Ingedia Sanchez: Distinguished Member, October 2018

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Ingedia K. Sanchez, AIA, LEED AP BD+ C, NCARB

Firm: SOM, Chicago

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that it was an area of interest for you?

I was first introduced to architecture when I was around 5 when I visited my mom at work. She worked at the Rockford Park District office, and they had a woman architect on staff. Her board and drawings were fascinating to me! I really became aware of how to illustrate the built  environment after that visit. I knew at 6 years old that I wanted to be an architect some day.

What do you do?

I am a technical architect at SOM. I specialize in creating enclosure systems for super tall buildings. I have had the opportunity to contribute to some of the firm’s largest projects, including Burj Khalifa, Trump Tower, China World Trade Center 3B, Hong Kong Tower 535, and many others. I am motivated by high performance design. While contributing my building enclosure expertise, I pursue a holistic design approach. Utilizing my design and technical expertise, I harmonize the design and technical aspects of each project. I lead project teams, and flow of deliverables from SOM to clients.

What makes your work enjoyable and exciting or inspires you professionally?

I enjoy developing and refining the design of the building by taking a concept through SD, DD, CD & CA. I believe that architecture is a science and an art. There is beauty in bringing the building to life through the black and white drawing set.

I am always excited to create new innovative building skins that are high performing and beautiful. I truly enjoy problem solving; working out architectural designs through multidisciplinary coordination.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

I am inspired by wanting to create great and beautiful architecture. I am always looking for the best design solutions to marry the design and technical aspects of the projects. My colleagues also inspire me; I am surrounded by professionals that want to achieve beautiful, quality buildings. But mostly, I am inspired to do great work by my two daughters; Imojen Rose of six years, and Felisse Aurelie, three years.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

My proudest professional accomplishment was obtaining my Illinois State License. When I graduated from graduate school in 2003, the Internship Development Program required extensive unit hours. I couldn’t’ sit for any exams until this was complete. It took me years to fulfill all the division experience requirements in order to be allowed to sit for the exams. Work was very intense after 2009, around the time I met all the requirements, and I couldn’t find a balance to study. However, at one point, I taught myself how to study again with my lifestyle. I managed to complete my exams with 2 daughters, and it didn’t take away from my professional work or my family. It was the best feeling to reach the dream I had created when I was a six-year-old kid.


I first became involved with NOMA through NOMAS at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign as an undergrad, back in 1998. I was active during my academic career, and I would come back as a professional for the spring symposium. I became active again as a licensed professional member in the fall of 2017. 

I am an active member of NOMA because I have been an active mentor to students throughout my professional career. Now that I am licensed, I have time to give back to those coming up in the profession. I will not only continue mentoring university level students, but also get involved with Project Pipeline. I want to expose young students to the profession. I want to let them know if I can reach my dream of becoming an architect, they can too!

What do you value most about your I-NOMA Membership?

What I value most is being part of an organization of great minority architects who not only have a passion to do great work, but to give back to those coming up in the profession. The mission to bring architectural education and exposure to young children and students is very important to me. Being a part of a group whose passion is to see their peers succeed is extremely invaluable and inspiring.

Featured Project

Taylor Street Library, Chicago, IL, to be completed December, 2018   Role: Technical Architect and Designer

Taylor Street Library, Chicago, IL, to be completed December, 2018

Role: Technical Architect and Designer

The project combines mixed income housing with a new library. The library and management offices are on the first level, with six levels of residential program. The library façade has an aluminum and glass storefront that allows for a strong visual connection to the site. The tower window wall includes painted, corrugated, aluminum panels that provides a unique aesthetic. The systems together achieve a beautiful and high performing building that will revitalize the neighborhood.