Architecture With a Problem-Solving Attitude

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

Lynda Dossey is a principal at Jahn, working as an architect on 1000M in Chicago

Lynda Dossey, Principal, Jahn. Image courtesy of Jahn

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

Now, she’s a principal with Jahn, a full-service studio formerly led 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 that she describes as “enlightening.”

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

Dossey thinks of architecture as a creative problem-solving instrument. So it comes as no surprise that, in her downtime, she enjoys doing puzzles. In fact, she views her projects as the ultimate 3D puzzle, a design riddle that calls for learning and coordinating with experts in 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: Women in Multifamily podcast episode hosted by Multi-Housing News Senior Editor Laura Calugar, Dossey talks passionately about her projects and her relationship with Helmut Jahn, but she also touches on how much the architecture industry has progressed in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

What you’ll hear about in this episode:

  • How Chicago changed from an architectural point of view (0:43)
  • Helmut Jahn’s influence (3:24)
  • The history of 1000M (4:39)
  • Challenges and opportunities brought on by the 1000M project (9:23)
  • Handling stress as an architect (14:49)
  • Cultivating new talent (19:34)
  • The new generation of female architects (23:00)

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