Supporting the
Next Generation of Architects:
MAF Board Member/Donor
Jeff Hausman


MAF Board Member (and long-time MAF supporter) Jeff Hausman, FAIA’s, interest in becoming an architect was an evolution that long pre-dated his architectural studies at the University of Michigan.

“While growing up in Plymouth, my dad and I would tour houses under construction, and I marveled at how the structures were coming together to create homes,” said Jeff. “I also loved to draw cars, but my dad (who worked in the auto industry) encouraged me to explore careers beyond car design. I decided the next coolest thing would be to draw buildings and become an architect. In high school, I took mechanical drafting and architectural drafting and won some design competitions. I also worked with some architects in Plymouth who inspired me and supported my interest in the profession.”

Jeff, who recently retired as Director of the Detroit and Pittsburgh Offices of SmithGroup, serves as co-chair (along with Tim Casai, FAIA) of the MAF Scholarship Committee. The committee administers the scholarship program, criteria, and award, and selects the MAF scholarship jury (Jeff is also a member of the jury). In 2023, MAF awarded $33,500 in scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in architecture programs at Michigan colleges and universities.

He adds, “Architecture has been an excellent career for me, but the process of becoming an architect is a long path. Through my involvement in the MAF Scholarship Committee, I can encourage the next generation of design professionals. I am very passionate about MAF’s scholarship program, and I am eager to raise more money for it and to help promising, talented architecture students feel they are being invested in.”

Since 2007, Jeff has also been a member of MAF’s Auction Committee, which raises money for architecture student scholarships, as well as MAF’s K-12 educational programs.  In addition to his committee and Scholarship Committee involvement, Jeff is helping to develop new MAF architecture-based educational programming for high school students, to get students interested in architecture and exposed to architectural careers pre-college. (He was involved with a similar program while at SmithGroup).

As an MAF board member, Jeff wants to help create more awareness of all MAF programs, including the scholarship and educational programs, grants for historic preservation, and programs that increase awareness and appreciation of Michigan architecture. “MAF has an incredible opportunity to help people understand how great design makes a positive difference and impact in our lives and communities,” he said.

He cites MAF’s ‘Architecture Road Trip’ article series as a prime example of MAF’s successful efforts to connect people with architecture. “The road trips point out architecture along popular routes and destinations throughout Michigan,” he said. “The idea is that as people start to become more aware of architecture and its place in our state’s economy, culture, and history, they not only learn more about architecture, but perhaps the architecture itself becomes the destination.  Several AIA Michigan chapters (including Flint and Ann Arbor) developed community-specific guides to architecture, which are another powerful tool to help encourage people to learn about and explore architecture.”

MAF’s mission is to advance awareness of how architecture enriches life. How does Jeff think architecture enriches life? “Architecture is so integral to the fabric of our communities, beyond just existing as buildings. One example is the McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metro Airport. Not only is it highly functional and aesthetically pleasing, but people now choose to travel to Detroit because of the terminal and say they have decided to explore the region because of how welcome they feel. Twenty years after its completion, it is still considered one of the best airport terminals in the country and the world. It changed the face and economics of the metro Detroit region.”

Jeff adds, “Also, look at the impact Dan Gilbert (co-founder/chairman of Rocket Mortgage, formerly Quicken Loans) has had on Detroit’s revitalization, through the many historic buildings he purchased and renovated. He started a revolution of other companies investing in the city and rehabbing other long-neglected Detroit buildings, like Ford’s currently-in-progress renovation of Detroit’s Central Station. These restored buildings not only now have useful life including hotels, office, residential, and retail space, but have again become a vital part of the city’s fabric and future.”

“These are just a few examples of the power of architecture.”

Photos: When Jeff is not working on MAF items,  two of his favorite hobbies are traveling and cheering for his alma mater, the University of Michigan, and he loves to do both with his family.  They recently visited North Dakota, completing their goal of visiting all 50 states. While there, they joined the Best-for-Last club.