John M. Gay Bio

With over twenty years of experience, JAQ International’s John Gay has delved into a variety of impressive projects ranging from assembly and commercial, to residential and transportation. As the founder and lead innovator behind the JAQ brand, John has created a singular approach to architectural design that has since won praise from the industry and been aggressively sought after by the community.

John earned his Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois, Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan, and completed the Masters at the Technical University of Vienna. Since graduating, John has taught at Archeworks, the University of Illinois, and Columbia College Chicago.

As a creative innovator and manager John’s approach to architecture embraces and encourages diversity by seeking opportunities to create teams for mega projects. As an educator John founded the University of Illinois’ annual Noma’s Symposium. He also employs students of color as interns by taking them out of the classroom during the summer and introducing them to the real world of practice.

By utilizing the sound of jazz to shape the nature of space John has honed a design philosophy at JAQ that is as unique as it is dynamic. The JAQ philosophy morphs physical space based on an immersive analysis of the rhythm, harmony, texture, and timbre of the quintessential African-American art form known as jazz. The process begins by vibing with the clients, discovering their programmatic needs, and working with them to manifest those desires on a harmonic architectural scale. The end result is a structure that boldly fuses the soul of music with the art of design.

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