.2021 AIA Illinois Gold Medal Recipient Robert I. Selby, FAIA, passed away on
Christmas Day, 2021 at the age of 78. He is survived by his wife of 56 years,
Barbara K. Selby, their son Michael (Melissa) of Atlanta GA and his older (by 6
minutes) twin brother Rev. Dr. Richard W. Selby (Beverly) of Farmers Branch,
Bob earned a Bachelor of Architecture in 1967 and a Masters of Architecture in
1985 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was a licensed
Architect in Illinois since 1970. He interned with Harry Weese, FAIA, in Chicago IL
and practiced for many years as a principal in The Hawkweed Group, Ltd. He co-
authored and illustrated The Hawkweed Passive Solar House Book in 1980.
Bob taught in the design division of the School of Architecture at the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1984 to 2009, when he retired as Associate
Director for Graduate Studies and Associate Professor Emeritus. He served as
Chair of the Design Division from 1988 to 1993. Bob’s pro-bono service-learning
studios included work in such Illinois cities as Springfield, East St. Louis, Quincy,
Rantoul (Chanute AFB) and Highland Park (Ft. Sheridan). It is this body of work
that earned him elevation to AIA Fellowship in 2004. His work has been published
in Progressive Architecture, Inland Architect and elsewhere.
Bob joined the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1970. He was the 2021
AIA Illinois Gold Medal Recipient, the highest honor for outstanding lifetime
service by an AIA member. He served in important leadership positions in the AIA
at the Section, Chapter and State levels in Illinois as well as the National level. He
was President of the AIA Champaign-Urbana section in 1987, AIA Central Illinois in
1990, and President of AIA Illinois in 2002. He served as Illinois Region Director
on the AIA National Board from 2002-2005. He was elevated to the AIA College of
Fellows in 2004 as an educator. He also served as a Regional Representative of
the AIA College of Fellows from 2007-2010 and was editor-in-chief of Fellowscope,
the electronic newsletter of the College of Fellows from 2010-2015.
Bob and Barb loved to travel, visiting all 7 continents, all 50 states and 54
Bob’s love and knowledge of jazz spanned most of his life. Bob was part of the CU
jazz world for decades and enjoyed jazz happy hour at the Iron Post. He played
trumpet and flugelhorn for a dozen years with the Parkland Big Band. He recently
played with the BVD Band at nursing homes until Covid hit. Bob first began on
the WEFT airwaves in 2013 doing a jazz show until 2021. He was a long time
WEFT listener and supporter. His love of jazz was infectious.
A jazzy celebration of Bob’s life is planned for later in the year. In lieu of other
expressions of sympathy, the family prefers donations to WEFT either on its
website www.weft.org or by mailing a check to PO Box 1223, Champaign IL 61824
or to the charity of one’s choice. Memories and condolences may be shared with
the family at www.renner-wikoffchapel.com.