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Joan Craig founded Craig & Company in 2018 as a natural extension of her career in architecture, design, and decoration. With offices in Chicago and New York, Joan’s practice—and life-long inquiry—is sparked by her interest in exploring the intersection of architecture and interiors.
Originally from Moorestown, New Jersey, Joan is a graduate of Wesleyan University, where she completed her studies in art and architectural history with a particular focus on the decorative arts. Working in Paris and then at Sotheby’s further honed her eye for art and antiques. Subsequently, fulfilling an ambition to design and build, she went on to receive her Masters in Architecture from Princeton University.
Joan worked in the architectural offices of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Buttrick, White and Burtis prior to forming her firm Lichten Craig and twenty-year partnership with Kevin Lichten. Initially based in New York, Joan opened the firm’s Chicago office in 2002 and established a presence in both cities that continues to this day. Joan’s portfolio features a range of residential, hospitality, and commercial work that includes an urban club’s aquatic center; the historic restoration of a Chicago landmark; the design of a private New York restaurant; a master plan for the architecture and design for a three-generation family compound in New Hampshire; interiors for a resort in the Dominican Republic; and a new bar and lounge for a private Michigan Avenue club.
Regardless of scale, Joan’s work is guided and informed by her architectural expertise. She loves the process of discussing drawings with her clients especially as ideas beget ideas and a project’s program becomes refined. In conversation about collaboration, Joan talks about research, discovery, and the importance of developing designs and motifs that are tailored to a specific client and place. “Curiosity, exploration and literacy are how we develop memorable buildings and spaces.”
Joan lives in Chicago with her husband, architect Peter Ruggiero, and divides her time between New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. She is passionate about her profession, traveling, and spending time with her three children.
A Michigan native, Christina earned her BA from Kenyon College, then moved to Chicago where she graduated from Harrington Institute of Interior Design in 2000. She gained design experience and insight through her work with Leslie Jones & Associates and Jessica Lagrange Interiors before arriving at Craig and Company in January of 2016.
Christina believes that the most successful designs are the result of cultivated relationships and collaboration. Her ability to engage with her clients on a personal level allows her to create designs that have a lasting and personal impact. Christina’s portfolio of completed interiors includes numerous single-family residences in new and historic buildings, corporate offices, and a variety of significant hospitality projects, including restaurants in New York and Chicago, and a conference center in Santiago. She and her husband reside in Chicago.
Inspired by her architect father, who put a pencil in her hand and encouraged her to draw and see space in three dimensions, Nina Wong recognized her love for architecture and design early. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Columbia University and studied Fashion & Textile Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology before embarking on her professional career.
Nina worked for several Manhattan firms including Tansuya/Ohta Studios Corporation, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Rosenberg Kolb Architects, and Friedman McAlpin Associates prior to moving to Chicago in 1994. In Chicago, Nina was an Associate Partner at Leslie Jones before arriving at Craig & Company. Her thirty years experience in all phases of design, construction, project management, and client relations make Nina a highly skilled collaborator in both residential and commercial projects. Further, Nina’s projects benefit from her expertise in custom furniture, furnishings, and material selections. Happiest with a pencil and a straightedge to this day, Nina generates extraordinary designs by hand and then assembles extraordinary materials palettes for them in Craig & Company’s library.
Amalia Carmona, known as Molly to all, hails from Texas, and joined Craig & Company in 2015 after receiving her bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame with a Concentration in furniture design. Her architectural education at Notre Dame kindled her interest in traditional design and construction while her studies in furniture design and building honed her attention to high levels of detail. At Craig & Company, Molly’s work in design, project development, and construction administration is grounded in her passion for problem solving.
Molly is a licensed architect in the state of Illinois. Outside of architecture, Molly’s interests include ceramics, woodworking, and studying languages.
In her role as Craig & Company’s Business Manager, Catherine brings inordinate care, detail, and precision to the financial structure of every client’s project. Her expertise and perspective come from over twenty-five years’ experience in corporate, hospitality, and residential design management. Beyond working on project-specific finance, Catherine oversees accounting and HR matters, develops new business proposals, and manages FF&E procurement. Clients and vendors value her professionalism and the Craig & Company team can do its best work knowing that Catherine is on top of every detail.
When away from managing the firm, Catherine enjoys relaxing weekends at her family’s Michigan lake house with extended family and friends.
Dave Pickert’s experience designing and managing projects spans over twenty years and ranges from new construction to additions and renovations. His skill and past work—a diverse portfolio of private residences, clubs, museums, and public buildings that vary in size, scope, and budget—allow Dave to meet new challenges and possibilities with expertise and creativity.
Dave received his Master of Architecture from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. As a student, he received the Two Student Awards from the AIA, Chicago Chapter and was part of the first place team in the Merit Hall Dormitory Competition. Dave has served as a project architect at Cohen and Hacker Architects, principal architect at HBRA Architects, and ran his own firm prior to joining Craig & Company. He has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and is licensed to practice architecture in Illinois. His work has been published in Architectural Digest, Traditional Home, Elle Decor, Food & Wine, and the Chicago Tribune Magazine. He has been a finalist of the Chicago Architecture Club’s Burnham Prize.
Dave is a member of the Mies van der Rohe Society and the Illinois Chapter of the Congress for New Urbanism. He also serves on the Board of Directors and chairs the Architecture Committee for the 900-910 Lake Shore Drive Condo Association.
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Lindy pursued her love for the visual arts through her studies of Art History and the Program of Liberal Studies. She joined Craig & Company in 2015 following several years working for a Chicago-based residential architecture firm. Lindy takes great pride and pleasure in the close connections she builds with clients, which have resulted in multiple projects for repeat clients. A graduate of Crain’s Leadership Academy class of 2018, Lindy augments her design skills with an innate strength for project management and strategy
Lindy lives in Lincoln Park with her husband, Michael, and enjoys travel, entertaining and designing (and redesigning) their Lincoln Park home.
Lizzie Ranshaw is a Chicago native from the northern suburbs who can’t remember a time when she wasn’t involved with architecture and design. Lizzie went on to graduate with a B.A. in Markets and Culture from Southern Methodist University in Texas, where she studied business with contributing design courses. In her own work, Lizzie values the dialogue between architecture and interior design and achieves success through thoughtful communication and attention to detail. Day-to-day, she can be found pulling fabric schemes and selecting furniture, lighting, and materials, while also coordinating client orders and installations. When not in the studio, she enjoys traveling and exploring different cultures with family and friends. Looking ahead, she is excited to plan her next trips to South America and Australia.
Nicole Zielinski is a southern transplant from the Carolinas who joined Craig & Company in July 2018. She received her Bachelor of Architecture degree—with a concentration in historic preservation—from the University of Notre Dame and has found her niche in the personalized nature of residential design. Her travels abroad and a year studying in Rome fueled Nicole’s early interest in historic and landmarked buildings, a calling that is reflected in her work today. In all her projects, Nicole enjoys fusing traditional principles with modern design and technologies. She is an active member of Chicago Innovation’s Women’s Mentorship Co-op and in her free time she can be found at her book club or on a soccer pitch.
Tracie Cote joined Craig & Company in 2015 bringing with her over twenty years experience in high-end architecture. Her practice includes residential projects, renovations, additions, vacation homes, and distinctive commercial and upscale retail designs. In her role as project architect, Tracie focuses on integrating contract documents with the required trades to ensure the design intent meets and exceeds client expectations. Tracie particularly enjoys construction administration, corresponding with tradesmen, and detailing development throughout the process. A licensed architect in Illinois, Tracie received her Bachelor of Environmental Design from Miami (Ohio) University, and her Masters of Architecture from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Tracie is originally from Chicago and loves to cook, travel, run, and spend time with family and friends.
Taylor Stein joined Craig & Company in the fall of 2015, bringing a passion for classical design and training received while earning a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame. Inspired by the intricacy of fine residential design, Taylor appreciates the way sophisticated, nuanced design can transform a space, and he enjoys the thorough approach it requires.
In particular, Taylor takes pleasure in developing designs for custom millwork that encompasses both aesthetics and assembly. His close collaborations with craftspeople have contributed to successful projects and are a fulfilling part of the architectural process for him. With his talent for watercolor, Taylor also produces renderings throughout the design process and for prospective client presentations. He has lectured at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago on the history and techniques of watercolor as a medium for architectural rendering. In his free time, Taylor is studying fine woodworking, designing and building furniture for his Gold Coast apartment.