AIA Virginia Newsletter: July 2021

Moving Forward Together
From the crisis, we have changed, for better, or worse. We can slide backward, or we can create something new. AIA Virginia is creating something new.

Join Us in Elevating the Voice of the Profession!
At the Special Meeting of the Membership held on June 3rd, the membership voted overwhelmingly to support the governance change to open up service on the four advisory Councils of AIA Virginia to the membership!

Registration Open for Art of Practice: What’s Next
National Large Firm Roundtable Chair and 2020 Kemper Award Winner Carole Wedge, FAIA, will give the keynote address at Art of Practice on Aug. 4. Registration is now open.

Associated Thoughts: Uncomfortable Normalcy
What is “normal”? Who is “normal”? Who gets to decide what characteristics get to define that for you, for me, for us?

Jonathan Moody Announced as Wednesday Keynote at ArchEx
AIA Virginia is pleased to announce that the 2021 Young Architects Award winner and president/CEO of the 2021 AIA Architecture Firm of the Year Jonathan Moody, AIA, will be a keynote speaker at Architecture Exchange East (ArchEx) on Wed., Nov. 3. Read more>>

Let’s Welcome Our New PAC Investors!
We cannot have an influential voice without having relationships with our state legislators. As such, the PAC allows us the opportunity to build these necessary relationships through attending various fundraisers.

Are You Ready to Get Licensed?
Thanks to a generous grant from The Branch Museum of Architecture & Design, AIA Virginia can offer 25 Associate members a 60-day subscription to the Amber Book for only $50.

Inform Magazine Call for Content: The Education Issue
Do you have a case study, research, or best practices to share in the Education Issue of Inform? Submit your content suggestions to the editor.

New Architects
Congratulations to the following members for passing their exams and gaining licensure.

AIA Virginia Arranges for Free Legal Advice for You
AIA Virginia and O’Hagan Meyer Attorneys + Advisors have partnered together to provide up to 30 minutes of legal counseling for AIA Members.

Combined Event Calendar
Inform Magazine compiles all our favorite design-inspired events and educational programming into one place so you can always stay on the cutting edge. Is there an event we should include? Suggest a program by submitting the details online. See upcoming events>>

Meet the Fellows
Which 2021 Fellow is passionate about community-driven design, placemaking, and architecture?

Welcome These New Members
We are always excited to welcome new members to Virginia. The following members recently joined the ranks of AIA Virginia.

The COTE Corner
Looking for a way to really move the needle on green materials? Check out the Materials Pledge.

Continuing Education Programming
Drainage + Drying in the Exterior Wall
July 21 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Unique Brick Architecture
July 22 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Art of Practice: What’s Next
August 4 @ 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm
4.25 AIA LU

Where’s Corey?
Executive Vice President, Corey Clayborne, is back to traveling around the state to visit firms, components, partner organizations, and universities.

VA Licensing Advisor
If you are on the path to licensure and have any questions, Michael Hammon is here to help.

Highlights from the June Board Meeting
Read about the decisions made and items discussed at the last meeting of the AIA Virginia Board of Directors.

Moving Forward Together

Although the pandemic is not over, folks are returning to restaurants, movie theaters, churches, and ballgames as Covid restrictions have loosened.  We are transitioning to something different, still to be defined.  Are we returning to a sense of normalcy that we are used to, the “way things were”, or moving toward something new?  I think too much has changed to return to the way things were.  

Sean Reilly, AIA

If we are moving forward, what are we moving forward towards?   Moving towards something new is unique and personal. Consider the return to the office.  Some of us are ready to return to the office and in-person meetings without any restrictions, others want to return only with certain restrictions, some aren’t ready to return and prefer to continue to work at home, while still others prefer a hybrid model that combines working at home with working at the office.

From the crisis, we have changed, for better, or worse.  We can slide backward, or we can create something new.  AIA Virginia is creating something new with Board Governance changes that will propel our organization forward to a more impactful future. 

  • Through numerous outreach efforts with our local components, it was evident that there was clear support for Phase 1 of the Secretary Advisory Committee’s recommendations for creating a new, more efficient and inclusive Board Governance structure. A special meeting of the membership was held on June 3, 2021 and those recommendations were overwhelmingly approved with a 69-5 vote. 
  • The key component of Phase 1 is the separation of the four Advisory Councils (Advocacy, Education, Outreach and Members Services) from the Board of Directors.
  • Advisory Councils will be populated by members who are passionate about that area of work through a self-nomination process, thus providing new opportunities for leadership.
  • Each Council will consist of up to nine members and select its own Chair.
  • Refer to the Call for Council Nominations article included in this Newsletter for more information. 

It is very exciting to consider the potential impact the four Councils will have in shaping the future of our profession in Virginia.  There are no limits to what we can accomplish through working together in the Councils that will begin work in January.

This period of transition out of the crisis to a better future is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a new beginning.  Individually, each of us can choose to move forward and create something new in our lives and careers. It is a journey that requires our imagination and persistence, one day at a time.

What we need is the opportunity to learn what takes us forward to create a positive impact on our families, friends, firms, and the communities we live in.   Let’s move forward together with the courage to create a better-built environment and a healthier, more just world for all people.

Sean E. Reilly, AIA
AIA Virginia 2021 President

Join Us in Elevating the Voice of the Profession!

At the Special Meeting of the Membership held on June 3rd, the membership voted overwhelmingly to support the governance change to open up service on the four advisory Councils of AIA Virginia to the membership!

This change will integrate diverse voices from all over the Commonwealth to move the organization forward in the areas of Advocacy, Education, Outreach, and Member Services.

Check out the service descriptions of each Council.

If any of these opportunities interest you, please self-nominate yourself by 5:00 p.m. on August 31. There will be nine positions available on each Council.

To make a self-nomination, please submit a letter of interest and resume in one combined pdf to Executive Vice President, Corey Clayborne, FAIA at The Nominating Committee will select nine individuals for each Council to recommend to the AIA Virginia Board of Directors for approval. It does not matter if you have volunteered with the AIA before.

Fresh voices are enthusiastically encouraged to apply!

Let’s Welcome Our New PAC Investors!

We cannot have an influential voice without having relationships with our state legislators. As such, the PAC allows us the opportunity to build these necessary relationships through attending various fundraisers. Since June 15, the following individuals and firms proudly invested in our PAC:

MG2 Corporation
Powe Studio Architects
Krystal Anderson, AIA
John Burns, FAIA
Kathryn Prigmore, FAIA
Stephen Wakeman, AIA

Where’s Corey?

Executive Vice President, Corey Clayborne, has pledged to travel around the state and visit firms, components, partner organizations, and universities.

Here’s his recent travel schedule:

AIA Local, Regional, and National Engagement
Firm Visit
July 6

Safety Assessment Program (SAP) Training
July 9

AIA National Architects in Action Conference
July 14

AIA Virginia Executive Committee Meeting
July 20

AIA National Conference on Architecture (A’21)
July 29

Art of Practice
August 4

Ambassador Engagement
Legislative Reception with Delegate Murphy
July 7

Lead Virginia
Northern Virginia
July 15-17

NCARB Architect Licensing Advisors Summit Speaking Engagement
Miami, FL
August 5-7

At the June Board Meeting


AIA Virginia | 2021 Board of Directors
June 25, 2021
Zoom Virtual Meeting

Motions Made and Approved:

The Board of Directors of AIA Virginia voted as follows:

  • Acceptance of the Proposed Revisions to the 2020 Governance Efficiency Study Recommendations
  • Approval of the Revised Investment Policy
  • Reappointment of Virginia’s Architect Licensing Advisor
  • Appointment to the 2021 Honors Committee to fill an Unexpired Term
  • Approval of Revising the Rules of the Organization to Clarify Submission Requirements of the T. David Fitz-Gibbon Award
  • Approval of Revising the Rules of the Organization to Incorporate the Changes Resulting from the June 3 Special Meeting of the Membership
  • Approval of an End of the Fiscal Year Contribution to the Financial Contingency Fund
  • Approval of the FY2021-2022 Budget
  • Approval of Proposed Accounting Firm for FY 2020-2021 Audit and Tax Filing
  • Acceptance of the Recommendation to hold Architecture Exchange East and Visions Programming on Friday, November 5 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Written reports were provided for the following consent agenda items:

  • PAC Update
  • Advocacy Update: Equity in Procurement Workgroup
  • Art of Practice Update
  • Architecture Exchange East Update
  • Membership Update
  • Amber Book Program Update
  • Virginia NOMA Update                                              
  • Emerging Leaders in Architecture Update                            
  • SAP Training
  • PPP Loan Forgiveness
  • AIA Virginia’s Support of A’21 Candidates                            

Members may request a copy of these written reports by emailing AIA Virginia Executive Vice President, Corey Clayborne, FAIA at

The next meeting of the 2021 AIA Virginia Board of Directors will occur on August 13, 2021.

The COTE Corner

Looking for a way to really move the needle on green materials? Check out the Materials Pledge, an initiative being driven by A&E professionals to support human health, social health + equity, ecosystem health, climate health and a circular economy.  AIA National has set up a great series of resources that explain how materials affect our lives through these lenses. Other resources include the AIA white paper Materials Transparency: Exploring Opportunities and Risks, and the Healthier Materials Protocol, which provides clear, practical methods and tools for setting healthier material goal and criteria definitions, product selection, tracking and specification, no matter the size and scope of the project. There are even helpful case studies. So what are you waiting for?

Associated Thoughts: Uncomfortable Normalcy

Normal. That’s a pretty dangerous word. 

I recently read an excellent and provocative piece by Jonathan Moody, the CEO of Moody Nolan (which is the largest Black-owned architecture firm in the nation and won this year’s AIA Firm Award) in which he articulates a hesitation around the concept of normalcy. He argues for a wariness of the term, suggesting that it bears the “uneasy undertones” towards the status quo and the unquestioned comfort of the one setting the rules of the game. If things are normal, then why should they change? We have always done it this way. This makes the most sense. Just check what we did last time. This seems to be the best fit.

Michael Spory, Assoc. AIA

You have likely heard similar things before, probably even around the office. As a baseline or casual reference point, “normal” is reductive at best and–at the very least–a supremely insufficient metric for decision-making in design. What is “normal”? Who is “normal”? Who gets to decide what characteristics get to define that for you, for me, for us?

Fifteen months ago brought about a global shutdown that lasted longer than most people imagined, bringing grief and change into every corner of the world. In the 12+ months since the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, our nation has regrappled with the pernicious grips of unjust systems, of pain and racism, white supremacy and inaction. Our profession has reckoned with our own layers of complicity, of finding a “new normal,” whatever that is supposed to mean, in everything from office etiquette to paid leave policies to recruiting more Black architecture students. Where we could productively work is no longer a settled topic, and justice and equity were no longer “out there” topics but amplified conversations about the very daily work of an architecture office. Whatever normal was–or was supposed to be–is permanently fractured.

But in that fracture rushed innovation, inspired action, and the momentum that arrives when we look closely at familiar things and realize they are not adequate. This fracturing reframed those “normal” things as the still-broken things, that all the people long considered outside the standard definition of normal actually are indispensable to the rich tapestry of our built environment. I have observed grassroots energy to recenter perspectives outside the architectural mainstream–neurodiversity, experiences with disability, Black contributions to architecture, women-led design, among many–but also have seen leaders support big and small changes in this continued reckoning.

That energy feels good, but the paradox of changing normals is discomfort. Creative teams perform best given diverse perspectives, which often leads to competing vantage points and potential for conflict. Moody points out that normalcy is seductive, a professional balm that keeps our dissension out of sight and out of mind. Changing an office layout is hard enough, let alone an architectural profession stretching back to the days when only white men could vote or own property. Unlearning and unraveling the “normal” systems is uncomfortable, yet holding onto our discomfort is something that designers and our firms are surprisingly familiar within our work–and simultaneously often poor at in our practices.

I moved into a new office space last week. Granted, it is just down the hall, but still required a heap of effort–phone calls with the property manager, logistics for keys, moving boxes, a shocking amount of cords, spilled dirt from the potted plants. Even small things take effort. Tackling the big changes of our time–climate change, systemic racism, universal access, polarization, liberty, and justice for all–will continue to require grassroots folks like you and me to push our conversations away from the “normal” and towards a better world. I am trying to be uncomfortable–will you join me?

In solidarity and action,
Michael Spory, Associate AIA

Meet Kathleen M. Galvin, FAIA

Kathleen M. Galvin, FAIA is a registered architect with her own practice based in Charlottesville, VA (Galvin Architects.) Throughout her professional and political career, Ms. Galvin has demonstrated an unfailing commitment to creating authentic, equitable, and sustainable places where people of all ages and income levels can thrive.

Ms. Galvin was lead architect and urban designer on such notable projects as the Crozet and Places 29 Master Plans in Albemarle County, Old Trail Village in Crozet, a form-based code for the Town of Orange, and the Eastern Planning Initiative. For fifteen years she has shared her expertise and passion for sustainable and equitable neighborhood design with students as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Virginia. Ms. Galvin served two 4-year terms as a Charlottesville City Councilor and one 4-year term as a City School Board member (from 2008-2020) where she focused on: creating pathways out of poverty; working with the community to reimagine their neighborhoods with more jobs, amenities, and affordable housing but without displacement; transforming city infrastructure to be safe for walkers, cyclists, and motorists alike; reforming the city’s zoning laws to reflect the community’s values; making government more responsive and effective, and designing city and school buildings to be more healthy and sustainable.

In 2017, Ms. Galvin received the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Award for Distinguished Achievement and in 2021 she received the National AIA’s highest award for her public service and civic leadership while advancing the profession of architecture, by being elevated to the AIA College of Fellows. Ms. Galvin grew up in hard-scrabble Brockton, MA, the daughter of an auto mechanic and school nurse who both volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army during WWII. As her “first teachers,” her parents emphasized the importance of education and modeled what it looked like to respond to the call to serve. Ms. Galvin received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Economics (with distinction) and Geography from Boston University and a Masters of Architecture (MArch) from the University of Virginia (UVA.) She is a graduate of Sorensen’s Political Leaders Program (an affiliate of the UVA Weldon Cooper Center.) In addition to running her own practice, Ms. Galvin now serves on the Virginia AIA Board, Advocacy Council, and Political Action Committee (PAC) Board of Trustees, the Sorensen Advisory Board, the Form-Based Code Institute’s Advisory Committee, and the Friendship Court Redevelopment Advisory Committee. She and Michael B. Costanzo have been married for over thirty years and are the proud parents of their two sons, Patrick and Kevin, and the grateful caretakers of their beloved family dog, Orion.

Where did you go to college?
Cities always fascinated me, especially Boston so attending Boston University to obtain a BA degree was a perfect choice at the time. A childhood impacted by the economic decline of a once-bustling shoe factory town southeast of Boston however fostered an interest in economics and geography with a focus on affordable housing and urban development. After stints managing assisted housing and being the project manager for an architectural firm doing redevelopment studies for the Boston Housing Authority, I became passionate about community-driven design, placemaking, and architecture. Consequently, I built a portfolio at the Boston Architectural Center and was later admitted to the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture in 1983 under the leadership of renowned urbanist and architect, Jacquelin Robertson (who passed away in 2020.)

What does it take to be an architect?
The challenge for us today is how to keep our cities equitable, sustainable and beautiful, in the face of rising housing costs, climate change, growing income inequality, and a longing to preserve what is gracious and authentic while striving to innovate and create. Richard Swett, FAIA, former US Congressman and author of the book, Leadership by Design once wrote, “Creativity is the art of survival. If one is willing to look at all situations with an open mind, a creative attitude, then the limitations imposed by the problem become the finest incentives to exercise one’s maximum ability and talent.” That wonderful quote sums up why architects are well suited to take on the complex challenges of 21st-century urban life, not as bystanders, but as leaders. Architects are visionaries who both inspire and depend on others to get their projects built, from zoning officials, review boards, clients, and builders, to civil and structural engineers. Architects must be confident yet humble, decisive yet collaborative, all in the right ratios, and make connections with the right people all at the right time to solve gnarly multifaceted problems. These are the same traits that make for an effective elected or appointed political leader or community advocate. It’s probably why I won three out of four political campaigns and successfully served for twelve years in local elected office.

Was there an architect that particularly inspired you?
There was no one architect, but there were memorable urban places shaped by great architecture that inspired me. Despite our family’s precarious economic situation, my mother always found time for enriching experiences that unwittingly made me a lover of both great architecture and cities. Whenever we went to Boston, she would take me to wonderful places like the Italian North End and Copley and Lewisburg Squares (while my dad and brother went to Fenway Park). We’d visit magnificent buildings like H.H. Richardson’s Trinity Church, McKim, Mead and White’s Boston Public Library, Henry Cobb’s (of I.M. Pei & Partners) John Hancock Building, and Willard Sear’s magical Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; designed as a Venetian palazzo, built by Venetian craftsmen and embraced by Frederick Law Olmstead’s “Emerald Necklace.” Little did I know as a child, that someday decades later I would become a UVA student of architecture studying in Venice, surrounded by such beauty every waking moment of my day.

What are you currently reading?
Adam Bede by George Elliot, Why Nation’s Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, and Sick City: Disease, Race, Inequality and Urban Land by Patrick Condon.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
It was a dinner party in 2016 at the Ristorante il Falcone, a restaurant in Charlottesville’s Sister City, Poggio a Caiano, owned and operated by septuagenarian, Chef Roberta Vivetta Cintelli. Chef Roberta had come to Charlottesville that year as part of a restaurant exchange program to mark the 40-year anniversary of the Sister City relationship between Charlottesville and Poggio inspired by the friendship of two famous native sons, Thomas Jefferson and Filippo Mazzei (a celebration I helped plan as a City Councilor.) That same summer, I gave a talk in Rome, about resident-centered community revitalization work, after which I was joined by my husband and sons for a tour of Tuscany. I alerted Mayor Marco Martini of our arrival in Poggio and he arranged for us to visit Guiliano da Sangallo’s renaissance palace for Lorenzo the Magificent. “Il momento culminante” however, was dinner at il Falcone with the Mayor, his city councilors and their spouses, my husband Michael and our sons Patrick and Kevin. The food and wine were spectacular, the company and conversation were brilliant and the friendships forged that evening are still alive and well!

Why do you volunteer with AIA?
It was time to give back to a noble profession that had enriched the life of this working-class girl from Brockton, MA beyond measure, affording her countless opportunities to do well by doing good.