February 14, 2019

Oswaldo Ortega Honored with AIA Young Architects Award

Gensler associate and architect proves investment in the future of the industry relies on inclusivity and diversity of future generations.

CHICAGO — Oswaldo Ortega, AIA, Associate, has been named a 2019 Young Architects Award recipient by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Joining Gensler in 2013 and based out of the firm’s Chicago office, Ortega has led master planning studies, and architectural and interior projects, both locally and globally. His work is evident in the recent completion of Johnson Controls’ Asia Pacific Headquarters and he is currently an active team member in the repositioning of Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower.

“I’m so honored to receive an AIA Young Architects Award, and I share it with all of my mentors, colleagues, and clients at Gensler,” said Ortega. “Together, we share a responsibility to define our industry’s mission and purpose, and, in the end, we have our clients and communities to thank. They are the ones asking the smart and hard questions – challenging designers to craft solutions for the greater good of the places and spaces in our cities around the world.”

In his award announcement, AIA states Ortega “has proven himself to be a tireless visionary. He embodies the responsibility and attributes of an architect who is keenly aware of how the built environment affects tomorrow’s thought leaders and innovators.”

Ortega is a first-generation American and fell in love with the positive impact of architecture early on. During his studies at Syracuse University his passion for supporting the underserved took hold when he founded the Society of Multicultural Architects & Designers in 2003. His relentless pursuit to do more is also evident as a former co-leader and mentor of Chicago’s Architecture Construction Engineering (ACE) mentoring program (Team 6). As past President and current Advisor of the Illinois chapter of National Organization for Minority Architects (NOMA), this award recognizes how Ortega transformed the organizational structure to encourage and support students through substantial funding, hands-on learning, and industry-wide mentoring.

“Oswaldo is an asset of endless passion and talent in our Chicago office, our North Central Region, and the design community as a whole,” said Gensler Regional Managing Principal Grant Uhlir, FAIA. “His passion for future talent and positive influence on our work is inspirational to all of us in the profession.”

Each year, the AIA Young Architects program recognizes young architects who demonstrate exceptional leadership and have made significant contributions to the profession early in their careers. Oswaldo will be honored with other AIA Young Architects Award winners at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2019 in Las Vegas this spring.

Read the offical annoucement of Ortega's win from AIA.