Good design matters.

Whether it’s a home or multi-use facility, the context, the core elements that bind people and place, is important. Canopy / Architecture + Design, LLC (Canopy) lives to imagine, develop and create places where people live, meet, learn, and, ultimately, connect together.

Founded in 2009 on the principal that good design can be achieved in any context, Canopy’s projects range from residential to commercial to planning and urban design. This broad scope is elemental to our practice – and successful for our clients – because our guideposts are not only embedded in the specifics of each market type, but also in the client and end user – the people who will inhabit, work and play in the environment we create.

Our philosophy is encapsulated in our name – Canopy.

Similar to the canopy of a tree, comprised of multiple parts that collectively serve as one, we fiercely believe that each individual involved in a project – the owner, end user, architect, contractor, etc. – serves as a pivotal component to the whole. One without the other has value, however the strength of the combined is powerful and, we believe, essential to good design.

The firm’s footings are also found in this collective mentality, one that seeks to blend research with creativity, resources with climate, budget with value, function with beauty. Canopy’s launching point came through the award of an architectural research grant that took founding principal, Jaime Torres Carmona, to Germany to study climate-based design. Returning to the U.S. and following a national tour sharing his findings as a visiting lecturer and instructor, Jaime sought to further his unique collaboration between research and practice by forming Canopy.

Today, Jaime and his team continue to promote and develop new understandings of the built environment through research, involvement with regional architecture schools, and active engagement with organizations throughout the region such as the Metropolitan Planning Council, the University of Illinois, as well as others.


Why is collective design important to your project?

The human experience happens within a context, often in built form, and usually as part of a group be it a family, business, school or other community resource. From this perspective, we immediately understand that the combined whole – the synthesis of viewpoints and experiences – is inherent to architecture, to buildings and spaces created to serve people.

Engaged. Participative. Collective.  Canopy.