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Architectural Lecture Series: An Architecture of Civility Creating Hope In a New Society

  • The Cliff Dwellers 200 South Michigan Avenue, 22nd Floor Chicago, IL, 60604 United States (map)

Social media has made an enormous impact on societal dialogue, at once giving more individuals a voice while lessening the amount we collectively listen, potentially limiting the depth of our understanding. With unprecedented amounts of information available, collaboration is essential toward making a greater society. Creating opportunity for civility should be a design goal for every project.

CannonDesign, a global architecture practice with more than 1,000 employees across 21 offices, addresses the human condition through all phases of life through designing our society’s schools, universities, hospitals, civic spaces and workplaces. From an elementary school’s small gathering space in Rockford, Illinois, to the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University, CannonDesign’s projects are rooted in the firm belief of the power of people coming together.

Design Principal Robert Benson will utilize CannonDesign work across the sociopolitical spectrum to show how civility begins with a conversation. He will present projects that promote civility by creating spaces that encourage such conversations, instilling hope not only in the immediate users, but in the greater society we inhabit.

Speaker: Robert Benson is a design leader based in CannonDesign’s Chicago office. Regarded for his ability to leverage design to empower clients, he brings a conceptual mind with an eye towards value to each assignment. Having taught as an adjunct professor for eight years, Robert leads with a studio-driven philosophy and a strong belief in mentorship. With his distinct voice and influential design, Robert has won numerous accolades including many AIA and IIDA design awards. He has been published and exhibited in a number of national/international design competitions and exhibitions and was inducted into Building Design + Construction’s 40 Under 40 program.


Cocktails: Cash bar opens at 4:30 p.m.

Free Program:        Begins 6:15 p.m.

Dinner:                   Available after the program, a la carte

Reservations for dinner are requested: or call 312-922-8080. Discounted parking is available after 4:00 at the garage located at 17 E. Adams – enter on Adams between Wabash and State. Ask for a discount coupon at the check-in desk