Few architecture firms get the opportunity to work with renowned architect Renzo Piano on ground breaking design and construction of a world icon—in this case the new Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago, but that is exactly what Interactive Design, Inc. (IDEA) of Chicago did. What is more unusual, however, is that firm is helmed by Dina A. Griffin, a Black woman—in fact one of only 262 Black women architects in the US.
Griffin, however, takes it all in stride. And why shouldn’t she? She is president of a small firm that, in their words, creates designs that enrich and inspire people’s lives. The backgrounds of the IDEA staff are as diverse as the projects that they undertake. The firm only hires licensed architects. Currently they have 10 professionals with experience ranging from ten years to 30. Half of the staff are women—a testament to Griffin’s commitment to bring more diversity into the field. Each architect specializes in a specific area of architecture--from design for zoo enclosures to cultural, governmental and historic preservation. Given this scenario, Interactive Design is the “can do” and “go to” firm.