In 2003, Jean Dufresne and business partner Jay Keller founded Space Architects + Planners in a small office on Milwaukee Avenue. The firm has since created award-winning designs for homes and restaurants. Dufresne, who grew up in Quebec, has been active for more than a decade with the American Institute of Architects. He helped establish a quarterly meeting between the Small Practitioners Group of AIA Chicago and the city of Chicago’s building commissioner to address issues architects face when working with the city. At the national level, Dufresne was a founding member of AIA’s Small Firm Roundtable, now Small Firm Exchange, which advocates for small architecture firms across the country. He helped create AIA Kinetic, a digital career guide for architects.
How he gives back: Dufresne is a 10-year volunteer for Chicago House and curates the nonprofit’s annual Birdhouse Art Auction.