Architecture with a problem-solving attitude –

Meet Lynda Dossey, a passionate architect from Chicago who sees projects as the ultimate 3D puzzles. Tune in for an inspiring conversation with a creative female leader!

Lynda Dossey, Director, Jahn. Image courtesy of Jahn

Over the past 25 years, Lynda Dossey has not only seen Chicago’s transformation, she’s been a part of it too. As an architect, she had the chance to leave her mark on multiple projects both inside and outside the metro.

Now she’s a director at Jahn, a full-service studio once headed by Helmut Jahn, one of America’s most prolific and celebrated architects. For a decade, she worked side-by-side with the late architect, an experience she describes as “enlightening”.

Currently, much of Dossey’s workday is spent on 1000M, a 73-story multifamily skyscraper under construction at 1000 S. Michigan Avenue. The high-level tower will be Jahn’s tallest project in Chicago to date and was the last skyscraper Helmut Jahn worked on before he passed away last year. Chicago’s South Loop residential tower began in 2019 as a condominium project and had to overcome several challenges that disrupted its schedule. In 2020, the design of the project was adjusted to accommodate the move to a rental model.

Dossey sees architecture as a creative problem-solving tool. It is therefore not surprising that in her free time she likes to do puzzles. In fact, she sees her projects as the ultimate 3D puzzle, a design conundrum that requires learning and coordination with experts from other fields. She also enjoys sharing her experience with the next generation of architects, so she spends a lot of time cultivating new talent and mentoring architects-in-training.

In this Mission success: Multi-Family Women podcast episode hosted by Multi-Accommodation News Editor Laura Calugar, Dossey speaks passionately about her projects and her relationship with Helmut Jahn, but she also talks about how far the architecture industry has come in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion.

What you’ll hear about in this episode:

  • How Chicago Changed Architecturally (0:43)
  • The influence of Helmut Jahn (3:24)
  • The 1000M Story (4:39)
  • Challenges and opportunities brought by the 1000M project (9:23)
  • Managing stress as an architect (14:49)
  • Cultivating New Talents (19:34)
  • The new generation of female architects (23:00)

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