Donna V. Robertson, FAIAJohn and Jeanne Rowe Chair
3360 S. State Street
- Partner and co-founder of Robertson McAnulty Architects, now macro design
- M.Arch., University of Virginia
- B.A., Stanford University
Research & Major Accomplishments
Donna Robertson was Dean of the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology from June 1996 to August 2012, and is now a Professor of Architecture. She teaches design studio and case study methodology. Her emphases at IIT are to update and invigorate the pedagogical and architectural heritage of the College, following an evolution from Mies van der Rohe’s administration of 1938 to 1958, but anticipating the imperatives of the 21st century. Robertson plays a key role for the university in strategies, implementation and design review for projects such as the new IIT Campus Center by Rem Koolhaas/OMA, a new dormitory by Helmut Jahn, the landscape master plan and its implementation on the Mies campus, and restoration and rehabilitation of Mies’ masterpiece, S.R. Crown Hall, home of the College of Architecture. She also achieved the restoration of IIT’s Carr Chapel, Mies’ only religious structure. These successes have led to many awards and record enrollment in the College. Robertson introduced a new Master of Landscape Architecture degree at IIT four years ago, and instituted a Master of Integrated Building Delivery post-professional degree. Her teaching interests have been in preservation/restoration, and in the case study methodology focused on contemporary Chicago building projects. Her current research focuses on “The Question of Women in Architecture”.
Robertson is President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, a forum for educators. From 1992 to 1996, Robertson served as Dean of the Tulane University School of Architecture. She serves on competition juries, and lectures around the world. She is a partner in macroDesign (Chicago, IL.) and has executed projects in New York City, New Orleans, Long Island, and Los Angeles. She serves on the Bloomingdale Trail Advisory Committee for Chicago Parks and Dept. of Transportation, will Chair the Program Review for the ETH School of Architecture, Zurich in Fall 2012, and is Vice President of Chicago Design Matters, a non-profit.
Robertson has taught and administrated at Barnard College, Columbia University, and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She was a Director on the National Architectural Accrediting Board, serving as President for 2003; she continues to serve on accreditation review teams. She currently serves as a Peer Reviewer for the USA federal General Services Administration. Robertson is a registered Architect and a respected published critic and lecturer. She is the recipient of many awards and honors, most recently receiving a Julia Beverage Award from IIT and an AIA Chicago Distinguished Service Award. She was One of the "25 Most Admired Educators of 2011”, in Design Intelligence journal, Nov/Dec 2011 and a Significant Contributions Awardee, for the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.