Claire Cahan

Instructor in Architecture

As Studio Design Director at Studio Gang, Claire Cahan leads the design of exhibitions and special initiatives, working closely with Jeanne Gang to further the Studio’s design approach, amplifying Jeanne’s voice through lectures, research, and teaching. Claire is skilled at identifying opportunities to connect people, ideas, and resources that advance the Studio’s research methodologies.

Central to her work is the relationship between the built, urban, and natural environments. Having been with Studio Gang for nearly a decade, Claire has collaborated on many of Studio Gang’s most pivotal, large-scale projects, including the transformation of Northerly Island into a thriving urban ecological park and the strategic masterplan for the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

Claire received an M.Arch from Tulane University and her time in New Orleans before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina informed her interest in architecture as a force for social, urban, and ecological change. As an early team member in Studio Gang’s collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council, she studied the architectural and hydrological impacts of re-reversing the Chicago River, research which eventually resulted in a book (Reverse Effect, 2014) and the construction of two boathouses on the River as a first step towards revitalization. In 2012, she participated in the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition “Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream” in which the Studio led an interdisciplinary team to propose strategies to revitalize the inner-ring suburb of Cicero, IL as an arrival point for new Chicagoans.

Claire is a licensed architect in the state of Illinois and recently bought and renovated a house in the Pilsen neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.