Mary Dahlman Begley

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Mary is an architectural designer passionate about the potential for architecture to affect positive change in cities, neighborhoods, and the lives of individuals.

With varied professional experience from across the Midwest, Mary excels in interdisciplinary collaboration and implementing design research. She joined WJW in 2024, bringing her experience as an architectural educator and researcher to the firm.


Working with existing buildings for adaptive reuse; historic preservation; residential renovation projects. Mary has also taught architecture students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she honed her communication skills to convey architectural concepts.

Key Focus

Interrogating history and context; incorporating interdisciplinary knowledge.

Research Interests

Existing and historic buildings; mapping and GIS; utopia.

Passionate About

Context - the more specific the better! Learning about the spatial, historical, cultural, and personal contexts that the built environment interacts with is one of Mary’s favorite things to do. Outside of work, Mary likes media: books, music, movies, art, and more. 


Atlas of Remoteness. Midwest USA. Infinite Publication Series, 2024.

“Cabin Culture: Five Modernist Cabins.” DOCOMOMO US/MN, 2021-2024.

“Future of the Skyways,” in Goethe in the Skyway, ed. Sandra Teitge, (Berlin: Spector Books, 2020), 255-263. 

Creating utopia is the process of designing a better world by making do within the existing context. Architecture can reach this potential when each design decision takes care to improve the experiences of individuals, the surrounding communities, and the environment.

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