Rada Doytcheva, PhD, FAIA, ALA, NCARB,
LEED AP BD+C
Principal/Head of Design
Rada is Founding Principal and Head of Design at RADA Architects in Chicago. She is leading the firm on a mission of creating “Better Lives, by Design” - doing what is right, socially responsible and sustainable.
Rada’s architectural work is known for innovative concepts in civic/public, higher education, healthcare and workplace environments. She comes to her practice with forward looking ideas of smart planning and humanizing designs. The projects in her 30year career range from large hospital complexes and office buildings - to academic facilities, student housing and laboratories, public spaces. Her extraordinary life journey has created the opportunity to be an “international” architect with work spanning over three continents – Europe, North America and Asia.
Able to quickly assess the most important issues, she identifies solutions together with project stakeholders, leading diverse groups to consensus. The rationality of her work, along with its character and excitement, become compelling to wide circles of users and has often been replicated, or served as a standard – such are the student multi-use spaces for City Colleges, the Illinois State University Science Labs and the pioneering to the Cabrini Green area design for Clybourn Point, the first LEED Silver project in Chicago done on private funds.
Recognized as one of the Crain’s 2020 and 2021 NOTABLE WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION AND DESIGN, Rada is a known advocate for empowerment of women and minority architects, whose number is still low across the country. With ambition to transform status-quo for what is now a handful Illinois architecture firms owned by women, she has presented extensively at conferences and national conventions, bringing public sector officials to hear architects for a powerful change in project procurement. Her efforts to steer work to women led teams have resulted in significant project awards, serving as agents of change and hope for many disadvantaged firms.Rada has been a bridge and mentor for international exchange throughout her life journey as an architect. As Chair of the AIA International Committee, Board member and Member of the AIA Europe - she has led conferences, competitions and exchanges among professionals, always fostering the need to give more visibility to young entrants in the profession, women architects participation and equal opportunities for all.