Architectural projects are only as successful as an architecture firm’s ability to work together. Experience means nothing if projects aren’t rooted in creative collaboration.

For more than 30 years, residential architects Stuart Cohen, FAIA, and Julie Hacker, FAIA, have produced a series of exquisitely designed and crafted homes in Chicago’s northern suburbs. Although known for their distinctly different personalities, this husband and wife duo has effectively created an environment where clients can be heard and understood. They know how to design together from start to finish, and that’s what makes their project results so remarkable.

“Unlike other partnerships, we are a tag team match,” Hacker says. “We do all of the design work and client meetings together, which can feel like a Woody Allen comedy from time to time, but I think the collaboration works to our advantage.”

Cohen and Hacker attribute their design success to balancing talents and keeping a client-first perspective. It's what has led them to receive a Residential Architect 2007 Leadership Award, among hundreds of other accolades.

Ultimately, their mission is to create architecture that reflects not only their shared ideas, but also the client’s aspirations. They realize that the best creative solutions come from working together to solve common problems.

“Problem-solving in architecture requires a great amount of teamwork and creativity,” Hacker says. “The context of the problem is ever-changing, and as architects, we have to be able to go with the flow and piece it all together with collaboration and artistry.”

While they’ve encountered many challenges over the years, this awareness has helped Cohen and Hacker balance their talents in ways that provide beautiful solutions for their clients.

“As artists, we are committed to the quality and integrity of our work. The houses we make are created for our clients, not for ourselves. We work as a team to realize their vision of how they want to live.”

See more of what Cohen and Hacker have to say about creative collaboration and what they’ve learned from 30 years of experience.

Additionally, Stuart and Julie’s collaborative approach is exemplified in their design of the Pella Crafted Luxury Showroom at LuxeHome in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago—an inspirational, personalized shopping experience.