Rada comes to her practice with a passion for what is right, socially responsible, and sustainable. She has embraced work in most challenged neighborhoods of Chicago. Able to quickly assess the most important issues, she identifies solutions together with project stakeholders and leads diverse groups to consensus. The rationality of her work, along with its character and excitement, become compelling to wide circles of users and has often been replicated, particularly in the public sector.
Rada’s work with Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago, both bureaucratically driven and budget conscious entities, is a testament to her leadership under challenging conditions. Through her optimism and zeal to improve the status quo, she helps rebuild broken communities, revitalizes forgotten buildings, and draws people together.
Her strong beliefs were evident when she developed and designed Clybourn Point in Chicago. Few developers ventured to take risks in this blighted area where the remnants of the failed Cabrini Green housing project existed. Rada’s work filled a void in Chicago’s urban fabric while bringing to light one of the first “green” residential projects, ultimately achieving LEED Silver certification. She demonstrated that revitalizing blighted areas and sustainability can go hand-in-hand when improving mass housing construction.
Similarly, in Garfield Park, within a brutally short timeframe, her designs created an anchor for the community, breathing new life into an abandoned and forgotten school building that is now a workplace environment for hundreds.
Rada is a bridge for international exchange, starting from her early years as an architect in the United States. As chair of the AIA International Committee she led conferences, presentations, and exchange among professionals. After a period of personal life changes, she resumed international work with passion, this time as an active participant and board member of the AIA Europe Chapter. Rada also mentors students, participates in juries, and, in 2016, led an international student team in Girne, Cyprus, toward a winning solution for revitalization of an old marketplace in the town center, bringing knowledge of adaptive reuse to this part of the world.
Rada is a strong advocate for female and minority architects. Due to her efforts, women and minority architects have more opportunities to participate in state and community college projects and target market procurement, a cause for which she lobbied for many years.
Rada enjoys visiting architectural sites as part of her frequent travels around the world. She enjoys opera and the accompanying architecture of scenography as well as architectural debates with her family at home, where almost everyone is an architect.
Professional Community Involvement
- Panelist, AIA Conference on Architecture 2018, New York, NY, “The Missing 32 Percent (Women) and Missing Small Architects”
- Presenter, NeoCon 2017, “Humanizing Diagnostic and Procedure Spaces in Hospital”
- Panelist CWA “Women In the Built World Symposium”, January, 2017
- AIA Mentor Student Ideas Competition “Revitalization of the Old Bazaar” in Girne, Cyprus, 2016
- Presenter, AIA Europe Conference, Girne, Cyprus, 2016, “Adaptive Reuse”
- Presenter, NeoCon 2016, “From Midcentury School to 21st Century Offices” & “Urban Revitalization”
- Presenter, SpArch 2016, “Healthy Building Materials and Solutions”
- Presenter, NeoCon 2014, “The (R)evolution in Learning Spaces Design”
- Panelist, “Adaptation to Climate Change” at John Marshall Law School, Chicago, 2013
- Presenter, Poster Forum, Society for College and University Planning Conference, July 2012
- Juror, ASU Magazine Educational Interior Showcase, 2012
- Panelist, WBDC Connection Point, “Effective Strategic Relationships”, 2011
- Presenter, NeoCon 2011, ‘Leverage Light! Endless Possibilities’
- Panelist, First Sustainability Symposium Wilbur Wright College, Chicago, 2011
- Panelist, “Demystifying Green Construction” at John Marshall Law School Chicago, 2011
- Presenter, NeoCon Canada/IIDEX, 2010, “Ligthing and Identity Tech”
- Presenter, NeoCon 2010, “Building Rehab & Urban Renewal: Role of “Identity Tech”, 2010
- Guest Lecturer “From Programming into Design” Illinois Institute of Technology, 2003-2005, 2010
- Guest Speaker, Young Architects Forum Chicago, “Architects & Beyond”, July 2010
- Speaker, Sustainable Design Conference, Shekou, China, May 2008
- City of Chicago Green Building Tours Leader, 2008
- Published in Architectura, Journal of Architectural Design, of the Institute of Architects In Bulgaria, 2005, 2007
- Panelist, AIA Chicago Globalization Round Table, May 2006
- Juror, Student Designs, Illinois Institute of Technology, College of DuPage, 2002, 2003, 2013
- Juror, Design Awards, Association of Licensed Architects, 2003
- Guest Speaker, Chicago Women in Architecture, 2002
- Juror, BOMA Office Building of the Year Award, 2001
- Speaker, AIA National Convention, Denver, CO, 2001
- Speaker AIA Design Diplomacy Conference, Copenhagen, September 2000
- American Institute of Architects International Committee PIA Chair, 2000
- Speaker, American Institute of Architects National Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2000
- Speaker, American Institute of Architects National Convention, Dallas, TX, 1999
- Speaker, AIA International Conference, London, 1998
- Speaker, American Institute of Architects National Convention, New Orleans, LA, 1997
- Speaker, Building Globally Conference, Boston, MA, November 1995
- Design Critic, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China, April 1994
- Panelist, Chicago Athenaeum Design Ideas for Berlin, Spreebogen, October 1993
- Guest Speaker, the Annual Convention of Illinois AIA in Springfield, November 1992