Carol Ross Barney

Design Principal and Founder

Carol Ross Barney, FAIA, HASLA, is the recipient of the 2023 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal, and  has been in the vanguard of civic space design since founding Ross Barney Architects in 1981. With a career that spans nearly 50 years, Carol has made significant contributions to the built environment, the profession, and architectural education. From the early days in the United States Peace Corps planning National Parks in Costa Rica to recent collaborations with City Governments, Carol has relentlessly advocated that excellent design is a right, not a privilege.

Her body of work, being almost exclusively in the public realm, represents this ethos and occupies a unique place within the panorama of contemporary architecture.

Carol’s projects vary in type and scale, but always uphold a deep commitment to the quality of life. This commitment manifests into spaces that enrich the metropolitan experience; buildings that are environmental stewards, embodying and showcasing sustainability; and spaces that inspire young, curious minds to learn, invent, and break boundaries.

At the forefront for equity in the architectural profession, Carol has long sought to move beyond her gender as a contributing factor or hindrance to success. But it’s not enough just to blaze the trail, Carol continually teaches, mentors, and empowers young architects to contribute their ideas and designs to progress the profession.

A native Chicagoan, Carol is the mother of three sons and grandmother of Kai and Han.

Carol Ross Barney
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