Joel Huffman leads Vertu with experience in national and international work. Since founding the firm in 1993, Mr. Huffman has obtained a high level of expertise in a variety of project types that include urban design proposals, architecture, interior design, installations and furniture design. He has participated on design juries and symposiums at several universities and institutions. His award winning work and theoretical proposals have been exhibited throughout the United States and abroad, including at The Venice Architecture Biennale in 2012, The Sao Paulo Bienal in 1998, The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture & Design and The Southern California Institute of Architecture. Mr. Huffman's work also has appeared in a variety of publications including TimeOut Chicago, UR Chicago, Factio, i4 Design, Interior Design, Positions in Architecture, Chicago Home, Gap Casa, Paris Capitale, VMSD, 20/20, New City Magazine and several competition catalogues, newspapers and online journals. Also work by the firm has appeared on the television program "Before and After" on HGTV. I4 Design Magazine honored Mr. Huffman in 2009 as one of Chicago's Suite Sixteen engaging design professionals "who are pushing old boundaries, exploring new concepts and making a difference in design with the work they do". In 2012, CS Interiors named Vertu as "Best in Design | All Around". In 2004, Mr. Huffman was nominated for the Dubin Family Young Architect Award that recognizes exceptional work by Chicago architects under the age of forty. Letters of support were submitted on his behalf by leading architects, educators, former employees, artists and clients. He was termed "one of Chicago's most important practitioners for his creativity, originality and vision" by Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, Director of The Chicago Athenaeum. Mr. Huffman was also nominated for the prestigious Illinois Governor's Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2003, recognizing him for his community involvement for hiring individuals facing significant barriers to employment through an alliance with Greater West Town Training Partnership. Recently Mr. Huffman served on the board of directors of the not-for-profit M5 Artist Collective, a group that produces events to comment on contemporary issues through multidisciplinary installations. Other not-for-profit work includes creating installations for The Seldoms, an interdisciplinary contemporary dance company; most recently collaborating on "Marchland" at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Mr. Huffman was awarded a Master of Architecture degree from The Southern California Institute of Architecture and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Cincinnati. He also earned certificates in the fields of Professional Practice, Green Technology and Business Administration. He is both a licensed Architect and Interior Designer in the State of Illinois. Prior to founding Vertu in 1993, Mr. Huffman gained a valuable range of architectural experience in New York, Los Angeles, Baltimore and Chicago.
Credentials Registered Architect State of Illinois Registered Interior Designer State of Illinois Master of Architecture 1993 Southern California Institute of Architecture(SCI-Arc) Bachelor of Architecture 1989 University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art, Architecture & Planning Certificate of Green Technology in Architecture 2007 Chicago Center for Green Technology Certificate of Business Administration 2001 University of Illinois Chicago Center for Enterprise Development Certificate of Professional Practice 1989 University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art, Architecture & Planning Self Certified Architect City of Chicago Department of Buildings Certified Energy Professional City of Chicago Department of Buildings Continuing Education Ongoing. Mr. Huffman is a regular participant in professional seminars specific to green & sustainable architecture, design & construction law, project management, marketing & branding, construction & fabrication technology.