According to inspirational posters and coffee mugs, 19th-century South Pole explorer Earnest Shackleton (1874-1922) placed an ad in the Times that read: “MEN WANTED: For hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success.” This ad—whose original has never been located and is likely a fabrication—has a certain macho appeal: only the hardiest dare apply. This tale, however, enforces the myth that to achieve great heights, we must suffer in darkness and anonymity. Instead of holding up false heroics, we look to Shackleton’s contemporary, mountaineer George Mallory (1886-1924). In contrast, Mallory wrote in an unpublished article “The Gambler” (1924): “To win the game [the mountaineer] has first to reach the mountain's summit— but, further, he has to descend in safety.”

Future Firm is a mountain climbing team, with diverse perspectives, complementary expertise, and a shared drive built on collaboration. We summit together and also work to descend to safety together: a metaphor for the combined challenges of producing great architecture and requiring that we, collectively, “make it home.” “Making it home” means that we participate in civic, cultural, and personal life. By participating in the rhythms of the city, we deliver design ideas and new knowledge that emerges from our living in the world, embracing and critiquing it.

Ann Lui, AIA

Ann Lui is an architect and Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Michigan. Previously, she practiced at SOM, Ann Beha Architects, and Morphosis Architects. She has held teaching positions at SAIC, University at Buffalo, and was the Cullinan Visiting Professor at Rice University. Ann was co-curator of the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 titled Dimensions of Citizenship. She co-edited Public Space? Lost and Found (2015) and Log 54 “Coauthoring” (2022). Ann was recently named Newcity’s “Designer of the Moment” (2018) and Crain’s “40 Under 40” (2018). She holds an SMArchS from MIT and a BArch from Cornell University.

She is a member of the Steering Committee for the Metropolitan Planning Council’s Zoning and Land Use assessment and a member of the Advisory Committee for the State of Illinois Asian American and Pacific Islander Business Collective (IAAPIBC).

Craig Reschke, AIA


Craig Reschke, AIA is an architect and founding principal of Future Firm. Previously, Craig was a project architect at SOM and RODE Architects, where he led the design of buildings at many scales in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to his work at Future Firm, Craig also co-founded Hem House to bring contemporary residential projects to market with design-forward projects that reimagine the housing industry through architecture, construction, and user experience. He holds a MLA from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, where he graduated with the Jacob Weidenmann Prize, and a BArch from the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

Linda Chavez Baca

Linda Chavez is Principal at Future Firm leading design for projects across scales, with a focus on civic and community driven spaces. She has developed her career in Chicago, where she has worked with Gensler, JGMA and completed award winning work for Northeastern Illinois University, Columbia College Chicago, and Northwestern University. Linda’s commitment to the community extends far beyond her project work – as a Latino, female architect – she is focused on creating democratic spaces that attend and understand the intersectionality between feminism and racism, especially for the Latino community in the US. She has been recognized as Crain's 2022 notable executives of color in construction and commercial real estate. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Tec de Monterrey, her Master in Project Management from Northwestern University and holds an Honorary Doctorate degree in Arts by Columbia College Chicago.

Donna Ryu

Donna Ryu is a Korean-American designer. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Maryland and a Master of Architecture & Certificate in Urban Design from the University of Virginia. Gratefully, design has always been part of her upbringing - her mother went to art school and has a love for interior design; her father is a skilled tailor and has an innate aptitude for renovation and construction. Together, they run a small tailor shop and liquor store which allowed Donna the opportunities to learn through travel - her experiences have placed her in South Korea, China, and India to name a few. Her love of everything outdoors, climbing, and hip hop (particularly the glittery era of 90s hip hop) run deep. Home is wherever she is at the time but her roots are in Maryland.

Andrew Phyfer, AIA, LEED Green Associate

Andrew Phyfer, RA, LEED Green Associate is a registered architect passionate about the empowerment great design can bring. Outside his design role and inspired by his contribution to the North Lawndale Incubator, he and the project fellows formed a collaborative focusing on advocacy through spatial research and visualization. Topics include the ongoing forced removals in Sheikh Jarrah, Palestine and environmental justice issues in southeast Chicago. Andrew holds a BSc.Arch 2016 from the University of Pretoria, South Africa and more recently, in his adopted country, a M.Arch 2020 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His thesis titled "Exurban Futures: A handbook for architectural potential on an emerging frontier" reimagines Chicagoland’s periphery.

Armel Sagbohan, RA

Armel Sagbohan is an Illinois and California licensed architect. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from California State University Bakersfield and a Master of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). He is also an Adjunct professor at the College of Architecture at IIT where he teaches a third-year studio in the bachelor’s program. He was the project architect on the 138,000 sq. ft. Pullman Community Center which brought much-needed recreational and educational opportunities to the Pullman Neighborhood. He seeks the illumination of underrepresented spaces and the proposal of new spaces that are tailored to the specific local. Whether through documentation or design, he strives to bring attention to traditionally overlooked neighborhoods.

Andrea Hunt, RA

Andrea Hunt is a Chicago-trained architect who received her Master’s in Architecture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her Bachelor’s of Science in Architecture the University of Illinois at Chicago. Alongside her design role at Future Firm, she maintains an architectonic research practice that addresses her interests in public space occupation. Through her work, she has been a grantee of the American Institute of Architects Martin Roche, Kosciuszko and John W. Kurtich Foundations for study in Venice, London, Warsaw, and Mexico City. She has exhibited in Buenos Aires, Venice, and Chicago.

Philana Quan

Philana Quan is an architectural designer from Northern Virginia who is curious about design, equity, and storytelling. She is deeply influenced by having grown up playing music, creating art, and listening to her family's oral histories. While receiving her B.Arch from Virginia Tech, she spent a transformative semester studying in Chicago and returned to the city post-graduation to join Future Firm. Her undergraduate thesis titled “Suburban Cultural Infill” reimagined the suburbs, through the eyes of a Vietnamese-Buddhist temple community, as a canvas for new programming and design possibilities.

Roland Knowlden

Roland is an Artist and Architectural Designer from New Jersey. He began his architectural practice in Monrovia, Liberia, and has continued in New York and Chicago. After receiving his BArch 2020 from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), he has worked as a designer alongside Krueck Sexton Partners. His training has cultivated his interest in the social and cultural implications of the spaces we build. This extends into Roland’s art practice, while he works across drawing, painting, and film to propose new spatial realities.

Tami Carlson
Office Coordinator

Tami has over thirty years of experience in construction, with experience at all levels of office management and coordination. Tami received her degree in Business Management and has developed personal and professional growth with various sized companies.  Her strength is in supporting the goals and visions of a business with emphasis on implementation and follow through.