Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins...
Interactive Design, Inc. Architects (IDEA) is an MBE/WBE Certified architectural design firm founded in 1992 on one basic principal—to provide excellence in design services that enrich the human experience. After more than two decades, our work ranges from major museums, university buildings and fire stations to zoo and animal care facilities, laboratories, libraries, office environments, existing building recladding, temporary structures and the preservation of cultural heritage landmarks.
architecture : : interior design and FF&E : : visualization : : wayfinding : : strategy : : programming : : engagement : : AOR and associate partnership : : project management : : construction administration
higher education : : science and technology : : arts and culture : : workplace and office : : zoological : : community repositioning : : municipal government : : high security : : courts : : federal agencies
design strategy : : new construction : : building additions : : interior renovations : : façade recladding : : historic restoration and preservation : : adaptive reuse : : masterplanning
in·ter·ac·tive: [in-ter-ak-tiv] adj.
 Of or relating to something that responds to user activity (e.g. design)  Actions or attributes in close relation with each other; interacting  A unique design firm in Chicago
Good design adds value to a project faster than it adds cost.
Creative, technical, analytical and sensible are just a few adjectives that describe the diverse skill set of the Interactive Design Architects team. We believe in a truly interactive design process that brings the brightest minds to the table to uncover the highest value for our clients.
As President of Interactive Design, Dina has blazed a trail for herself as a woman of color in a male-dominated field. With over 20 years experience, her experience spans many project typologies. A much sought after speaker, Dina is a member of the Board of Directors for the Illinois and Chicago Chapters of the American Institute of Architects and a past President of the Illinois Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects.
Charlie Young was one of the original founders of Interactive Design. His vast technical skills allow us to create the highly technical designs for which we are known in projects ranging from large library, cultural institutions, courts and high security complexes. His works have been included in numerous international exhibitions, including the Art Institute of Chicago and Museum of Science and Industry.
Bob's expertise in technical design lends outstanding credibility to many complex project types. His unique experience includes the development of humane interactive habitats for animals in zoo environments, in addition to large cultural and municipal projects. Bob's works have been exhibited in several architectural exhibitions and he has served on juries for The AIA and Builder Magazine.
Paul Steinbrecher is a talented architect with deep historic architecture experience. He has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR) and has lectured for such organizations as the Chicago Architecture Foundation and the American Library Association among others. Paul is a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois, and the Cultural Landscape Foundation.
With more than 15 years as an interdisciplinary designer, technologist, and strategist, Levar brings a unique design skill set to bear on every project as the firm's Director of Design Strategy & Marketing. Levar leads the firm's strategic design and marketing initiatives and is a keen observer of urban design, fashion, culture and social dynamics. He has been a featured guest speaker at the UIC College of Urban Planning and Policy.
As the current President of the AIA Illinois Chapter, Brandy brings an astute hands-on understanding of the issues facing the design industry today. Brandy has been recognized with the '40 leaders under 40' award in 2012 and one of the 'Top 20 Leaders Under 40' by ENR Midwest in 2013. Brandy has particular experience with onsite construction administration for complex projects including museum, education and commercial projects.
Laurie's recent experience spans mixed-used commercial development, performing arts, higher education, federal facilities and historically sensitive renovations. She has been an active member of the Board of Directors for the Chicago Architectural Club where she previously served as Club Treasurer, and has also served on several design juries.
A seasoned architect, Paul is dedicated to the development of innovative technical solutions. His experience includes municipal and federal projects, museums, higher education, and corporate offices. His interests include continued work in both functional and sculptural pottery inform and inspire his approach to buildings and he is an avid biker.
Jeffrey Parfitt brings a strong technical background, having performed engineering coordination as well as undertaking extensive on-site construction administration in public, higher education and science and technology projects. His experience also includes mixed use development, libraries, commercial offices, retail, and multi-unit residential.
Melissa's career accomplishments have included numerous ground-breaking projects ranging from next generation facade recladding to large scale adaptive reuse of historic buildings, higher education, international retail and highrise residential developments. She constantly strives to balance design concepts with technical requirements and strong communication skills.
Sharon provides the firm with in-depth knowledge of green design on wide-ranging experience in education, corporate office, public safety and high security federal facilities. She is the author of LEED V3 Building Design and Construction Exam Study Guide for Kaplan ACE Education and is an accomplished artist, working in stained glass and other mediums.
Lisa's professional experience includes higher education, science and technology, library, and government projects. She brings particular experience in developing staging strategies and swing space design for complex applications. Lisa volunteers at the Anti-Cruelty Society where she also manages the Busy Fingers volunteers group.
We believe that design is not a commodity—it is born from the individual. Every member of our team is a tenured professional with at least a decade of experience and we welcome inquiries from seasoned creative thinkers looking for a comfortable and healthy environment in which to thrive.
Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
Below is a sample of our recent projects. For additional information, Contact Us...
Somewhere between what we've accomplished and what we are capable of is your next great design project.
The interdisciplinary design team at Interactive Design Architects provides clients with additional capabilities beyond basic architecture by integrating technology, industrial and graphic design, and subject matter expertise among other competencies—producing truly unique IDEAS.
AGING BUILDING SKINS and curtainwall glass systems represent one of the biggest opportunities for property owners to reposition under performing buildings—by essentially giving them a face lift. Improved aesthetics, decreased thermal loss, increased energy efficiency and new branding opportunities are just some of the many benefits to recladding existing building envelopes.
[XS] XTRA SMALL ARCHITECTURE can produce big results at a fraction of the cost of traditionally built buildings. This type of pavilion or 'interstitial design' can deliver huge value for a multitude of uses ranging from neighborhood activation, business incubation, seasonal events, social and educational uses with a one to seven year lifespan. Click to explore examples of this type of design.
IT HAS BEEN SAID that the only thing new in this world is the history we have yet to discover. Our deep experience with historic buildings informs us that there is significant value in the reuse, adaptation or restoration of these structures—from preserving our culture to reducing landfill waste, improving energy efficiency, and developing flexible spatial models for modern uses.
Let's see how we can put these and other IDEAS to work for your organization.