Follow Us:

Janeen Harrell

Architect and Interior Designer

Janeen Harrell is the founder of iJ DESIGN STUDIO, a budding architecture and interior design studio born out of a strong belief that design has the power to transform, inspire, and elevate. The studio focuses on processes and spaces that inspire, particularly in the realm of dwelling and work environments.

With 20 years of industry experience as both an architect and interior designer, Janeen approaches her work with a unique and thorough perspective. She is responsible for the design, management and successful completion of a broad range of projects including residential projects ranging from affordable developments with the Chicago Housing Authority to high end single and multifamily homes and towers; high profile corporate renovations in Chicago skyscrapers such as the Willis Tower, the Illinois Center, and the Franklin Building; classroom and student services buildings at HBCUs and community colleges; and hotels and cultural heritage museums. Janeen has extensive experience in varied phases of projects and consistently delivers thoughtful, contextual, well-crafted design solutions to the built environment while maintaining excellent client and consultant relationships. She has a strong interest in the intersection of sustainable and affordable design and has crafted her academic and professional endeavors to explore this intersection. Her work with iJ DESIGN STUDIO seeks to further explore this intersection and to contribute to neighborhood development for underserved populations. Driven by an ethos that the process is just as important as the product, iJ DESIGN STUDIO finds inspiration in delivering quality work through intentional and collaborative action.

African American women account for fewer than 0.5% of licensed architects in the United States, and Janeen is proud to have earned this distinction. Janeen’s colleagues also recognize her as an exemplary leader and a valuable asset to the profession. She served as the 2020 President of the American Institute of Architects Illinois Board of Directors and is the first African American woman to hold this position. Initially elected to the board in 2013, she has served in numerous positions at national, state (Illinois), and local (Chicago) levels including her current role as an AIA National Strategic Councilor and previous roles as delegate, secretary, and treasurer/president-elect. Janeen has also been honored by the National Organization of Minority Architects Illinois Chapter as a trailblazing woman architect and serves as an active member and volunteer for the organization.

Janeen has always enjoyed the arts and math and realized at a young age that architecture seemed the perfect marriage of her scientific and creative sides. Over the years, she has made it a priority to balance academia and creative expression. Janeen’s work in the community seeks to encourage diversity and exposure within the design professions as well as performance arts.

Janeen is a native of Durham, North Carolina, and a graduate of Hampton University and Cornell University. She exhibits a longstanding commitment to community service through her active membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, volunteerism with her church, and support of numerous other community-serving organizations. Janeen thoroughly enjoys her blended roles in architecture and interior design in Chicago where she has lived and practiced since 2007.


Chicago, IL


follow me: