As architecture gives life to a community, so do its architects. Associate Professor Dirk Denison is one architect who is making a difference on campus and beyond. Widely recognized within the profession, Denison has earned numerous awards for his residential and commercial projects through his practice, Dirk Denison Architects.
Denison's community has reaped the benefits. An advocate for the arts in Chicago, he played an important role in establishing outreach connections between IIT and governmental and educational institutions. Denison gave twelve architecture students the opportunity to broaden their creative horizons in a unique collaboration with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Working with company dancers and technical/production staffs, the students designed sets to showcase three new works for a public performance held in S. R. Crown Hall, home of the College of Architecture and a National Historic Landmark designed by Mies van der Rohe.
In a series of joint design studios with Harvard's Graduate School of Design, Denison initiated efforts to rejuvenate Bronzeville, the historic neighborhood in which IIT’s Main Campus is located. The studios, which were begun in 1994, have provided hands-on experience for students as well as contributed innovative approaches to local residential, landscape, and commercial design projects.