At Newman Architecture, our skilled and experienced staff includes professionals that have been honored with industry awards, gained membership into prestigious design associations, received certification for “green” design, launched community service efforts, and served on community boards and committees.
While proud of our individual talents, contributions, and accomplishments, it is our strength in working as a cohesive team that sets us apart as a multi-disciplined design firm. It’s with a sense of purpose – and a sense of humor – that we have forged a creative culture that best serves our clients and the community.
Having founded Newman Architecture more than 25 years ago, Chuck Newman has over 30 years of experience as a licensed architect. It was in his early days, fresh out of college, when his youthful inspiration was fueled by a real-world education.
“You leave architecture school excited and ready to do great things,” Chuck says. “But it didn’t take long for me to realize just how much I didn’t know.” He recalls walking into a boiler room for the first time and being afraid he might cause irreparable damage to the building if he were to brush up against the unlabeled switches on the wall. “I remember asking the head custodian what some of those switches did, and found that he didn’t know either,” Chuck says. “I also remember being struck by buildings with a nicely-designed exterior but an interior that lacked any of the same excitement or color.”
With those experiences in mind, Chuck started Newman Architecture in 1982 to offer high quality design services for the common man—as well as for the person or organization experienced in construction. “My first employee was an interior designer,” he says. “We shared a passion for designing exciting spaces, both inside and out. It was our belief that exciting spaces could also be affordable.”
The firm quickly distinguished its approach by concentrating on the design of dynamic, “user friendly” buildings that were easy to operate and maintain. “In my opinion, there was no reason why a building’s maintenance person should have to be called to turn on the heat after hours,” he says. “I knew that by automating some building systems, we could develop buildings that our clients could comfortably manage. We even trained maintenance staff on how their new building systems worked.”
Since its humble beginnings, Newman Architecture has completed many exciting projects, developed a reputation for successfully completing very difficult projects, and built many lasting friendships. “When asked which project is my favorite, I always say it is the next one,” says Chuck. “There is nothing more exciting than helping clients turn their idea into a great reality.” After Newman completed the original Warrenville Public Library in 1987, the library’s director sent the firm a letter that stated, “Reality matches the dream in this case.” According to Chuck, “That is what architecture is all about.”
Bachelor of Architecture Degree, 1973
The University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
In September 2010, Chuck Newman was honored as The Council of Educational Facility Planners International’s International Planner of the Year. “The annual Planner of the Year Award is the highest and most distinguished honor conferred by the Council.”
Memberships & Affiliations
Registered Architect: Illinois, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin and Virginia. Certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
Member and Past Chapter Director, American Institute of Architects
Member & Past Midwest Region President, Council of Educational Facility Planners, Intl.
Co-Founder and President, Schools for the Children of the World (SCW)
Have personally assisted with planning and designing schools in Honduras, Belize, Kenya, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia.
Member Rotary International
MWGL Region CEFPI – 2009 Planner of the Year
Recognized Educational Facility Planner, CEFPI
Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary International
My wife Jeanne and I have two sons, Jon and Adam.
With nearly 20 years of experience in all aspects of the architectural process, from programming to construction management, Matt Hichens relishes the challenges that arise throughout the life of a project. It is those challenges that fuel his drive to complete projects that exceed client expectations.
With a true passion for design, Matt has always found excitement and inspiration in a blank sheet of paper. As a boy, he would create drawings like other kids, but he insisted on using a ruler. “I wanted my drawings to be clean, crisp, and precise,” he says. “If they became smudged or dirty, I would redraw them.” When Matt was introduced to mechanical drafting in the 7th grade, he realized his life’s work would center on the beauty and precision of architecture.
In watching Matt go about his work, it’s obvious he believes that creating spaces should be fun. “As the client, if you are not enjoying the project process then I am doing something wrong,” he says. “Interaction is a big part of the process and strong camaraderie between team members is critical. Our personal approach, coupled with the experience of our team, equips us to create great spaces while meeting your project budget and schedule. We all need to work towards achieving our client’s satisfaction.”
As one who stands by the credo that actions speak louder than words, Matt stresses the importance of accountability. “I’m committed to giving you my very best effort,” he says. “I simply ask for the opportunity to prove it.”
Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies 1990, Graduated High Honors, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Memberships & Affiliations
Licensed Architect – State of Illinois
Member of American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Member of the Society of College and University Planners (SCUP)
Feed My Starving Children – Illinois
Naperville Park District – Girls Soccer Coach
Wheatland Athletic Association – Boys Baseball and Soccer Coach
Naperville YMCA – Boys Flag Football Coach
Designed the Lego Learning Center for Lego, USA (their first child-care center, located in Enfield, CT)
I’m blessed to be with my wife Lisa, daughter Emma, and son Owen. My Mom and Dad, Mary Lou and Roy, are still my best friends, and I’m proud to say, they made me who I am.
Principal/Licensed Interior Designer/ LEED Accredited Professional
630-420-1600 Ext. 121
With more than 25 years of experience developing interior environments for a large range of projects—from office and retail to religious, educational and public facilities—Dawn Newman is motivated by diverse challenges and inspired by each new client.
Dawn’s creative drive stretches back to her childhood. As soon as she could hold a pencil, she was learning to draw. Her passion for art and design grew with her and when she arrived at Northern Illinois University a counselor suggested she take an Interior Architecture class to satisfy her creative side. “That semester, I took Introduction to Interior Architecture and realized I had found my future,” Dawn says. “Now, I feel so lucky to be able to say I love my job.”
A favorite part of her job is building relationships with clients, gaining an understanding of their needs and desires, and ensuring that each design fits the unique personality of each company. “It doesn’t matter how small or large your project is, I will be there with you from beginning to end,” says Dawn. “I also want to be there when you do your next project and the project after that. I still work with many of my first clients and feel fortunate to call many of them friends.”
As a designer who has long been committed to enhancing the environment, Dawn seeks out materials and finishes that are environmentally friendly. She feels so strongly about “Green Design,” and leaving her sons with a healthier world, that she became a LEED accredited professional.
Dawn says it’s her creative energy and range of experience that keeps her ideas innovative and fresh. “From start to finish, every project is exciting to me,” she says. “Helping people realize their vision is what it’s all about. There’s nothing else that I would rather be doing.”
Bachelor of Fine Arts 1981 – Interior Architecture, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
Memberships & Affiliations
Registered Interior Designer
International Interior Design Association, Professional Member
LEED Accredited Professional
Member, United States Green Building Council
Member, Rotary Cub of Naperville Sunrise, 2001-Present
President, Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise, 2007-2008
Member, Ellsworth Home and School Board, 1993-2000
President, Ellsworth Home and School Board
Trustee, Community United Methodist Church
Staff-Parish Committee, Community United Methodist Church
Sunday School Instructor, Community United Methodist Church
State “Those Who Excel” Winner, 2004.
I have two sons, both in college.