Rural Studio since 2002. He writes, lectures, and frequently sits on professional and academic juries. His prolific work and influence spans project type; public institutions, non-profit organizations, and private commissions. He draws to see, to test, to explain, and to build places of authenticity.

Dan is a registered architect in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado and Arkansas.

Dan loves his wife Julie, their two children, their grandchildren, and what he does. He is indebted to his teachers, colleagues, partners, respected peers in all disciplines and trades, for their help in guiding the way.

1981                     . BArch, Rhode Island School of Design
1980 BFA, Rhode Island School of Design
Professional Experience
1990-present Wheeler Kearns Architects, Chicago, Principal
1987-1990 Daniel Wheeler Architects, Chicago, Principal
1985-1987 SOM, Chicago, Associate, Studio Head
1984-1985 Himmel Bonner Architects, Chicago, Project Architect
1981-1985 SOM, Chicago, Project Architect
1977-1981 Machado Silvetti Architects, Boston, Intern Architect
Academic Experience
2008-present University of Illinois at Chicago, Professor
2005-2006 University of Illinois at Chicago, Interim Director, SOA
2001-2008 University of Illinois at Chicago, Asssociate Professor
1992-2001 University of Illinois at Chicago, Adjunct Associate
1988-1989 University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Chicago Chair
Professional Registration
Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Colorado and Arkansas
Professional Affiliations
2009-present Elected CCAIA Bridge Program Mentor
2007-present AIA National Committee on Design
1998-present American Institute of Architects, Fellow
2007-present AIA National, Committee on Design
2002-present The Rural Studio, Auburn University, Visiting Architect
2004-present Chicago Architectural Club, Advisory Committee Member
2000-present Marwen Foundation, Architecture Program Advisor
2000-present Graham Foundation, Trustee, Grant Review Committee
2005-2006 Graham Foundation, Interim Director
2002-2005 Architecture and Design Society, Board Member
1995-1998 Architecture Alliance – Chicago Historical Society, Trustee and Director
Recent Lectures, Panel Discussions, Presentations, and National Juries
2017 “Square 1” Advanced Sketching National Convention, IDSA
2017 “Thirty Years” at Camp Madron, MI
2017 “On Influence” Rural Studio, Lecture and Critique
2017 “Works in Progress”, UIC School of Architecture
2016 Oklahoma State University, Jury
2016 Drury University Alumni Awards, Jury
2016 Washington University, Jury
2016 “Influence Across Fields” Taliesen East
2016 Wright Design Series, AIA Madison
2016 Drawing Workshop, Rural Studio
2016 FLW “Box” 3-day Workshop, Taliesen East
2015 University of Maryland, Lecture
2015 University of Michigan, Graduate Reviews Jury
2015 Chicago Architectural Club, Burnham Jury
2014 AIA | RE Design Awards, Santa Rosa, California
2014 AIA National Convention, Pecha Kucha Presentation
2014 CAC / Graham Foundation, Emerging Visions Jury, Panel Discussion
2014 Architect as Placemaker: AIA Field Notes
2014 AIA Wisconsin, Jury
2014 AIA Birmingham Alabama, Jury
2013 Northwestern University, Lecture
2013 University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, Lecture
2013 University of Arkansas, Lecture
2013 AIA YAC:  Raw Living, Presentation
2013 Auburn University, Rural Studio, Lecture
2013 AIA Washington DC Residential Awards, Jury
2013 AIA New Orleans, Jury
2012 Oklahoma State University, Lecture and Jury
2012 Judson University, Lecture and Jury
2012 Chicago Architectural Club “1 to 25” Presentation
2012 AIA Michigan Design Awards, Jury
2012 Women’s Architectural League Awards Address
Individual Honors
2017 Nathan Ricker Clifford Award for Architectural Education, AIA Illinois
2008 Chicagoan of the Year, Chicago Tribune
2006 UIC Flame Award, Outstanding Teaching
1998 AIA Fellowship
1990 Ten Graduates, 1980-1990, RISD
1985 Young Architect Award, AIA Chicago Chapter
1983 Steedman Fellowship, Washington University
1980 Traveling Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts
1980 Mention, “The House at the Juncture of History and Now”