John Rausch is a founding member and preeminent architectural designer of JGMA. He played a crucial and decisive role in the firm’s inception and continues to define and promote its goals of combining socially significant projects with sophisticated, avant-garde design.
John has deep family roots within the City of Chicago. His maternal grandfather, Alexander, was the first of his family, originating from Lithuania, to be born here in what is now the University Village/South Loop neighborhood. Alexander gained a vast knowledge of Chicago throughout his life, working as a taxi driver, a tavern owner, and an oil truck driver, delivering oil to local building sites, most notably, to the former Sears Tower, and John Hancock Tower! It was his grandfather’s love for the city that sparked John’s interest in architecture and urbanity, and his colossal work ethic that galvanized his passion to succeed.
John received his Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), during which time he studied in Barcelona, Spain at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. Additionally, he received his Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies with a minor in Art History from UIC. After graduating, John joined forces with Mr. Juan Moreno, President/Founder of JGMA to establish a design-focused architecture studio at the height of great economic downturn. They took the stance that sincere investigations of ideas are, in fact, intrinsically valuable to an architect’s services. They sought to fill a void in the profession, where architecture was becoming reduced to a simple commodity, and invigorate it with rigorous and steadfast investment in idea’s-based design solutions.
This declaration continues bode well as JGMA has quickly become recognized as one of the most notable design firms in Chicago. In 2014, JGMA was selected by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of the firms “Reshaping Chicago’s Architecture” and was honored by Modern Luxury Magazine as the “Best Architecture Firm” in their best of design issue. Furthermore, John’s dedication to realizing innovative designs continues to prove fruitful as well. The Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) El Centro campus, The United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) Soccer Academy, and the Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy (IHSCA) High School, all projects in which John was intimately involved, have won Design Excellence awards from the Richard H Driehaus Foundation and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago.
Aside from his project design work, John takes an active role in the firm’s community engagement mission. His volunteer efforts include mentorship for Chicago’s at-risk youth through the non-profit organization, Tabula Rasa; providing architectural education to Chicago Tech Academy students at their Architecture Club – after school program; volunteering with Chicago Run, an organization working to enhance health and wellness for Chicago’s youth; and lastly, serving on the Skender Foundation – Builder’s Board, which conducts significant fundraisers for charitable organizations, as well as provides professional and career exposure to young people throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods.