Peter Exley FAIA RIBA

Peter Exley, FAIA RIBA established an internationally recognized practice, Architecture Is Fun, that elevates the standards of design for public space, learning, and play environments. Peter is co-founder of the Chicago-based consulting studio of architecture, experiential and public space design.

Peter regards architecture as a gateway to a more emphatic and equitable future.

In 2023, Peter was appointed Architecture Dean of the Scott Sutherland School at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Robert Gordon University has a strong strategic plan and a vision to ensure that as a university community, we are aligned with the critical issues of our time. For me, this is an exciting transition from my time as a leader of the American Institute of Architects. The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and the Built Environment is ideally located to address issues of climate crisis and decarbonization — Aberdeen has been an epicenter of the UK’s fossil fuel industry.

~ Peter Exley, FAIA RIBA.

Peter Exley is an architect with a social agenda.
He believes successful architecture comes about when the dialogue on design involves the entire community. When people make spaces together, good things happen in play, work, and life. As a social and cultural activist, Peter enjoys working with local and global leaders to envision and build resilient cities through art and architecture, one project at a time, one community at a time.

In 2021, Peter led the American Institute of Architects as its 97th President. He attended the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, speaking on behalf of AIA about catalyzing equity and building resilience at every scale and for every community. 

For over 25 years, Peter was an adjunct professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has numerous academic awards, including the 2020 Distinguished Service Award from the National Art Education Association; the Nathan Clifford Ricker award for Teaching in Excellence, which he won in 2017, and the 2002 Contribution to Art Education Award from the Illinois Alliance for Art Education.

Peter is a frequent guest speaker and host, as well as contributor to many architectural and educational journals. He is the co-author of the eponymous book “Architecture Is Fun”, published in 2021, with partner Sharon Exley.

In 2023, Peter was awarded the Gold Medal for Outstanding Lifetime Service by AIA Illinois for using the power of design to build places and spaces that reflect the values, ambitions, and purpose of every stakeholder on myriad civic, cultural, private, and not-for-profit agencies. As a Dean and educator, he is nurturing future architects as the primary and credible resource with the explicit training and qualification to lead the creation of healthy and equitable net-zero place- making.

Peter Exley FAIA RIBA
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