CTBUH 2024 Staff Retreat at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)

The Council was hosted by IIT's Institute of Design in Chicago for its annual staff retreat.

The Kaplan Institute on the IIT campus where CTBUH held its annual staff retreat at the start of 2024.


On 22 January, the annual staff retreat was set against the backdrop of CTBUH's longtime collaborator and partner, the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago, hosted at the Institute of Design (ID) in the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship. The building was completed in 2018 and designed by local firm John Ronan Architects and reflected the architectural language of the master plan and buildings developed by architect and educator Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The retreat promised to be an immersive experience designed to foster collaboration, creativity, and camaraderie among our dedicated team. 


Anijo Mathew, Dean, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Urban Technology, & ID Academy Director gave our staff a one-of-a-kind tour.


Anijo Mathew, Dean, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Urban Technology, & ID Academy Director gave our staff a one-of-a-kind tour of the building and the design school to start off our retreat. From the drawing board to the implementation, we learned how the building was influenced by the campus' architectural history and molded to fit new technologies and student needs, including a materials lab and shop, flexible classroom spaces, and open areas for creative exchange. And we were inspired by the history of ID and its impact on the world shown in a permanent exhibition on the second floor.

After the tour, CTBUH staff joined in a meeting room to talk about the team's goals with the organization's overarching mission and to take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate our achievements from 2023. 


Reed Kroloff, Dean of IIT College of Architecture brought an invigorating energy to the CTBUH staff retreat. 


In the afternoon, we were excited to have Reed Kroloff, Dean of IIT College of Architecture join us. He lit up the room with an inspiring and engaging dialogue about our complimentary accomplishments in the IIT/CTBUH Masters of Tall Building and Vertical Urbanism program. As the world’s first multidisciplinary advanced degree focused specifically on the high-rise and the role of urban density in future cities, it is a unique learning environment built to foster interdisciplinary research and experience. CTBUH has already seen the positive exchange from the inaugural year's projects and published academic works of the students. The program also is important in how it connects tall building experts with the next generation of professionals through the CTBUH membership network.  


The CTBUH staff in the lobby of the Kaplan Institute in Chicago for the annual retreat. 


A special thanks go to IIT's Institute of Design (ID) at the Kaplan Institute for their generosity in hosting us, to Anijo Mathew, Dean of ID, and Reed Kroloff, Dean of IIT College of Architecture.

This retreat was a strategic investment in our team's dynamics and future success and a way to further connect with our valued partnerships and members. We walk away inspired and with a more empowered team to foster and support our global network of members and our mission to explore how increased urban density and vertical growth can support more sustainable and healthy cities. It was a unique blend of invigorating ideas, strategic planning, team-building activities, and getting out of the normal daily routine.

We can't wait to share our renewed energy with you!