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Architect Dirk Denison will virtually discuss this spectacular Lake Michigan Residence and other projects for The Dallas Architecture Forum on November 5. Photo Courtesy of the Architect.

The Dallas Architecture Forum

Presents Award-Winning Architect

Dirk Denison

Virtually via Zoom

Thursday, November 5, 2020


The Dallas Architecture Forum, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing public education about architecture, landscape architecture, design and the urban environment, is pleased to present the award-winning architect Dirk Denison at 7:00 pm, on Thursday, November 5, 2020 in a virtual lecture via Zoom.   

Dirk Denison, FAIA, is an architect, educator, and dedicated supporter of the arts. As the founding principal of Dirk Denison Architects he has built a Chicago-based firm that is recognized internationally for award-winning design that reflects the uniqueness of each client’s needs to live, work, learn and create. This national practice is committed to design excellence across a range of building types and scales, with a focus on residential, retail, hospitality, institutional, commercial, and campus planning projects. The firm offers a full range of services, including programming, site analysis, design, preparation and administration of construction documents, and post-construction services, as well as interior furnishing and furniture design. 

Denison has also been a full-time faculty member at the Illinois Institute of Technology for over thirty years and serves as Director of the biennial Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) which recognizes the best built work in the Americas.

“The Forum looks forward to Dirk Denison’s talk, and we believe it is especially timely this year as North Texas residents have increasingly focused on the spaces in which they live – creating housing that is well-designed, welcoming and safe.  Dirk’s body of work, including his award-winning residence designs, aligns with these areas of focus. In addition, Dirk’s leadership as Director of the Mies Crown Hall Americas organization gives him incredible insight into issues important to urban environments and contemporary architecture that are built on Mies van der Rohe’s iconic legacy.” 

The work of Dirk Denison Architects throughout the U.S. has been recognized by international design publications, including Architect, Architectural Digest, A+U, Elle Décor, Global Architecture, Interior Design, Interior Design Homes, Metropolitan Home, The New York Times Magazine, Progressive Architecture, and the Urban Land Institute Magazine, and has won awards from the American Institute of Architects, AIA Chicago, the Chicago Architectural Club, and IIDA Illinois, along with the Gold Key Award for Excellence in Hospitality Design.

Denison trained at the University of Michigan, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. His first monograph, Dirk Denison 10 Houses, was published by Actar in December 2018.

The lecture will occur at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 5, 2020.   The lecture will be presented virtually via Zoom. It is presented at no charge to all Forum members, and anyone may join The Forum at to attend this and other outstanding programming – currently being presented virtually.  Advance registration for the lecture is required at Eventbrite: 

Confirmed registrants will receive information from Zoom to access the lecture link before the start of the lecture at 7 pm on Thursday, November 5, 2020. 

Dallas Architecture Forum members receive free admission to all regular Forum lectures as a benefit of membership, and AIA members can earn one hour of CE credit for each lecture. For more information on The Dallas Architecture Forum, visit or call 214-764-2406.

Additional Media Coverage: Introspective Magazine, Architectural Digest, New York Times Magazine & Chicago Architect

Introspective Magazine:

Architectural Digest:

New York Times Magazine:

Chicago Architect:

Season Sponsors for The Dallas Architecture Forum’s 2020-2021 Season are Faisal Halum Group | Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, Maharger Development | Reggie Graham, Perennials and Sutherland LLC, and SMINK, Inc. Series Sponsors are Bodron & Fruit, Eggersmann Kitchens | Home Living, Kafka Properties, LLC, modmedia/ and Bentley Tibbs Architect. Reception Sponsors are Diana & Frank Aldridge and Talley Associates.







5 November 2020

Thursday, 7:00 pm

Virtual Lecture Presentation via Zoom

Dirk Denison Architects crafts a narrative for each of its projects—one that weaves together the idiosyncrasies of the site, program and client. Their process centers around care and consideration, space and design, quality and craft, materiality and landscape. Their designs for homes, offices, galleries, student housing, and other spaces for living and working respond to the distinctive character of each client and environment on a human level.

Dirk Denison has been a leading member of the faculty in the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology for over thirty years, during which he has fostered a recommitment to the university’s urban setting and architecturally significant campus through his research, teaching, and service. His teaching has emphasized community-based design, housing, campus planning, and transit-oriented development. Under his supervision, the IIT Campus Architects collective developed a master plan for the campus, completed an assessment of historic buildings, conducted a study for the Urban Land Institute, promoted a landscape improvement initiative, and created a framework for the trajectory of future development. Of note, these efforts and initiatives led to the design competition for the McCormick Tribune Student Center, ultimately designed by Rem Koolhaas, as well as additions and improvements to on-campus student housing.


Under Denison’s direction, and with sponsorship by IIT, the biennial Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) recognizes the best built work in the Americas. Through a highly developed network of individuals representing various fields and areas of expertise throughout the Americas, MCHAP reveals issues facing our urban environments and contemporary architectural practices and shapes new understandings of how design might impact our changing world. The prize serves as a platform for exchange and fosters a larger international dialogue among leading designers, scholars, and urban thinkers. At the Art Institute of Chicago, Dirk has served as president of the Architecture & Design Society and is the current board chair of the Society for Contemporary Art as well as member of the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art. Denison is also a member of the National Advisory Council for the Cranbrook Academy of Art, the board of the Mies van der Rohe Society at IIT, the board of directors of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and the City of Chicago Park District Public Art Committee, which oversees the Chicago Lakefront Sculpture Initiative. Denison received his Master of Architecture from Harvard’s GSD, where he studied under Daniel Libeskind, Peter Eisenman, and Henry Cobb. The studio’s work has been recognized by international design publications, including Architect, Architectural Digest, A+U, Elle Décor, Global Architecture, Interior Design, Interior Design Homes, Metropolitan Home, The New York Times Magazine, Progressive Architecture, and the Urban Land Institute Magazine, and has won awards from the American Institute of Architects, AIA Chicago, the Chicago Architectural Club, and IIDA Illinois.


The Dallas Architecture Forum educates, enriches and connects our community by presenting programs and events, creating experiences, and engaging global and local thought-leaders from the design fields to enhance how we live.

As a not-for-profit organization for design enthusiasts founded over two decades ago, The Forum explores ideas related to how and why design matters in our daily lives through dynamic programming centered on current topics and trends in architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, urban planning, engineering, construction, and other related fields of art and design.  Our collaborative programming and community outreach are enriched by the active involvement and leadership of businesses, arts and cultural organizations, government and academic institutions at regional, national and international levels.


The Forum Lecture Series features emerging voices as well as established leaders from the allied fields of architecture and design.  Pritzker Prize, Pulitzer Prize, AIA and ASLA Gold Medal winners as well as internationally acclaimed designs, authors and critics are among the over 210 speakers from over 20 countries who have presented at The Forum over the last two decades. Some of those Lecture Speakers include Diller / Scofidio / Renfro, Kazuyo Sejima, Tsien / Williams, Deborah Berke, Annabelle Selldorf, Lake / Flato, Craig Dykers / Snohetta, Jeanne Gang, Marlon Blackwell, Kai-Uwe Bergmann / BIG, Rick Joy, Juhani Pallasmaa, Tom Phifer, Leo Marmol, Lee Mindel, Laurie Olin, Tsao/McKown, Thomas Woltz, Brad Cloepfil, Gordon Gill, Alex Krieger, Tom Kundig, Enrique Norten, Daniel Libeskind, Eric Owen Moss, Michael Van Valkenburgh, James Burnett, Brian Mackay-Lyons, Jamie Carpenter, Wang Shu, James Corner, Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Rafael Vinoly, Reed/Hilderbrand, Segiru Ban, Peter Bohlin, Thom Mayne, Michael Graves, Jorge Silvetti, and Peter Eisenman.  

In 2018, The Forum established the Frank Welch Memorial Lecture to honor Frank Welch, the Dean of Texas Modernist architects and great friend of The Forum.  Past presenters include Ted Flato, Co-Founder of Lake | Flato Architects and Rick Joy, Founder and Principal, Studio Rick Joy. 


The Forum organizes and presents an annual series of interactive, educational, and informal panel discussions about topics and issues of local and regional interest.  The panels are moderated by community leaders and design professionals, and feature panelists recognized as experts in their fields.  In addition, The Forum highlights regional design talent focusing on both their design inspirations and award-winning projects.  Panels are presented as a service to the community at no charge. 


The Dallas Design Symposium brings thought leaders from architecture, art and design together to explore the intersection of these fields for thoughtful and critical conversation.  Past participants have included:  environmental artist Christo, New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, Aaron Betsky, Leo Marmol, Tom Kundig, Brad Oldham, Johnston Marklee, Terrence Riley, Karim Rashid, artists Walead Beshty and Jorge Pardo, and the Directors of the Chinati Foundation and MASS MoCA.


The Design Society is a satellite established to enhance and expand The Forum’s relationships with a broader audience and new constituencies. This group is led by visionary and emerging leaders in the design professions and offers additional programs, outreach and engagement primarily designed for a younger audience. Activities include: casual gatherings after Forum events, Pecha Kuchas, design-related community projects, informal design tours and Happy Hours.  Design Society events are detailed on their Facebook page.


“365 Modern Living” is a series of receptions hosted by The Forum focused around living with great design every day of the year. “365 Modern Living” features some of Dallas’ most architecturally significant modern and contemporary residences and explore the ideas surrounding design, inspiration, and innovation.  Attendees have the opportunity to converse with the homes’ design teams of architects, interior designers, and landscape architects as well as owners. Experiencing architecture and design first-hand is vital to fulfilling the Forum’s mission. The Forum hosts its Annual Members’ Meeting and other special events at significant buildings in Dallas. Study Tours have been conducted to Spain, Switzerland, Finland, and Mexico City. Forum Study Groups have visited mid-century modern residences in Palm Springs in association with the University of Texas at Austin, and toured art and architecture in Los Angeles in conjunction with the Nasher Sculpture Center.


Dallas Modern is a monograph published by The Forum featuring twenty of the most architecturally outstanding modern and contemporary residences in Dallas.  With over 200 pages and 250 color photographs as well as insightful essays written by Maxwell Anderson, Mark Gundersen and Jeremy Strick, the book advances The Forum’s mission to explore how design matters in daily life. The Forum also produced a limited-edition folio featuring important Dallas-Fort Worth cultural buildings designed by some of the most influential architects from the twentieth and twenty first centuries. The Forum commissioned esteemed photographer Laura Wilson to take original images for this folio celebrating these civic treasures in North Texas. The Forum plans to produce future publications about the significant architecture of the North Texas region.


Since its founding, The Forum has fostered vibrant partnerships with over fifty regional, national and international educational, civic and cultural organizations. These collaborations produce meaningful discussions that connect the community to the importance of design in modern life.  Among our collaborators is the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs (CAPPA) at the University of Texas at Arlington.  Recent collaborations between CAPPA and The Forum explored issues and topics related to architecture and urban planning, including Texas Regional Architecture and Affordable Housing in cooperation with bcWorkshop (Building Community Workshop).

The Forum also works closely with Preservation Dallas, the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects and its affiliated Architecture and Design Exchange. Other cultural, education and civic partners include:  Dallas City Design Studio, DoCoMoMo North Texas, Meadows School and Museum at SMU, The MAC, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Contemporary, and the Kimbell Art Museum. The Forum also collaborates with other national organizations focused on stimulating discourse on architecture, design and urbanism.  Among the groups with whom The Forum has cooperated are:  Aga Kahn Foundation, Auburn University’s Rural Studio, Architectural League of New York City, Harvard Graduate School of Design, National Building Museum, Rice Design Alliance, Texas Tech University and the University of Texas at Austin.

The Forum’s successful collaborative initiatives and leadership have been recognized with numerous awards and accolades, including an AIA Dallas Community Honor Award, a Citation of Honor from the Texas Society of Architects, and a Collaborative Achievement Award from the national offices of the American Institute of Architects. The Forum is a founding member of the Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO), an international organization dedicated to enhancing public dialogue about architecture and design. The Forum’s Executive Director serves on the Board of Directors of the AAO.

For more information on The Dallas Architecture Forum, visit For questions about The Forum, call 214-764-2406.

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