Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) welcomes Julie Michiels, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, as Associate Director and Design Leader of the firm’s Chicago office interiors studio. An experienced architect, interior designer, and project leader, Michiels will help lead SOM’s interdisciplinary, holistic approach to human-centered design for its global portfolio of interior projects.
Michiels brings nearly two decades of experience to SOM, most recently as Associate Principal and Senior Project Designer for Perkins+Will, where she served as lead designer for a diverse range of civic, residential, commercial, mixed-use, transportation, healthcare, and educational projects. With a passion for innovative design and a dedicated focus on client service and collaboration, she has been involved in several award-winning projects from concept to completion. Michiels has experience in projects in Chicago as well as across North America, China, and the Middle East, with scopes ranging from 2,000 to 5 million square feet. Prior to Perkins+Will, she served as an Architectural Designer with Harley Ellis Devereaux.
“Julie is an incredibly accomplished designer and architect, and brings her proven leadership across design, client service, and public engagement,” said Jonathan Stein, Managing Partner at SOM. “SOM has designed dynamic spaces that foster innovation and collaboration for more than 80 years and Julie will be an invaluable addition to our team for advancing this work, locally and internationally.”
As part of her focus on the design of unique user experiences, Michiels is also an active thought leader, researcher, and participant in the Chicago architecture community. Since 2009, she has served as a contributing editor for MAS Context, a Chicago-based nonprofit with an industry-leading quarterly journal that addresses issues in the urban context. Her research and original work has been featured in The Architect’s Newspaper, Chicago Architect Magazine, and School Construction News. She has participated in academic and professional juries, panels, and exhibitions with the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Venice Architecture Biennale, the Chicago and Redwood Empire chapters of the AIA, and other leading industry and community organizations.
“It’s an honor to join the interior design team at SOM,” said Michiels. “An interdisciplinary, holistic approach to design is as central to the firm’s values as it has been to my own, and I’m excited to work with leaders and designers across all of our disciplines and markets to advance truly innovative, user-focused design solutions. In my work, I consider interior design as a lens through which to approach the needs and ambitions of each project. Through this lens I aim to have an impact on shaping all of the work we do from the inside out.”
Michiels holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. Since its founding more than 80 years ago, SOM has earned a reputation for design excellence with a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries, and has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment. The firm’s longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with nearly 2,000 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has recognized SOM twice with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award—in 1962 and again in 1996. The firm maintains offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Mumbai.