Eleftheria Riga-Derrico Recognized as

2024 Chicago Women in Architecture Making Waves Awardee

Eleftheria Riga-Derrico

The Making Waves Award recognizes early-career architects who have had an impact through an innovative project or initiative. The 2024 Making Waves Awardee is Eleftheria Riga-Derrico, AIA.

Driven by her passion for architectural storytelling, Eleftheria Riga Derrico designs for emotion and value-driven experiences. In her 17 years of experience in mixed-use, workplace, and hospitality projects, she has led design teams from concept to completion balancing artistic intuition with careful, client-focused investigation. As an architectural design director and integrator at Gensler, Eleftheria thrives in guiding multidisciplinary collaboration and coordination for challenging, complex projects. Recently, she has had a significant role in shaping Bally’s Chicago and 360 N Green, a new office tower in Fulton Market.

As a natural mentor, Eleftheria supports next-generation designers in her leadership role and as a member of AIA and Chicago Women in Architecture. She has a Master of Science in Architectural Design from Columbia University and a Master of Architecture from the University of Patras.


Established in 2022, the Chicago Women in Architecture Making Waves Award recognizes early career architects who have had an impact through an innovative project or initiative.

The awardee will be honored at the Opening Reception to our 50th Anniversary Exhibit at the CAC. DATE TBA.


Chicago Women in Architecture (CWA)

CWA is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit membership organization founded in 1974 to establish community, mentorship, visibility, and advocacy for women working in the field of architecture and related professions. Through the ongoing efforts of the entirely volunteer-led organization, this mission is realized by offering educational, professional, and social networking events; organizing and sponsoring lectures in partnership with like-minded organizations; and awarding annual scholarships to women architecture students in their final year of study.

Chicago Women in Architecture Foundation (CWAF)

In 2003, CWAF was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Today, CWAF continues its support of CWA initiatives by raising funds to expand scholarship offerings as well as fundraising for events and special projects that further the careers for women in and around the field of architecture.