Awards for Distinguished Achievement Announced for 2019

Michael Ermann, AIA, David Keith, AIA, and Kevin Sneed, FAIA, will be recognized with the Award for Distinguished Achievement at the Visions for Architecture gala on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at the Hilton Downtown Richmond. The Award for Distinguished Achievement signals especially noteworthy achievement by an architect in any one of the following categories: design, practice, education, service as “citizen architect,” and service to the profession. This award may serve as an accolade for the work of an entire career or recognize the current accomplishments of a younger leader.

“I am pleased to have been a colleague of his, and continue to be impressed with his selfless approach to the education of professionals, young and old.”

Jack Davis, FAIA
Michael Ermann, AIA

Since 2001, Michael Ermann, AIA, has made significant contributions to the profession as an educator and researcher. During his time as a professor at Virginia Tech, he has taught design studio, building systems, architectural acoustics, materials and methods, architectural structures, and even a walking tour class for non-majors titled “Design at Every Scale.” For this work, he has been recognized with numerous teaching awards, including the university-wide Virginia Tech Teacher of the Week award and the Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design Lecture or Seminar Teaching Excellence Award, twice. He has received perfect student evaluations in six different courses.

In addition to his more than 18 years teaching at Virginia Tech, he launched an ARE prep program that has benefited thousands of practitioners around the country. His Amber Book and video series, have transformed the understanding of critical information on life safety, site design, construction, structures and mechanical and electrical systems aiding countless professionals along the path to licensure. He has also conducted vital architectural acoustics research which was published in Architectural Acoustics Illustrated (Wiley, 2015), and recognized with the AIA Virginia Prize for Design Research and Scholarship.

He has further been recognized as an accomplished designer, winning several design awards from AIA Blue Ridge.

“David has a visceral enthusiasm for every step of the design process. People want to work with him, work for him … Throughout his career, he has raised the bar for what qualifies as ‘good design’ all across Virginia.”

–Eric Keplinger, AIA
David Keith, AIA

David Keith, AIA, is a design principal and the Chief Executive Officer of Hanbury. Throughout his 30 year career, he has left a tangible impact on some of Virginia’s most well-known architecture firms as well as cities and institutions across the state. Recognized for his unwavering commitment to design excellence, he has worked on more than 250 projects, amassing an impressive number of Design Awards.

In addition to his service as Vice President on AIA Virginia’s Board of Directors and the Editorial Advisory Board for Inform Magazine, he has also served on the Hampton Roads Design Build Institute of America and the Virginia Beach Planning and Design Review boards.

A leader who is deeply committed to education and mentorship, he has delivered dozens of lectures and talks and has contributed numerous articles to nationally-recognized publications. Deeply engaged in Hanbury’s Summer Scholars program, he has helped to identify research areas that frequently reveal opportunities in communities that could profoundly impact their shape, vibrancy and economy.

Kevin G. Sneed, FAIA, is an architect passionate about the profession who, early in his career, engaged in
groundbreaking activities that have become mainstream initiatives for guiding the future of the profession.

John Burns, FAIA
Kevin Sneed, FAIA

OTJ’s Kevin Sneed, FAIA, has approached his career with a clear dedication to public and professional service.

Since joining the AIA in 1987, right out of school, he has been an enthusiastic advocate and engaged participant. In addition to serving as secretary, treasurer, and president, he also co-founded AIA Northern Virginia’s Young Architects Committee, setting a precedent for organizing activities to nurture emerging architects that now thrives in components throughout the Commonwealth — and across the country. He later served on AIA Virginia’s board and at the national level on the Young Architects Forum, Diversity Committee, Brand Advisory Committee, and the Interior Architecture Knowledge Community. In 2004, he was recognized with the National AIA Young Architect Award for his substantial contributions to the profession.

He used his role as a leader in the AIA to forge connections within the industry. He strengthened ties between the AIA and the National Organization of Minority Architects and leveraged his chairmanship of the Interior Architecture Knowledge Community to improve collaboration with interior design organizations, the Construction Specifications Institute, and the U.S. Green Building Council.

He has also been a model for community service.  Canstruction, Habitat for Humanity, the Board of Architectural Review for the City of Alexandria, the Maryland State Board of Interior Designers, and the Maryland State Board of Architects have all benefited from Kevin’s generous donation of his time and expertise.

3north Wins Firm Award for 2019

The T. David Fitz-Gibbon Firm Award will be presented to 3north at the Visions for Architecture gala on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at the Hilton Downtown Richmond. As the highest honor bestowed by the AIA Virginia to a Virginia-based architecture firm, the Fitz-Gibbon Architecture Firm Award recognizes a firm that has consistently produced distinguished architecture for at least ten years.

“I can say without reservation that 3north’s body of work rivals that of any of the top national design firms whose work I’ve observed at first hand. I cannot give them higher praise than to say that, as a knowledgeable client, I would place 3north in the top tier of any short list”

Samuel A. Anderson, III, FAIA

Since its founding in 1999, 3north has grown from a single architect to a multidisciplinary design firm with offices in Richmond and San Francisco. Their diverse portfolio of work — which includes hospitality, civic, commercial, educational, and residential projects — has earned awards and recognition for achievements in design excellence, environmental sustainability, and historic preservation.

The firm is deeply committed to supporting community nonprofits and has created an office culture that encourages pro bono work, broad-based volunteerism, board service, and speaking engagements. Beyond their community involvement, the firm’s principals and staff have a long history of service to the AIA and the profession. Through support of programming like AIA Richmond’s Front Porch and Richmond Women in Design, to engagement with AIA Virginia in the Emerging Leaders in Architecture program, the Art of Practice, and Architecture Exchange East, to service at the national level through the Small Firm Exchange, 3north has been a model for service to the profession.

In addition to cultivating a culture of service, the firm has nurtured an entrepreneurial spirit, founding several affiliate businesses and holding a number of patents pending.

Noland Medal Awarded to Bob Moje in 2019

A founding principal of VMDO Architects, Robert W. Moje, FAIA, will be recognized with the William C. Noland Medal at the Visions for Architecture gala on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at the Hilton Downtown Richmond. As the highest honor bestowed by AIA Virginia to an architect, the Noland Medal is intended to honor a distinguished body of accomplishments, sustained over time, spanning a broad spectrum of the profession, and transcending the scope of normal professional activities. The honor is in memory of William C. Noland, FAIA, one of the founders of the AIA in Virginia, its second president, and Virginia’s first member to be elevated to fellowship.

“Bob’s work in architecture is framed by three essential, interrelated commitments: a commitment to the discipline and practice as a public, civic endeavor; a commitment therefore to the communities in which he is called to work; and further, a specific commitment to education as both the fundamental design commission and the fundamental societal value … [his] design vision and leadership is purposeful, utterly authentic, and deeply holistic.”

Peter MacKeith, Dean and Professor, University of Arkansas

Moje has been a leader in the planning and design of educational facilities for more than 42 years. Through his award-winning designs, research, and professional and public service, he has advanced the practice of educational facility design considerably. His innovative instructional environments have elevated the level of discourse on design, teaching, learning, and the communal aspect of educational facilities on an international scale. In 2014, he served as chair for the global AIA Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) conference titled The Value of Design: Enhancing Education through Architecture in Barcelona, Spain.

A regular juror for awards programs, including the national CAE Design Awards, he supports innovative work through the recognition of design solutions that enhance learning. He has also collaborated with the National Institutes of Health, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and the Green Schools National Network to study the environmental effects of school buildings on children’s health and happiness. In addition to receiving the 2012 Prize for Design Research and Scholarship from the AIA Virginia, he partnered with the U.S. Green Building Council to develop a LEED Credit for school buildings that contribute to the physical fitness and health of thier occupants.

Moje has a long history of service to his profession and his community. Since 1997 he has served as the only architect on the Commonwealth of Virginia Joint House/Senate Subcommittee on Educational Infrastructure. He has also contributed his time on the Charlottesville Board of Architecture review, including a stint as chair, the Virginia Computer Foundation, the Virginia Center for Architecture, and numerous others.  

Beyond his design and research accomplishments, he has been an exemplary leader at VMDO. He helped establish a firm culture that is people-oriented, family-friendly, and inclusive of different viewpoints, backgrounds, and experience levels. He has contributed an effective transition plan and a generous profit-sharing system that is available to all at the firm.

Patricia Gruits with MASS Design Group to Speak at ArchEx 2019

AIA Virginia is pleased to announce that Patricia Gruits with the non-profit firm MASS Design Group will be a keynote speaker at Architecture Exchange East (ArchEx). In keeping with the theme of re:culture, she’ll share her approach to working with communities as well as the story behind the firm’s culture during the ArchEx General Session on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 in Richmond, Va.

About Patricia Gruits
Patricia Gruits is a Director with MASS Design Group leading 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.

Ruhehe Primary School
The redesign of Ruhehe Primary School offers the first proof of concept for design interventions piloted by MASS Design Group at Mubuga Primary School in 2015. Photo by Iwan Baan.

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. She has lectured at SCAD, RISD, Kunstfack University, Tufts University and BuildBoston and has taught design studios at Northeastern University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Patricia received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan.

About MASS Design Group
The Boston-based MASS Design Group is organized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit to create a model of practice optimized to deliver maximum impact to their  partners and the communities they serve. They take on projects that are mission-aligned, that serve the public, and that their board of directors believes are worthy of consideration.

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.

Co-Founder of Oyler Wu, Known for Innovation, to Speak at ArchEx

AIA Virginia is pleased to announce that Dwayne Oyler will give a keynote address during the General Session at ArchEx on Nov. 7, 2019. Oyler is a partner at the LA-based architecture firm Oyler Wu Collaborative, which he co-founded with Jenny Wu. The firm is widely recognized for its experimentation in design, material research, and fabrication. He’ll share the firm’s approach to fostering a collaborative and innovative culture – including the development of LACE, Wu’s 3D printed jewelry line.  

About the Work
The firm was recognized with the prestigious Miller Prize in 2017 to create The Exchange, an installation at Eero Saarinen’s Irwin Conference Center. The installation “fabricates a new space within the site by completing the geometries implied by three canopies, legacies of the Irwin Conference Center’s history as a drive-up bank.”

They’re also known for their design of 3D System’s Culinary Lab, an experimental food lab in LA. The firm stripped the interior of a 1928 Neoclassical bank down to its elements, and created a two-story glass food-printing room outfitted with 3D food printers and a demonstration kitchen. The mezzanine is wrapped in an intricately woven guardrail of white linear steel elements and CNC milled wood panels.

In 2013, the firm designed The Cube for the Beijing Biennale. The 52-foot tall installation, constructed of painted steel and rope, is a 3-dimensional solid object bounded by six square faces. According to the firm, “the aspiration of the installation is to achieve the transcendence of the first dimension – the line – by simulating warping two-dimensional planes, which penetrate and populate the object framework, to create the perception of inhabitable three-dimensional space.”

Their experimentation with lines and geometry is carried through in their design for Monarch a 16-story residential high rise in Taipei, Taiwan. The project employs a “strategy of ‘pixilated lines’ by applying a set of exterior paneling in varying materials and differing geometries to run along the façade of the building.”

About Dwayne Oyler
Oyler received his Bachelor of Architecture from Kansas State University and Master of Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Prior to establishing Oyler Wu Collaborative, he worked for Toshiko Mori Architects and collaborated with Lebbeus Woods on numerous projects including Nine Boxes, Terrain, and Siteline Vienna. He has taught architecture studios at Syracuse University, The Research Institute for Experimental Architecture, and The Cooper Union. He teaches architecture design studios at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI_Arc) and is also a visiting professor at Columbia GSAPP in New York.

About Oyler Wu Collaborative
Oyler Wu Collaborative, based in Los Angeles, was founded in 2004. The firm has been recognized with numerous design awards, including the 2013 Emerging Talent Award from AIA California Council, 2012 Presidential Honor Award for Emerging Practice from AIA LA, and 2011 Emerging Voices Award from the Architectural League in New York. They also won the 2013 Design Vanguard Award from Architectural Record. The firm has published two books, including Pendulum Plane (2009) and Trilogy: SCI Arc Pavilions (2014).

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. We’ll be bringing together the brightest minds and most engaging speakers to explore the theme of culture.

Pascale Sablan Announced as ArchEx Keynote

AIA Virginia is proud to announce that Pascale Sablan, AIA will be a 2019 Keynote Speaker at Architecture Exchange East. 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 architects. She’ll share her insights and experiences at ArchEx on Thursday, Nov. 7 during the General Session. Registration for the conference opens on Sept. 4.

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 female architect 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 to help develop the 2020-2024 strategic plan for the organization.

AIA Virginia is also pleased to collaborate with Pascale Sablan to bring SAY IT LOUD VIRGINIA to ArchEx 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 Southwest, NOMA 2018 Unbounded, and the United Nations Visitors Center. In fact, the SAY IT LOUD – United Nations exhibition has been translated and displayed in Bujumbura, Geneva, Harare, Lagos, Lome, Nairobi, New Delhi, Minsk and Yaounde.

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. We’ll be bringing together the brightest minds and most engaging speakers to explore the theme of culture.

About Pascale Sablan

Pascale Sablan, AIA, is a Senior Associate at S9ARCHITECTURE. With more than eleven years of experience, she has been on the design team for a variety of mixed-use, commercial, cultural, and residential projects in the U.S., Saudi Arabia, India, Azerbaijan, Japan, and UAE.

She has been recognized for her contributions to the industry with several awards, including the 2018 Pratt Alumni Achievement Award, Emerging New York Architect Merit Award and the NOMA Prize for Excellence in Design. Pascale was featured in the Council of Tall Building & Urban Habitat Research Paper, in the same company as Jeanne Gang and Zaha Hadid. She was named Building Design + Construction 40 Under 40 and was featured on the Cover of the September 2017 issue of their magazine.

She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute and a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from the Columbia University. Pascale has given lectures at Institutions, Universities and Colleges all over the US; Schools such as Columbia University, Georgia Technical College, Tuskegee University, Pratt Institute, Parsons The New School, Madison Area Technical College and California Polytechnic State University and Institution such as the National Museum of African American Heritage & Culture and the United Nations Visitor Centre.

About Beyond the Built Environment

Beyond the Built Environment, is uniquely positioned to address the inequitable disparities in architecture by providing a holistic platform aimed to support numerous stages of the architecture pipeline. Beyond the Built Environment, elevates the identities and contributions of minority architects and designers through exhibitions, curated lectures, and documentaries that testify to the provided value of their built work and its spatial impact.

Disaster Response Training Seminar Coming in September

AIA Virginia is proud to offer a course that certifies attendees as Building Evaluators in the nationally recognized Safety Assessment Program (SAP) on Sept. 6, 2019, in Richmond, VA. The program is intended for licensed architects, engineers, or certified building inspectors. It utilizes volunteers and mutual aid resources to provide professional engineers, architects and certified building inspectors to assist local governments in safety evaluation of their built environment in an aftermath of a disaster.

SAP is the training standard of the AIA Disaster Assistance Program, which provides leadership, advocacy, and training to architects who are interested in volunteering their professional skills in times of crisis. This workshop will teach participants to conduct rapid damage assessments of structures affected by earthquakes, wind, and water. Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to consistently and safely assess structures for habitability and will receive a nationally recognized Cal OES registration ID card from the state of California.

Register online.

Breakfast and lunch and is included in the registration.  All participants will be able to earn 6.5 AIA LU|HSW.

Digital Archives of Virginia Record and Inform Magazine Now Available

AIA Virginia is pleased to announce a partnership with USModernist to offer a digital archive of both Virginia Record and Inform Magazine. Issues dating back to January 1958 are now available online. Access to full editions of the publications are downloadable, searchable, and available at no charge to users.

The USModernist architecture magazine library houses more than 2.6 million pages of nearly every major U.S. architecture magazine since 1891. The library includes Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, Residential Architect, Architectural Forum, House+Home, AIA New York Oculus, Architectural Index, among many others.

Once complete, the USModernist library will be the largest open digital collection of major US 20th-century architecture magazines with approximately 1.4 million searchable, downloadable pages. USModernist® is part of Modernist Archive, Inc., a North Carolina 501C3 nonprofit educational archive. 

ArchEx 2019: Call for Tours

Aren’t building tours the best? You get an insider’s perspective on design decisions. You learn about construction processes, explore different building typologies, and discover innovative solutions and technologies. Best of all, you get to check out new work.

Walking tours and history tours are pretty great too. You uncover the rich history of communities and landmarks. You take a peek behind the scenes — sometimes you even learn a few secrets. And, who doesn’t love a juicy architecture secret?

Tours are usually the first sessions to sell out at ArchEx. Our attendees love ‘em. If you’ve got a new project you want to show off or if you’re a great tour guide, please submit your tour proposal below. We recommend that the tour destination be no more than about 30 minutes away from downtown Richmond.  

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. We’ll be bringing together the brightest minds and most engaging speakers to explore the theme of culture.

Submit your tour proposal below. [Deadline June 28, 2019]

Tell Your Story. But Do it Fast.

Got 6 minutes and 40 seconds to tell us about the best d@mn thing you’ve ever done as a designer? Come share your story at Architecture Exchange East this November. We’re seeking up to 6 presenters for a Pecha Kucha (PK)-style session at ArchEx. (What the heck is a PK?)

With our focus on developing sessions that encourage conversation, connections, and collaborative learning, we figured it was about time we brought the PK back to ArchEx.  A good PK is creative, tells a great story, and shares something inspiring (with a little dash of humor mixed in).

It’s a format made for designers by designers. We know you’ve done some pretty incredible things in your professional life and we want to hear about them — whether you’re sharing your favorite project, a brilliant marketing idea, or an innovative office layout. Be as creative as you want. If you can weave in our theme, re:culture, even better!

We’ve only got time for 5-6 speakers, so pitch us your best idea by June 28 and we’ll get back with you in July.

What the heck is a PK?

From ArchEx 2018. Photo by Jay Paul.
From ArchEx 2018. Photo by Jay Paul.

Pecha Kucha (Japanese for chit-chat) is a concise presentation format where speakers tell their story using only 20 slides — usually with a single image. The slides automatically advance each 20 seconds while you talk.  

This format was conceived of by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture as a way to showcase creative design work through quick informative presentations.