The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has elevated SOM Design Partner Leo Chow to its prestigious College of Fellows. The distinction, which recognizes architects who have made significant contributions to the field, is the AIA's highest membership honor.
Throughout his nearly 30-year career, Chow has advanced a vision of integrated design to create better, more human-centered spaces. His innovative, cross-collaborative approach harnesses the latest technological advances to overcome today’s toughest design challenges. He has worked on numerous high-profile projects, including Poly International Plaza, Harvard University’s Northwest Science Building, UC San Francisco’s Sandler Neurosciences Center, and vision plans for San Francisco’s Parkmerced and India Basin neighborhoods.
Chow’s commitment to designing better communities is evident not only through his professional contributions, but also through his dedication to educating the next generation of architects. Together with SOM Structural Design Partner Mark Sarkisian, he created the SOM Integrated Design Lab. The program challenges students to undertake collaborative, interdisciplinary problem-solving. He is a longtime community design advocate as well, serving on the board of San Francisco Heritage and three terms on the San Francisco Arts Commission.
The AIA’s College of Fellows was created in 1952 to honor architects whose work has advanced both the field of architecture and society. Only three percent of the AIA’s 94,000 constituents have earned this prestigious membership.