Emily Ray

Getting to know people and using design to improve their lives is what Emily loves most about practicing architecture. Emily believes the design process should empower people to experiment, discover new things about themselves, and ultimately create an enriching and supportive backdrop for everyday life.

A native Austinite, she received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Texas, where she also served as a teaching and design assistant and pursued a focus on historic preservation. Emily spent a semester studying the architecture of Europe, traveling from Finland to Italy, and spent a month in Russia after graduation.

Prior to joining Wheeler Kearns, Emily was at HBRA Architects in Chicago where she worked on a range of projects including the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Renovation, the Chicago History Museum Auditorium Renovation, several private residences, and the Revival Food Hall in Chicago.

Emily has been on the project team for the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School since 2017 and looks forward to the school opening in the fall of 2019. Her other ongoing projects include residences in Highland Park and Michigan; a charter school in the South Chicago neighborhood; and the adaptive reuse of a warehouse space on the city’s south side.

She regularly serves as a visiting critic for design programs including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the UIC College of Architecture, and the University of Texas School of Architecture. She is a member of AIA Chicago, active in the AIA Chicago LGBTQ+ Alliance, and chairs the annual Acanthus Awards ceremony for the Institute of Classical Art and Architecture in Chicago.

Emily is a registered architect in the state of Illinois. She enjoys reading outdoors, cycling to work, and slalom skiing in Michigan in the summertime. She lives in Chicago’s culturally rich Ukrainian Village neighborhood.

2010                    . BArch, University of Texas
Professional Experience
2017-present Wheeler Kearns Architects, Chicago, Project Architect
2012-2017 HBRA Architects, Chicago IL, Project Architect
Academic Experience
2019 Visiting Critic, University of Texas School of Architecture
2018 Visiting Critic, UIC School of Architecture
2015-2018  Visiting Critic, Undergraduate and Graduate Design Studio’s, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
2011  Teaching Assistant, Architecture and Society with Larry Speck, Undergraduate Design
2009  Design Assistant, Undergraduate Design Studio with Elizabeth Danze, University of Texas
Professional Affiliations
2018-present AIA Chicago LGBTQ+ Alliance
2018-present Chair of Acanthus Awards of the Institute of Classical Art and Architecture
2016-present American Institute of Architects (AIA)