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.