Registration Open for ArchEx 2019

I don’t know about you, but the anticipation has been killing us. Registration is now (finally!) open for Architecture Exchange East 2019 — one of the largest and most exciting annual gatherings of architects and design professionals in the mid-Atlantic.

ArchEx 2019 features dozens of educational sessions, spectacular behind-the-scenes architectural tours, engaging special events, and more than 60 vendors in the ArchEx Exhibit Hall — all organized around our theme of re:culture. Check out the complete agenda. (View as a PDF)

This year, during the Early Bird registration period, we’ve frozen registration fees. Register today to secure your tickets at last year’s best price – but don’t delay. Discount registration ends Oct. 9. Check out all the registration options and fees.

Keynote Speakers

Our general session features three keynote speakers. We kick off with an opening talk by Dwayne Oyler from Oyler Wu Collaborative. The firm has been published globally and widely recognized for its excellence in architectural design, research, and fabrication. Learn about the firm’s approach to fostering creativity and collaboration, and then hear about their experimentation around fabrication and 3D printing — including their LACE line of products.

Then, hear from Pascale Sablan, AIA. She’s a Senior Associate at S9ARCHITECTURE as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Beyond the Built Environment. Pascale is the 315th living African American woman in the United States to attain her architectural license. She was recently appointed to AIA New York’s Board of Directors and to the AIA National Strategic Planning Committee. Pascale was named one of 25 Young Architects to Watch in 2019 by Architizer and recognized with the 2018 AIA Young Architects Award. She is an architect, mentor, intrapreneur and a passionate advocate for bringing visibility and voice to the issues concerning minority designers. 

The general session wraps up with an address by Patricia Gruits, Senior Principal and Managing Director of MASS Design Group. Gruits leads both design and research projects in health, education, and equity. Since joining MASS in 2013, she has led the design of the Maternity Waiting Village in Malawi with the Malawi Ministry of Health, a series of primary schools in East Africa with the African Wildlife Foundation and the M2 Foundation, and is currently leading the development of an assessment tool to measure the impact of design and infrastructure investments.

Prior to joining MASS, Patricia worked with Kennedy & Violich Architecture in Boston and co-founded the global non-profit, Portable Light, which provides a portable and sustainable source of power and light to those in resource limited areas of the world. Her work has been featured in journals of architecture and design as well as on the BBC World News and the Discovery Channel.

About the Program

This year, we’ve organized our carefully-curated program into learning zones. You can pick and choose sessions from any of the zones or do a deep dive into a particular theme.  Check out descriptions of learning zones below or see the seminar titles in a grid.

The Inspiration Zone: In this zone, you’ll attend design-focused sessions that are intended to recharge your creative batteries.

The Future Zone: In this zone, you’ll discover emerging technologies, methods, and research and find out what’s on the horizon for the profession.

The HSW Zone: In this zone, you’ll focus on health, safety, and welfare – and earn up to 15 HSW learning units.

The Practice Zone: In this zone, you’ll discuss practice management methods and explore the topic of firm culture.

The History/Community Zone: In this zone, you’ll hear case studies, discuss preservation, and deliberate the power of building community.

The Public Work/Good Zone: In this zone, you’ll discuss the opportunities (and challenges) of engaging in public work as well as the benefits of working for the public good.

The Crowd Sourced Zone: In this zone, you suggested the sessions, we invited the speakers.

About Architecture Exchange East

ArchEx is AIA Virginia’s annual conference and expo. This year, it takes place at the Greater Richmond Convention Center from Nov. 6–8, 2019. The program is curated to bring together the brightest minds and most engaging speakers to explore the theme of culture.

ArchEx 2019: HSW Zone

This year, we’ve organized our carefully-curated program for Architecture Exchange East into learning zones. You can pick and choose sessions from any of the zones or do a deep dive into a particular theme.

Join us in our HSW Zone to focus your ArchEx experience on Health, Safety and Welfare programming. If you attend all three days, you can earn up to 15 HSW credits.

View the complete agenda or register online today.

Some sessions in other Learning Zones offer also offer HSW credit. All ArchEx seminars offer 1 AIA/CES learning unit unless otherwise noted in the agenda.

Health Safety and Welfare Learning Zone


01: 2015 Virginia Existing Building Code Overview

02: ADA Really Stands for Accessibility Done Awry

03: Crime Prevention through Environmental Design Workshop


102: Acoustics in Architecture

202: Designing with Architectural Insulated Metal Panels

302: Designing a Safe and Compliant Automated Vehicular Gate System


412: Wood is Structural and Beautiful but Can it be Healthy?

502: Noise and Vibration Control in Contemporary Fitness Centers

602: Next Generation Classroom Evolution

702: Prefabricated Ornamental Railing Systems

802: Fire Safety in the Built Environment

902: Creating Healthy Environments with Advanced Paint Technology

ArchEx 2019: Future Zone

This year, we’ve organized our carefully-curated program for Architecture Exchange East into learning zones. You can pick and choose sessions from any of the zones or do a deep dive into a particular theme.

Join us in our Future Zone to find out what’s on the horizon for the profession. Discover the latest research, emerging technologies, and trends.

View the complete agenda or register online today. The Early Bird discount ends on Sept. 18.


101: Floating Communities: Cultural Shift to Living ON the Water
Floating communities are environmentally sound, socially focused, and a wellness living environment second to none.  Michael Winstanley AIA AICP and Leejung Hong LEED AP will present their vision and plans for a series of floating communities ranging from a small community of 25 homes in an existing urban marina in downtown Washington, DC to a large 84 home new community in Woodbridge.  The proposed plans document a net-zero development of homes ranging from 1,500 gsf to 3,000 gsf each constructed on a concrete “float” foundation in a remote location and brought in by barge an assembled to create a vibrant and integrated community.  Power, water, and sewage are all part of the discussion as well as common facility and shore-based support functions.

201: Moon Base: Designing a Lunar Village
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has released the conceptual design for the first full-time human habitat on the lunar surface, called “Moon Village.” Learn about the proposed concept and hear how the team had to consider entirely new challenges, such radiation protection, pressure differentials, and how to provide breathable air.

301: Virtual Reality and the University of Virginia Hospital Expansion
The University Hospital Expansion project (UHE) is a 14-story, 440,000 square-foot patient-tower currently under construction at the University of Virginia. Seeing the value of the use of Virtual Reality during project design, the on-site team decided to set the challenge of finding a way to use VR during construction administration. Through this presentation, the design team will share their journey over the last 5 years of software exploration and the ever evolving use of technology during construction.


411: Technologies for Inclusion
Computational design and digital fabrication technologies—including robotics—have afforded new potential for all design disciplines. Global architecture and design discourse continue to profess the potential of ‘emerging’ design technologies and fabrication methods as the drivers of the future of creating buildings. Computational design, collaboration, project management, and fabrication technologies have enabled projects to happen faster while utilizing global supply chains, global labor and universal methods, often without respect for impact—both positive and negative, in the short and long term, on local communities, economies, environments, and culture. In opposition are amazing stories emerging from the discourse surrounding the Architect as an inclusive creator. Often as one-offs or special projects outside of the normal practice, these altruistic endeavors rarely result in sustained solutions with systemic impact. In this dichotomy, we have people that make buildings at a pace to meet global demand and in opposition we have people that make buildings that meet local and regional human needs, through processes that empower—a healthy framework for discourse but the practical reality is that development is outpacing altruism at an alarming pace.

To meet global demand while also empowering local communities we must find ways to leverage the same design technologies that are allowing the global construction industry to thrive, to enable collaboration, engagement across stakeholders, find new ways of working, and to reinvent the value proposition of design. Through a series of examples from the Center for Design Research at Virginia Tech, this talk will explore ways in which design and construction technologies help us do more, better and faster, while enhancing the human experience by enabling inclusive processes.

501: Goldilocks and the Power of Ten
Scientists are providing greater and greater access to the design of materials at super-small scales. This talk will provide case studies that explore how designers can make, size, and apply these new materials to orchestrate the flow of energy through buildings in novel and efficient ways.

601: Emerging Leaders in Architecture Session
Celebrate the achievements of the 2019 Emerging Leaders in Architecture and hear about this year’s class project. Dramatic changes in technology and workplace behavior has contributed to an excess of vacant office space, with Northern Virginia approaching a 20% vacancy rate. This year, the Emerging Leaders in Architecture class identifies strategies and creative interventions that revitalize these structures to provide space and amenities that contribute to their local communities.

701: [yaf]CON
[yaf]CON aims to unite and connect members of YAF chapters in Virginia through a mindfully curated micro-conference intended to forge connections and advance the careers of attendees.

ArchEx 2019: Inspiration Zone

This year, we’ve organized our carefully-curated program for Architecture Exchange East into learning zones. You can pick and choose sessions from any of the zones or do a deep dive into a particular theme.

The Inspiration Learning Zone at ArchEx 2019 offers 9 sessions to help you find inspiration in new work and creative approaches. Check them out below or review the full agenda. Registration for ArchEx is now open.


100: Introduction to Cultural Landscapes
Cultural landscapes are places that have acquired significance through interactions between people and the land; they may surround one or more historic buildings or be significant sites in their own right. Interest in Cultural Landscape Reports (CLRs), the landscape counterparts of Historic Structure Reports (HSRs), is on the rise among stewards of historic places who seek a deeper understanding of their site. Get an introduction to the key issues in the analysis of cultural landscapes.

200: Transforming Office Culture: Parkitectural Expression
Where do you spend most of your “awake hours?” For most of us it is at the office … so why not make it a “LIVING OFFICE” that supports the way you live, work, collaborate and play! The City of Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation Department had been deprived of a new administrative facility for decades and entrusted the presenters to bring them a fresh new definition of the workplace for their staff.

300: Creating a Culture of Integrative Design
A firm’s commitment to the 2030 Challenge helped transform a design culture to embrace high-performance design using an integrative design process. Recognizing that clients do not always want an official sustainability certification, the presenters worked to embed an integrative design process into the culture utilizing a network of sustainable design leaders, early and more energy modeling, and a more metric-driven design process. They’ll review the strategies that helped transform the culture to help enhance the firm’s design process to meet projects’ energy, water, habitat, and material sustainability goals.


410: Architectural Ethnography as a Learning Tool in Study Abroad
How could study abroad programs for architects teach cultural empathy? Drawing from on-site observation of buildings raises questions that help us understand cultural forces that shapes architecture. For example, why do wood lattices conceal Kyoto’s machiya storefronts instead of revealing the interior with an expansive window? Such question may uncover why contemporary Japanese architecture take on forms different from the western counterparts. The presenter demonstrates how architectural ethnography in study abroad programs can deepen cultural understanding.

500: How Drawings Work: A User Friendly Theory
Pulling from a diverse and eclectic landscape of theories from grammar, functional linguistics, philosophy, art criticism, science fiction, popular culture, and, of course, architecture, Susan Piedmont-Palladino proposes a new way to think about architectural communication and how drawings really work.

600: The Work of Joeb Moore & Partners
Joeb Moore & Partners is an architecture and design firm known for its intellect in design, craftsmanship, inventive formal and spatial systems, and details. The practice specializes in precise and creative buildings, landscapes, and furnishings that sensitively respond to their environment and ecologies of place. Hear from principal Joeb Moore, FAIA about the firm’s approach to residential design.

700: The Work of Ann Beha Architects
Hear about the work of Ann Beha Architects. The firm seeks a dynamic discourse between heritage and the future. With an equal emphasis on contemporary architectural expression and the revitalization of historic resources, their projects shape and strengthen community life, establish new directions, identities, and vibrant settings for education, the arts, and the civic realm.

800: AIA Virginia’s Design Awards Session
See the winning projects from AIA Virginia’s Design Awards program. Discuss the jury’s comments and hear insights from the jury chair.

900: Pecha Kucha: The Best Darn Thing I’ve Ever Done
Four presenters will have 6 minutes and 40 seconds to tell us about the best d@mn thing they’ve ever done as a designer. We’ve built some time in for discussion at the end. Join us for this dynamic session to wrap up your ArchEx experience.

About Architecture Exchange East
ArchEx is AIA Virginia’s annual conference and expo. This year, it takes place at the Greater Richmond Convention Center from Nov. 6–8, 2019. The program is curated to bring together the brightest minds and most engaging speakers to explore the theme of culture.

Register online.

Call for Entries: SAY IT LOUD VIRGINIA

AIA Virginia is also pleased to collaborate with Pascale Sablan to bring SAY IT LOUD VIRGINIA to Architecture Exchange East 2019. The exhibition features projects by the diverse design professionals that contribute to Virginia’s rich built environment. ​

​ The SAY IT LOUD series of exhibitions has been featured at A’18, South by SouthwestNOMA 2018 Unbounded, and the United Nations Visitors Center. The UN exhibition has been translated and displayed in Bujumbura, Geneva, Harare, Lagos, Lome, Nairobi, New Delhi, Minsk and Yaounde.

To date, SAY IT LOUD exhibitions have been viewed by an estimated total 27,000 visitors since January 2017. From inception, multiple online publications (such as Curbed and The Architects Newspaper) with large subscription bases have helped promote the exhibitions further expanding its impact.

Entry Fees:
Early Bird Submission:  Aug. 25, 2019 ($100)
Standard Submission: Sept. 29, 2019 ($150)

Entry Deadline: Sept. 29, 2019 11:59 (EST) 

Learn More.

ArchEx Suggest-A-Session

Each November, at Architecture Exchange East, a community of nearly 1,000 professionals comes together to be inspired, make connections, and learn about the latest innovations in the industry. We believe community-driven content is the cornerstone of a great conference — which is why we want you to have a voice in the programming at ArchEx.

You don’t need to be a speaker or do a lot of heavy lifting to help shape ArchEx. Simply let us know what you want to discover.

Is there a topic you’ve been wanting to explore or experts you want to hear from? Maybe you have a panel discussion idea that has been percolating in your head for a while. Or a project you’ve always want to tour. Or a workshop concept that just needs to become a reality.

The idea can be rough around the edges, but we’re looking for something a bit more refined than “sessions for emerging professionals” or “historic preservation.” (Don’t get us wrong. We’ll definitely be curating content on those topics.)

Suggest a session and we’ll help make your vision come alive. Plus, if your idea is selected, you’ll receive a discount code for 25% off your registration. Remember: Our theme this year is re: culture. Submit your ideas before May 31, 2019.

ArchEx 2019: Call for Proposals

re:culture  — regarding culture

Architecture Exchange East is bringing together the brightest minds and most engaging speakers to explore the theme of culture.  And, we think you should have a seat at the table (or lectern, as the case may be). We’re seeking polished presenters as well as fresh voices to share their research and expertise at ArchEx in Richmond on Nov. 6–8, 2019.

We’ll engage in dynamic conversations around office culture. We’ll dig into redefining studio culture. We might even get a little lofty and examine architecture’s role in expressing humanity’s highest ideals.

If you’re an expert in (re)designing firm culture — submit a proposal.

If you’re a champion of participatory design — submit a proposal.

If you design cultural institutions — submit a proposal.   

If you’ve conducted research into the socio-cultural impact of architecture — submit a proposal.

If you can speak to Japanese influence on custom residential design in the U.S. — submit a proposal.

You get the idea.

We really value sessions that encourage conversation, connections, and collaborative learning. Think workshops, roundtables, and interactive panels. Most of our session slots will be 60 minutes, but we’ll have a few longer time slots for more in-depth explorations. All confirmed speakers will receive a 50% discount on conference registration.

Help us design the best ArchEx experience yet — submit a proposal.    Deadline is May 15. The proposal form is below.

Want to Help Curate ArchEx 2019?

Help curate the very best programming, tours, and courses for Architecture Exchange East 2019.

AIA Virginia is looking for a diverse group of members from a range of professional backgrounds to help shape the educational content for Architecture Exchange East (ArchEx).

Members of the Program Advisory Group help identify potential speakers, provide suggestions for content, and evaluate speaker proposals.

Volunteers can expect to:

  • Brainstorm potential speakers, topics, and tours for ArchEx (about 30 minutes)
  • Participate in an organizational meeting (by conference call or online) and share suggestions (about 1 hour)
  • Evaluate a selection of proposed seminars and provide feedback (about 1-2 hours)
  • Enjoy discounted admission to ArchEx

If you’re interested in helping to create a cutting-edge educational program by joining the Program Advisory Group, simply email Rhea George at by March 1.

Looking Back at ArchEx 2018

As we look back at ArchEx in the rear view mirror, here are a few highlights from the 3-day program where the profession came together to be inspired, learn and make connections.

Blueprint for Better: Housing

Housing plays such an incredibly important role in our lives, economies, and communities, making it a potential catalyst in the complex fight against systemic inequality.

Inspired by the Eviction Lab project out of Princeton University, whose research into eviction rates across the nation was released earlier this year, ArchEx is convening a panel of experts to discuss how housing projects, and the design processes behind them, can be interventions towards greater social and health equity.

Register now>>

Five of the top 10 evicting cities were located in Virginia – with #2 serving as our conference host city.

In the spirit of the American Institute of Architect’s national initiative entitled “Blueprint for Better Communities,” we’ll explore how architects, designers, and business leaders can empower their communities and work with elected officials and civic leaders to help begin solving the important issue of equitable, safe, affordable housing.

Spots are filling fast, so be sure to register for seminars, tours and events before they sell out!

Panel Members:

The Honorable Jennifer McClellan — Senator, Virginia General Assembly
Senator Jennifer McClellan was elected to the Senate of Virginia in January 2017. She serves on the Agriculture, Conservation & Natural Resources, Local Government, and Transportation Committees. Jennifer chairs the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission, and serves on the Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission and the Task Force on the Preservation of the History of Former Enslaved African Americans. She co-chairs the Capital Region Caucus, serves as Vice Chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, and is a member of the Rural Caucus, Women’s Health Care Caucus, and Fire and EMS Caucus. She also serves on the Southern Regional Education Board Legislative Advisory Council. In 2017, she was selected to be a Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellow. Since 2008, she has served as a guest columnist for the Richmond Times Dispatch during the General Assembly Session.

Prior to her election to the Senate, Jennifer was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates for 11 years, serving on the House Education, Commerce and Labor, and Courts of Justice Committees, the Virginia Crime Commission (Executive Committee) and the Virginia Conflicts of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council.

Housing has been a key issue for the senator.

Roy Decker — Principal, Duvall Decker
Roy Decker once taught architecture alongside Samuel Mockbee at Mississippi State. Roy and his wife, Ann Marie Decker, own a diverse practice in Jackson, Mississippi and are practicing nationwide. Since the founding of Duvall Decker nearly 20 years ago, Roy and Ann Marie Decker have focused mostly on neglected corners in and around Jackson, Mississippi’s capital. To pay the bills, the two have redefined for themselves the ambit of a small architectural practice. They have become developers and even branched into building maintenance.

In 2017, Duvall Decker Architects won the New York Architecture League’s Emerging Voices competition, which recognizes North American designers with distinct voices and significant bodies of realized work.

Bernard Rogers ― VP Real Estate Development, Better Housing Coalition
Bernard Rogers leads Better Housing Coalition’s multi-family, single family and general contracting efforts. Prior to joining BHC, Bernard was a project manager with Brailsford & Dunlavey, a Washington, DC facility planning consulting firm, and specialized in facility programming, market analysis and financial feasibility. During his tenure with B&D, he worked with university, municipal, and private sector clients, nationwide, to develop student housing, recreation facilities, and professional/amateur sports facilities.

Bernard served the Town of Siler City, NC, for six years as its Director of Planning and Community Development, during a time of unprecedented housing and commercial growth. He is a graduate of VCU’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning Program, and earned his B.S. in Public Administration and Political Science from James Madison University.

Christine E. (Christie) Marra, Esq. — Director ACES, Virginia Poverty Law Center

Christie Marra, Esq., is a family and housing law attorney with the Virginia Poverty Law Center and a member of the steering committee of the Campaign to Reduce Evictions. Marra began her legal career working with a legal aid program in the coalfields of southwest Virginia. She was hired by the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society in Richmond, where she worked for thirteen years as a family and housing law attorney for the urban poor in the Richmond area. In 2004 she joined the Virginia Poverty Law Center, which provides legal aid training and public policy advocacy.

Marra graduated from the University of Virginia in 1988 and earned her law degree from the University of Richmond in 1991.


Kathryn Howell, Ph.D. — Assistant Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University

Kathryn Howell, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Urban and Regional Studies and Planning program of the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University, is an expert on affordable housing, community development and gentrification.

Dr. Howell investigates ways to interrupt ongoing patterns of migration, displacement and segregation in cities. Her work focuses on affordable housing and public spaces to explore redevelopment, displacement and governance. She has specifically looked at the preservation of affordable housing in Washington, D.C., examining the intersection between policies, governance and the built environment. She was previously a practitioner in local government developing housing and community development policy in Washington, DC and Maryland agencies.