David Chilinski FAIA

As President and Co-Founder, David has been guiding the firm for over 35 years with an infectious entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering commitment to creating vibrant, sustainable community places — from commercial and retail developments to housing and academic facilities.

David is a leading force in PCA’s vision of designing “places” that enlighten and enrich people’s lives. A passionate advocate of the “24-hour city,” David has spearheaded many urban planning and design projects with complex approvals processes and high levels of community involvement. David holds a National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Certificate with registration in 17 states.

  • I’m from  originally Syracuse, NY, but I've been in Cambridge over 40 years.

  • My education  B.Arch, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

  • Notable accomplishments/awards  AIA Fellow, AIA’s highest membership honor for exceptional work and contributions to architecture and society; Guest lecturer at MIT, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design, Roger Williams College, BU’s School of Management and the Boston Architectural College

  • Community service  Member: Harvard Square Business Association Council Board; Agassiz Neighborhood Council Board; Mass College of Art Corporate Advisory Group; United Way Real Estate Committee

  • Why PCA?  Why not! Had to start somewhere.

  • My earliest design memory is  my drafting instructor junior year of high school telling me, "you should be an architect." I didn't really know what architects did at the time.

  • I’m drawn to design because  you can create a place or environment that enhances people's lives and their families. You create places that will be here long after we're gone — it's a legacy of respect and quality of life.

  • My favorite aspect of working with clients is  listening to them tell me what they want, then giving them instead what they need and watching their delight at what we produce for them.

  • I love Cambridge because  it's a funky, diverse urban environment, linking schools, neighborhoods and an amazingly rich history and tradition. It's also got a fabulous riverfront and public realm.

  • The most inspiring part of my job is  inspiring others in the firm to do their best work — sharing my confidence in them helps to unleash their creativity.

  • SketchUp or Revit?  Hand-drawing should be a choice!

  • Quote that guides me right now  "The word crisis in Chinese is made up of two characters, one that means DANGER and the other OPPORTUNITY." ~ John F. Kennedy

  • If I were a Pantone swatch, my color would be  485C — close to Fire Engine Red.

  • I’m my best self when  I'm fooling around with people, making them laugh and feel welcome and collaborative.

  • One thing most people don’t know about me  I had a long and successful rugby career.

  • The best piece of advice I've ever been given  Greatness is for history to judge; our job is to stake out strong positions on the most difficult issues of our time.

  • A volunteering cause I support  Walk for Hunger. I am in the top 10 all-time in fundraisers.