Dirk Denison Architects is a Chicago-based firm recognized internationally for award-winning design that reflects the uniqueness of each client’s needs to live, work, learn and create. DDA crafts a narrative for each of our projects—one that weaves together the idiosyncrasies of the site, program and client. Our process centers around care and consideration, space and design, quality and craft, materiality and landscape. The result elicits surprise, revelation, information, poetry and seduction, while fulfilling the basic human desire to shape one’s surroundings. We offer a full range of programming, site analysis, design, preparation and administration of construction documents, and post-construction services, as well as interior furnishing and furniture design.
Our designs for homes, offices, galleries, student housing, and other spaces for living and working respond to the distinctive character of each client and environment on a human level. Our work throughout the U.S. has been recognized by international design publications, including Architect, Architectural Digest, A+U, Elle Décor, Global Architecture, Interior Design, Interior Design Homes, Metropolitan Home, The New York Times Magazine, Progressive Architecture, and the Urban Land Institute Magazine, and has won awards from the American Institute of Architects, AIA Chicago, the Chicago Architectural Club, and IIDA Illinois, along with the Gold Key Award for Excellence in Hospitality Design.
Dirk Denison, FAIA, is an architect, educator, and dedicated supporter of the arts. He trained at the University of Michigan, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. Denison has been a full-time faculty member at IIT for over thirty years and serves as Director of the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP). His first monograph, Dirk Denison 10 Houses, was published by Actar in December 2018.
Architect and educator Dirk Denison reflects on the diverse influences that have shaped his practice over 30 years in a volume featuring 10 remarkable houses designed in a broad range of modernist vocabularies – each finely tuned to its site and occupants. Taking the form of an in-depth conversation between architect and educator Dirk Denison and journalist Fred A. Bernstein, this volume chronicles Denison’s childhood in Detroit, travels and early encounters with the arts and architecture, and his education at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. A perceptive interlocutor, Bernstein deftly draws upon Denison’s own insights into how these experiences have influenced his aesthetic sensibilities, design philosophy, and working processes over 30 years of collaborative practice.
Since 1990, Dirk Denison Architects has built a national practice committed to design excellence across a range of building types and scales, with a focus on residential, retail, hospitality, institutional, commercial, and campus planning projects. We offer a full range of services, including programming, site analysis, design, the preparation and administration of construction documents, and post-construction services, as well as interior furnishing and furniture design.