Encouraged to apply to art school by her mother, who was a high school career counselor, Eva L. Maddox graduated from College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning at the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Science in design in 1967 and began her career that same year. In 1975, she struck out on her own and established Eva Maddox Associates Inc., where she excelled as president until 2000 when she joined Perkins & Will, one of the largest architectural firms in the world, as a principal. During her time with Perkins & Will, she excelled in branded environments and brand communication and completed more than 200 discreet designs.
Ms. Maddox has excelled as a woman in a very male dominated field through her fortitude and determination. In 2017, she left Perkins & Will and founded her current consulting firm, Eva Maddox Design Strategies LLC, where she is the principal and sole designer. In this role, she meets with clients to aid them in building environments that match and foster their brands. Having made a name for herself as someone who gives any job she works on the best results possible — which has given her a reputation for getting the biggest and best jobs out there — Ms. Maddox has had such clients as DuPont, the Intrepid Museum, the Haworth Corporation, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the University of Oregon, the University of Missouri, Northwestern University, Bank of America, and more.
Attributing much of her professional growth to getting to watch the development of her field from its inception, Ms. Maddox has also been benefited by seeing how design shapes and plays a role in peoples’ everyday lives. She greatly enjoys teaching and sharing her knowledge with young people who have an interest in design, and, to that end, she and a partner, Stanley Tigerman, established Archeworks, an innovative and multidisciplinary design school, in 1994. Ms. Maddox served as the school’s program director for 15 years, until she left in 2008, a tenure that she cites as the highlight of her career. Archeworks continues to thrive to this day and sees students from all over the world.
Continually motivated by her curiosity and interest in how and why things do or don’t work, Ms. Maddox has contributed her skills to a wide range other schools and organizations in addition to her primary career responsibilities. She has previously served on the board of the Architectural and Design Society at the Art Institute of Chicago, is an emeritus trustee of the University of Cincinnati, and currently holds membership in both the International Women’s Forum, the Economic Club of Chicago, the Chicago Network and Lincoln Road Enterprises. Furthermore, Ms. Maddox co-authored the book, “Fifty Under Fifty: Innovations of the 21st Century,” which collects the 50 top architecture and design firms currently in operation and was released in 2015.
For her accomplishments, Ms. Maddox has been widely recognized by her peers and holds more awards than any other female designer. In 2017, author Romy Wyllie released a book on Ms. Maddox’ career entitled, “Eva Maddox: Innovator, Designer, Educator.” Prior to this, she had been recognized with the Legend Award from Contract magazine in 2011, named a Purpose Prize fellow by Civic Ventures in 2007 and 2008, and presented with an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati in 2006. IIDA honored her with the Pioneer in Design Award in 2005, the International Women’s Forum presented her with a Women Who Make a Difference Award in 2004, and Chicago magazine named her Chicagoan of the Year in 2002. Even earlier in her career, Ms. Maddox was given a Leadership Award of Excellence in 2000 and inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame in 1992.
As Ms. Maddox looks toward the future, she intends to couple her work in design consulting with her own burgeoning artistic endeavors. She has recently begun cultivating her skill in watercolor painting, developing new skills and recalling old skills that had fallen to disuse. In 2021, she exhibited her first show, where she sold 15 paintings, and she now has a second show planned for spring 2022. She has also been talking to several local galleries about the options for more permanent affiliations in the future once she has established herself in the art scene. Presently, Ms. Maddox’ subjects are flowers and garden scenes, which she paints in a style that blends both abstract and realist painting.