Tom Serruto

Associate Principal, Science and Technology, Chicago

Committed to making a career out of protecting the environment, Tom started out in the field as a regional land use planner. He sought to make an impact on the planet and advance ideas in sustainability, and in doing so gained a depth of experience working on conservation reports for DuPage County in Chicago’s western suburbs. He worked closely with farmers, tax assessors, governing bodies, and sustainability experts, and after several years realized he had more of a mind for design than for the legal aspects of environmentalism he was so familiar with.

He decided to pursue architecture professionally, and his interest in science led him toward laboratory design. He was invigorated by being able to see tangible results of his work, and uses his background in sustainability and the sciences to inform his practice.

Tom places great value in “old school” drafting: he firmly believes that sketching out ideas is the best way to achieve strong, collaborative solutions.

Tom loves how every Science and Technology project advances the culture in some way.  One of his most unique career moment was working on the forensic science lab for the Illinois State Police in Chicago. At the time, placing labs on the exterior with windows was not a common practice.  After the design team incorporated windows and natural light into the facility, one of the scientists hugged him and thanked for giving them a “lab we can be proud of.”

"Don’t over-rely on the technology. Taking out a Sharpie and starting to sketch is sometimes the best way to develop an idea.”