About Chipman Design Architecture

Old photo of Albert ChipmanA man behind a podium giving a speechA vintage photo of a man and a woman at a desk

Our History

A respected innovator in restaurant, retail and hospitality, Chipman Design Architecture continues a legacy that began almost 70 years ago. It was in the early 1950’s that Albert B. Chipman established one of the first professional practices devoted to commercial planning and design. A generation later, Albert’s son John Chipman expanded the business from its initial staff of three to build the architecture firm Chipman Design, in 1979. His first initiative was to boldly incorporate developing computer technology. By the mid 1990s, state-of-the-art computer technology became one of the firm’s hallmark services. In 2019, CDA celebrated their 40th anniversary and today it is still family owned with John Chipman’s daughter, Lauren Chipman, leading the team into the 21st century.

CDA Today

Chipman Design has a proven track record of extraordinary design and is recognized throughout the industry for its expertise in creating engaging and future-facing retail environments. We are adept at tapping the latest innovation and navigating change, leveraging technology to keep us ahead of the competition. By exploring new ways to help clients bring their ideas to life, we organize our internal teams strategically to produce work that makes us all eternally proud. With a depth of experience and an eye to the horizon, we are able to clearly navigate the rapidly evolving competitive market landscape our clients face.

Leadership

Team

Steve Ajster

Steve Ajster

Senior Account Manager
Birthplace
Spring Valley, IL
School Attended:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Awards / Accreditation
N/A
Years of experience
16
Fun Fact
Played an Irish digger in a film about I&M Canal
Favorite Project
Del Frisco’s Steakhouse (included a 30’ spiral staircase wine tower!)
A woman in a Day of the Dead costume
Julie Babcock

Julie Babcock

Design Manager
Birthplace
Park Ridge, IL
School Attended:
Illinois State University
Awards / Accreditation
NEWH
Years of experience
17
Fun Fact
Two-time CDA Halloween Costume Champ
Favorite Project
Chicago Blackhawks Flagship
CDA team members at an environmental rally
CDA team members in front of Wrigley Field
Karen Baron

Karen Baron

Senior Account Manager
Birthplace
Savigny-sur-Orge, France
School Attended:
Ecole d’Architecture de Versailles and University of Illinois at Chicago
Awards / Accreditation
Architecte DPLG w/ highest honours
Years of experience
19
Fun Fact
I grew up in a small town in France with 2,000 people!
Favorite Project
Athleta stores at Brewery Blocks, OR
Ariel holding a medal after running a marathon
CDA team members wearing Christmas sweaters
Brad Belter

Brad Belter

Account Manager
Birthplace
Rockford, IL
School Attended:
Northern Illinois University
Awards / Accreditation
Years of experience
19
Fun Fact
Lambda Chi Alpha helped escalate me from a hesitant young adult to a self-confident team player who loves working with people.
Favorite Project
Nutella Café Chicago
A man and woman look up at two skyscrapers
Leila Caceres

Leila Caceres

Accounting Manager
Birthplace
Chicago, IL
School Attended:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Awards / Accreditation
N/A
Years of experience
5
Fun Fact
Our dog is named after the Chicago historic district, Logan Square
Favorite Project
Creating custom Deltek reports for our management team
Child dressed as a construction worker
Dave Carlson

Dave Carlson

Director of Technology
Birthplace
Joliet, IL
School Attended:
DeVry University
Awards / Accreditation
N/A
Years of experience
10
Fun Fact
92% of the world’s currency exists solely on computers
Favorite Project
Upgrading CDA’s nationwide infrastructure to an SD-WAN while adding extra security layers
Two men pretending to be Mario characters racing
People dressed in summer costumes
Juan Castillo

Juan Castillo

Account Manager
Birthplace
Chicago, IL
School Attended:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Awards / Accreditation
N/A
Years of experience
17
Fun Fact
I have run 2 Marathons
Favorite Project
Exterior storefront curtain wall design for Ulta in Marina Del Rey, CA
A large group at an outdoor dinner party
Lauren Chipmen and Nelly Augustyn
Caitlin Gurra

Caitlin Gurra

Senior Account Manager
Birthplace
Hoffman Estates, Illinois
School Attended:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Awards / Accreditation
N/A
Years of experience
10
Fun Fact
My cat is named after Newman from Seinfeld.
Favorite Project
Designing training facilities in Ireland and Lebanon
A man dancing
Liz Kivland

Liz Kivland

Architectural Design Manager
Birthplace
Arlington Heights, IL
School Attended:
University of Kansas
Awards / Accreditation
Registered Architect - Illinois
Years of experience
28
Fun Fact
As an intern I worked the plan drawings for Medieval Times.
Favorite Project
Marketplace at Six Corners in Chicago
People dressed as Garth and Wayne from Wayne's World
A group of CDA team members in front of an inflatable donut
Jeff Koo

Jeff Koo

Account Manager
Birthplace
Richmond Hill, New York
School Attended:
CUNY - City College of New York
Awards / Accreditation
Registered Architect - New York, NCARB, LEED ID+C
Years of experience
25
Fun Fact
Participant in the Maker-mindset: CNC router, Laser-cutter, 3D Printer
Favorite Project
The Echelon project in Las Vegas
Two women in behind a BDNY sign
Team members cosplaying the witch and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz
Jeremy Lindsey

Jeremy Lindsey

Account Manager
Birthplace
Lexington Park, Maryland
School Attended:
Judson University
Awards / Accreditation
Registered Architect - Illinois, NCARB
Years of experience
17
Fun Fact
I cry every time at the ending of ‘Cars.’
Favorite Project
Craftsman remodel, St. Charles, IL
People on folding chair and blankets at a picnic
The Chipman family at a party
Joe Luzio

Joe Luzio

Senior Account Manager
Birthplace
Chicago, IL
School Attended:
Iowa State University
Awards / Accreditation
Registered Architect - Illinois
Years of experience
15
Fun Fact
Started at CDA in 2005 as a college intern, managing FedEx shipments and archiving projects
Favorite Project
Banana Republic at Hudson Yards, NYC
Woman in a Day of the Dead costume
Vilma Monzon

Vilma Monzon

Account Manager
Birthplace
Guatemala City, Guatemala
School Attended:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Awards / Accreditation
N/A
Years of experience
17
Fun Fact
Completed a full marathon in Hawaii in 2005
Favorite Project
Gap Flagship @ Bloor Street, Toronto
Team members dressed as aliens from Toy Story
Team members in front of a CDA wall
Mark Sangin

Mark Sangin

Architectural Design Manager
Birthplace
Cleveland, Ohio
School Attended:
University of Detroit, School of Architecture
Awards / Accreditation
Registered Architect - Illinois, CDT, NCARB, CSI
Years of experience
24
Fun Fact
Worked my way through college as a beer vendor at Detroit Piston games
Favorite Project
Westwind Lake Village Shops, Michigan
two couples at a picnic
People overlooking a skyline
Anna Velasquez

Anna Velasquez

Account Manager
Birthplace
Morton Grove, Illinois
School Attended:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Awards / Accreditation
Registered Architect - Illinois
Years of experience
15
Fun Fact
Anna enjoys playing tennis and loves to travel
Favorite Project
Shinola Retail Project in Oak Brook, IL
A plant in a Chipman Design Architecture crate
Meg Stevens

Meg Stevens

Design Manager
Birthplace
Valparaiso, Indiana
School Attended:
Indiana University
Awards / Accreditation
LEED
Years of experience
13
Fun Fact
Owned and ran a successful business making and selling handmade pillows and artwork
Favorite Project
Ronald McDonald House in Chicago
A group of women at a party
Team members
Ruben Valenzuela

Ruben Valenzuela

Account Manager
Birthplace
Zacatecas, Mexico
School Attended:
Judson University
Awards / Accreditation
N/A
Years of experience
8
Fun Fact
I have 65 live plants at home.
Favorite Project
Police and Court Center for City of Tolleson, AZ
A person holding a circular light

Awards

We are proud of our history and award-winning work. Though we never design for a trophy, it’s always nice to be recognized. Check out some of the architectural design awards we’ve been honored to receive.

ARCHITECTURAL RECORD MAGAZINE

“Top 300 Architecture Firms” National Ranking

2019, 2018, 2017

Build Magazine

Recognized Leaders in Prototype Design Development in the U.S.

CHICAGO CUBS FLAGSHIP STORE

Retail Design Institute “Store Design of the Year”

DESIGN:RETAIL MAGAZINE

“Design Leaders: Retail’s Top 20” National Ranking

2016, 2015, 2014 2013, 2012

ENGINEERING NEWS RECORD

“Midwest Top Design Firms”

2019, 2018, 2017

“National Top Design Firms”

2018

HI CONNECT

“Most Innovative Vignette” People’s Choice Award for Luxury Hotel Room

HOTEL MANAGEMENT

“Top Design Firms” National Ranking

2016, 2015, 2014

ICSC CENTERBUILD

“Retail Leaders Under 40” Nelly Augustyn, Senior Managing Director

INTERIOR DESIGN MAGAZINE

“Top 100 Hospitality Giants”

2019, 2018

ZWEIG BEST FIRMS TO WORK FOR

2018