Adana Johns

Principal, Science and Technology, Chicago

Adana grew up in a design-minded household, drawn to various forms of art at home and school. By her teenage years, Adana managed her family’s greenhouse business, where she was able to exercise her design ability while learning how to listen to customers. By the time she entered architecture school, she not only saw the value of design, but also the value of providing experiences through art.

Like many architecture students at the University of Illinois, Adana took advantage of the opportunity to study in Paris. This was an exhilarating experience for her, and she realized architecture’s roots in history. She began to view architecture as a storybook of people’s expression–how everything she sees, whether intentional design or not, blends into everyday life. Travel sparked her curiosity to understand how the world works, and how the logic, science, and art that make up the built environment evoke a sense of wonder and place.

Creating Successful Innovation Communities
Adana is joined by experts across our firm to discuss designers’ ability to set the stage for successful innovation communities through urban design, higher education, and science and technology.

Joining Adana are Vandana Nayak, Stephen Coulston, and Peter Baird.  For more on our featured projects, click here!

Adana at Convergence
Perkins&Will hosted the "Convergence: Ideas to Value" symposium, where Adana brought thought leaders together for a conversation about scientific spaces focusing on inclusion and community.
They also discussed how to create environments where innovators take risks on new ideas together.
"The best work happens when everyone feels proud to put their fingerprint on a project. When a team collaborates to achieve innovation beyond any single individual’s capacity, the results are electric."
Adana describes her upbringing as nomadic.

She moved every few years throughout her childhood. Having to regularly make new friends made her strong and self-reliant.  She learned the importance of being happy and content with herself, deeply appreciating the experience to learn about herself as she was learning about others. Today, she is passionate about connecting with people and uses each project as a way to make a difference through architecture.

Inspired by travel.

Vacation destinations for Adana often include visits to wine regions around the country and world to learn about the wine and the culture of each place. Hiking is usually involved when she’s not tasting wine with her husband!

Notable Project Moment

Adana is currently working with The Ohio State University on the Advanced Materials Corridor Phase 1. The design of the 120,000 square foot renovation and new addition is a creative solution that thinks about the program and future-phased project holistically, re-imagining the face of the College of Engineering at OSU. She enjoys working closely with all team members – client, users, extended design team – through the exploratory process of programming, planning, and design.

Adana's Featured Work

University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute
Cincinnati, Ohio
Northwestern University Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center
Chicago, Illinois
Indianapolis Academic Health Center, Medical Education and Research Facility
Indianapolis, Indiana