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.