Skip to main content


Janet Olson

Janet Olson

Community & Civic Principal, HDR

Janet Olson leads as the Community & Civic Principal in HDR Inc.’s Chicago, Illinois office. Earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in Architecture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Janet held positions with Chicago firms SOM, Gonzalez-Hasbrouck, and GREC before joining HDR. A licensed Architect, Janet is an exemplary designer and project manager in building and interior design and has led projects nationally and internationally. Janet is recognized for her ability to bring sustainability-focused design to the forefront of each project.  Passionate about environments that engage the end user – how one will live, work or play in their space - Janet thoughtfully explores connections between indoor and outdoor, and engages a special sense of community by integrating works from local artists and artisans, rooftop gardens and urban farms in project designs. A strong advocate of biophilic design, resiliency and sustainability principles, Janet's leadership extends across all project phases, from charrettes at project kickoff, to materials selection during project development, and goal achievement through close consultant and contractor coordination. She became a LEED AP early in her career actively mentors projects pursuing LEED certification and AIA 2030 Commitment goals. Janet serves on the Programs Committee of Illinois Green Alliance and is a member of ULI, BuildingGreen Sustainable Design Leaders Peer Network, and Chief, executive women’s leadership network. Janet also serves as President of the Board of Directors for architreasures, a non-profit positively impacting Chicago’s neighborhoods through art and community engagement.