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The RIBA Mid West Chapter

The RIBA Midwest Chapter
Welcome to The Royal Institute of British Architects – Midwest chapter of the RIBA-USA.
There are 36 members in Midwest, of which 13 are based in Chicago. Zoka Zola, Joe Burns and Lim Chan have initiated the first informal gathering of the chapter, which took place on May 23rd 2003 in Chicago. All the Midwest members were invited.
This first meeting was an exciting and energetic event. Members with various areas of experiences met and shared their interests, including the mutual recognition of architects between UK / Europe and US. The second meeting took place at SOM office,, in Chicago on October 17th 2003.

Following the first RIBA Midwest Chapter meeting, Joe Burns ( submitted a proposal to AIA for a round table discussion at AIA Convention 2004:
“The Global Architect: The Future of International Professional Accreditation:
As more architects turn to the global marketplace, and the relaxation of trade barriers promotes a culturally and geographically diverse workforce, the need arises to bridge communication between the international architecture organizations. Building on the ideas of Frank Duffy, past president of RIBA and a member of the international committee of the ARB, this panel will explore the potential for expanding mutual recognition of professional qualifications across national boundaries while ensuring that the standards of each country are maintained. Moderator Joseph G. Burns, an engineer and architect registered in both the United States and the United Kingdom, will lead a panel discussion of leading representatives from AIA International, RIBA, NAAB, NCARB, and ARB, including the President of RIBA-USA, Tim Clark.
Interest in this topic is already widespread, and we would gladly collaborate with others to address how mutual international accreditation represents a benefit both to architects and to the practice of architecture.”

Zoka Zola ( and Chicago Women in Architecture ( organized an international exhibition DiverseCity at the McCormick Center during the AIA Convention in Chicago in June 2003. Women and minority architects in Chicago were invited to submit a panel for this global and traveling exhibition. For the list of venues where this “global snowball” exhibition has traveled see

RIBA members: president George Ferguson, Tim Clark, Angela Brady, Jonathan Wimpenny, and Zoka Zola were invited as part of RIBA delegation to China as guests of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade for two weeks to Beijing and Zhengzhou to judge DiverseCity competition and to participate in architectural forums in these two cities. This was a fruitful and only initial meeting between RIBA members, Chinese architects, and Chinese authorities in order to establish a dialogue between Chinese and British Architects. A group of prominent Chinese architects will come to visit Chicago in May 2006 to learn from Chicago architecture and visit architectural offices, which are knowledgeable in sustainable architecture.

During the AIA Convention in Chicago RIBA President George Ferguson hosted, with RIBA Midwest Chapter, a reception for Midwest members as well as other RIBA members and honorable guests, including Robert Venturi and Peter Davey.

The next meeting of RIBA Midwest members is planned for July 2005. Date and venue are yet to be confirmed. If you are an RIBA Midwest member please keep Lim Chan ( updated about your contact information including your e-mail address.

I look forward to seeing you at our next event.

Zoka Zola, RIBA, AIA, LEED

Mid West Pages