Kahler Slater, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Form Collaborative Studio

Kahler Slater, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Architecture, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning have announced the formation of The Kahler Slater Studio, a new academic graduate studio offered to students at both universities. The Studio will begin courses in fall 2022 with Kahler Slater staff serving as adjunct professors.

The collective brings the three entities together to increase the collaboration between academia and practice. Students from the universities will work in partnership with Kahler Slater’s design team in their Chicago and Milwaukee offices. The immersive experience was designed to support UWM and UIUC’s enrollment growth in their architecture programs as well as build upon the longstanding relationship both universities have with Kahler Slater.

“The UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning is proud to cultivate a collaborative environment for students in partnership with Kahler Slater and the Illinois School of Architecture. Through this studio, students will explore the significant architectural challenges of our times, led by subject matter experts at Kahler Slater,” said Mo Zell, incoming Interim Dean at UW-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning.

The syllabus is structured to offer hands-on, interdisciplinary opportunities for students to work on projects focusing on corporate, hospitality, residential, healthcare, cultural, sports, recreation, and higher education. Students in the 2022 fall semester will begin with a project located in Chicago, following with a 2023 project based in Milwaukee.



Francisco Rodriguez, FAIA, Director, Illinois School of Architecture states “The Illinois School of Architecture is thrilled to see this studio come to fruition. The School and our Alumni Advisory Board have been working to grow new opportunities for our students to collaborate with practitioners. The Kahler Slater Studio supports this goal and expands our growth in Chicago and the Midwest, while creating a strong collaboration with UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning. It allows our students to explore a new paradigm of cross-studio work.”

“The formation of the Kahler Slater Studio signifies our commitment to two institutions that mean so much to our firm – UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning and the Illinois School of Architecture,” said Al Krueger, AIA CEO, Kahler Slater. “We are proud to have many alumni from both schools. The Kahler Slater Studio is a way for us to give back to these institutions and encourage the next generation of architects.”

With four offices across the United States, Kahler Slater’s involvement will also offer students exposure to the operations of a design firm. “The Kahler Slater Studio is about collaboration – across institutions, across our teams, and across our firm,” states Trina Sandschafer, AIA, Vice President, Kahler Slater and Chair, UIUC Architecture Alumni Advisory Board. “The formation of this studio supports the goals of both universities and is a natural extension of our work and philosophy.”

“We are excited to bring together academia and practice in a new and exciting model. As a longtime member of the SARUP Dean’s Advisory Council and the UWM Foundation, I am pleased to see this partnership,” said Larry Schnuck, FAIA, Vice President, Kahler Slater.

Kahler Slater design leaders will serve as faculty, guest lecturers, and reviewers and each student will be matched with a one-on-one mentor. One student will be awarded a guaranteed internship in any of Kahler Slater’s domestic offices at the end of the semester. The Kahler Slater Studio will begin with three consecutive fall semesters: fall 2022; fall 2023; fall 2024.

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