Pete Landon Recognized in i4design’s Suite 16

Pete was recently included in i4design Magazine‘s 4th annual Suite 16. The Suite 16 includes “the Midwest’s most innovative design pros who are pushing old boundaries, exploring new concepts and making a difference in design with the work that they do.”

Following is his profile where he was named “The Ethicist,” see the complete feature for all sixteen. Congratulations Pete!

Back in 1987, when funds flowed free and people sunk veritable fortunes into their villas, Chicago architect Peter Landon opened his own office. But unlike many of his peers, who were also starting practices at the time to focus on high-end housing, his intention was to do community based housing. And he did, in areas such as Roseland, Lawndale, West Humboldt Park, Chinatown, Uptown, Pilsen and more. Today, he has built a practice that he estimates “is roughly 1/3 affordable, 1/3 public and 1/3 market rate.” And he has done so with such sensitivity, commitment, passion and distinction that he and his firm are considered a city treasure his chosen milieu. Doing this type of housing requires a steadfast mindset and the ability to build close connections with community residents, activists and organizations; Landon is particularly drawn to this aspect of his job. “I never went for the glitz, probably because I thrive on diversity,” he muses. For that reason, he is also pleased that “we’ve gotten to work in neighborhoods all over the city.” His progressive approach and sheer design talent has earned him (and his firm, since Landon approaches everything as “we,” not “I”) many awards and honors, including the commission to do the impending National Public Housing Museum on Taylor Street, won in a hotly contested competition.

Landon attributes his passion for his chosen arena to an urban planning class he took in architecture school. “I connected with it, and always wanted to continue in to do that kind of work. It just took me a while to figure out how,” he says. After graduating, he worked for Weese Langley Weese, an award-winning firm known for its emphasis on non-profit and education projects, until he left to start his own practice. His work, and his firm’s, has won awards and been published widely, and through it all Landon has also put time and effort back into his own community of peers by teaching, lecturing, participating in City of Chicago task forces and local non-profits. Currently, he is a founding board member of archi-treasures, a collective of artists, architects, educators and community organizers who are in service to Chicago neighborhoods.