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Andrew Balster


BScArch, University of Minnesota
MScAAD, University of Edinburgh
MArch, University of Edinburgh

Andrew Balster is the Program Director of the CHICAGO STUDIO, a semester-long residency program in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies that provides an alternative to the traditional academic learning environment. The program fully integrates education and practice by embedding A+D students within some of Chicago’s leading A+E firms. Its distinctive structure and curriculum promotes a collaborative design process encompassing multiple points of view within academia, the profession and the broader community. The program creates a neutral platform for the discussion and exchange of ideas in an effort to generate potential innovations for the city.

Mr. Balster is currently coordinating a number of R&D initiatives with award-winning professional design practices, to create and foster strategic academic and professional alliances in Applied Research & Development which are dedicated to the enhancement of the built environment.

In practice, Mr. Balster has worked on projects that are broad in typology - ranging from small civic centers to super-tall towers to entire urban districts. He has considerable experience in large-scaled and complex projects, with particular focus on developing markets. Before joining Virginia Tech, he was a Senior Designer at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) Chicago for multiple national and international projects. Prior to SOM, he worked at Make Architects in the UK and Blu Dot in Minneapolis.

Read about Cannon Design’s partnership with the Chicago Studio…