Carol Ross Barney, Founder and Design Principal, Ross Barney Architects, will be speaking at NeoCon on creating livable environments that enrich the metropolitan experience. We chatted with Carol about her past NeoCon experiences, and her favorite things to do in Chicago.

Do you remember your first NeoCon experience?

I do. I was a very young architect working for Holabird and Root. I remember the anticipation in the office for the lectures and the parties.

Do you have memories or anecdotes to share about NeoCons past?

The Architects Licensing Exam used to be offered just once a year in June and was administered over four solid 8-12 hour days. When I took the exam, I was definitely not ready for it and emerged totally shell-shocked. The good news was that NeoCon started the night the exam finished offering me a perfect way to forget my pain.

Chicago River Walk
Chicago River Walk, Courtesy of Kate Joyce Studios
What inspires you when you’re in Chicago?

The landscape inspires me. I knows that sounds crazy but I am always impressed when I see Chicago’s tall buildings growing out of the flat expansive lake and prairie…the hand of man and the hand of nature.

What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago?

Selecting one thing is hard…currently near the top of my list: going to storefront theater and playing golf.

Carol leading a tour of Cermak Station

Carol leading a tour of Cermak Station, Courtesy of Ross Barney Architects