Chris Fein, AIA LEED AP - Firm Principal - Forward Design | Architecture


Chris Fein is the founding Principal of Forward Design | Architecture. He graduated with a Masters of Architecture from Yale University and a Bachelors of Architecture from Kansas State University. Chris began his career in Chicago working for the internationally recognized design practice Tigerman McCurry Architects as a lead project designer. He later moved to Hammond Beeby Rupert Ainge Architects, also in Chicago, where he was soon promoted to Principal. Known for their award-winning work at a number of private universities, HBRA used Chris’s unique ability to distill large and complicated design problems for their work at Yale University and the University of Michigan. Many of the projects Chris has led are widely published in design and trade journals. Chris also serves as a regular visiting critic at Yale University and as a full-time associate Professor at Kansas State University. At KSU he teaches design studios, History of the Designed Environment and lecture courses related to furniture fabrication and design.

His scholarly research is focused on post-World War II modernist architecture through the lens of preservation and building adaptation, and histories. He recently has had a Docomomo US article published on modern architecture in Kansas. With Assistant Professor Michael Grogan, he was co-awarded a 2021-22 National Park Service/Kansas SHPO Historic Preservation Fund Grant to survey modern architecture in Manhattan, KS. He has been on the board of directors for KCmodern since 2011 and is a co-founder and on the board of the preservation advocacy organization Plains Modern.

Chris is also a recognized expert on the history of 20th century modern object and furniture design. He serves as a board member for KCMODERN and was a Teaching Fellow at Yale University for furniture design and fabrication courses. Through his knowledge and expertise of furniture and object design, Chris leads FD|A’s efforts in interior and furniture design.