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.

AIA Women’s Leadership Summit

Reframe, Rethink, & Refresh

Join AIA national and AIA Minneapolis for the largest leadership event in the US for women in architecture! Women’s leadership Summit is three days of high-value educational sessions, candid conversations, and wellness activities designed to help you refine your leadership skills and accelerate your career growth.

You’ll hear from inspirational women leaders including Debbie Millman, curator and host of the Design Matters podcast; Priya Parker, founder of Thrive Labs; and Toshiko Mori, FAIA, Harvard professor and principal of Toshiko Mori Architect.

Invest in yourself and your career—register for the Women’s Leadership Summit today!

Register >

Call for Nominations: 2019 Honors Awards

Do you have a colleague who deserves recognition? Is there a firm that consistently produces incredible work? Is there a building that has captured your heart? Consider nominating them for AIA Virginia’s Honors Awards program.  

The Honors program recognizes the best efforts of Virginians who — by profession or avocation — have made creating, preserving, and enhancing Virginia’s communities an important life commitment. Honorees will be recognized at the Annual Meeting of the Membership at Architecture Exchange East (Nov. 7, 2019) and Visions for Architecture (Nov. 8, 2019).


Nominations must be submitted online. Nominations should be submitted as a single PDF up to 20 pages (not including letters of support) and no larger than 30 MB. Letters of support can be combined into a single PDF and uploaded on the nomination form.

Nominations for all AIA Virginia honors may be made by individual members, by chapter honors committees, by AIA Virginia committees, or by the Board of Directors itself.

Current AIA Virginia Board members and Honors Committee members are not eligible for any award. No member of the Honors Committee may be used as a reference or adviser or be solicited by the candidate or the candidate’s advisor.

The deadline is Thursday, July 11, 2019 at 5 p.m.


Eligibility criteria and submission requirements vary by award. Click on the awards listed below for additional details and to review past recipients.

Award Categories

The William C. Noland Medal, as the highest award bestowed on a member architect, is intended to honor a distinguished body of accomplishments, sustained over time, that spans a broad spectrum of the profession and that transcends the scope of normal professional activities. Only one medal may be bestowed each year.

The Architecture Medal for Virginia Service is AIA Virginia’s most prestigious public award, honoring an individual or organization that has made an unusually significant contribution to Virginia’s built environment or to the public’s understanding and awareness of the built environment. Only one medal may be bestowed each year but may be given simultaneously to more than one person.

The T. David Fitz-Gibbon Virginia Architecture Firm Award, as the highest honor bestowed by AIA Virginia to a Virginia-based architecture firm, recognizes a firm that has consistently produced distinguished architecture for at least ten years.

The Virginia Emerging Professional Award is intended to recognize the accomplishments of emerging leaders in Virginia for their contributions to the profession in one or more of the following categories: design, research, education, or discourse; service to the profession; mentorship; or service to the community.

The Award for Distinguished Achievement signals distinguished achievement by an architect in any one of the following categories: design, practice, education, service as “citizen architect”, and service to the profession; and thus may serve as an accolade for the work of an entire career or recognize the current accomplishments of a younger leader. Up to three awards may be bestowed each year.

Honorary Membership is bestowed upon a person of esteemed character who is not eligible for membership in the AIA Virginia but who has rendered distinguished and exemplary service, over a sustained period of time, to architecture and the built environment within the domain of AIA Virginia.

AIA Virginia Honors may be bestowed on non-member individuals or organizations that have inspired, influenced, or complemented the architecture profession in Virginia through practice of an allied profession, research, education, planning, legislation, architectural writing, the arts, or crafts. An individual who has previously been elected an Honorary Member of AIA Virginia is ineligible to receive AIA Virginia Honors.

The Test of Time Award recognizes architectural design of enduring significance. The structure should be in Virginia and must be no less than 25 years old. Building use may change over time if the overall design is cherished as a significant contribution to the community and the built environment.

Student Competition Winner Announced

AIA Virginia is pleased to announce the students recognized as honorees in 2019 AIA Virginia Prize competition.

AIA Virginia Prize
The top award and $3000 prize goes to Jackson Reed a student at Virginia Tech for the submission “Frames of Reference.” The jury recognized the elegant way the structure could be both unveiled and packed away, noting that there was “a kind of magic to how it captured the light.” The submission displayed a technical superiority and a “completeness” to its presentation. The jury appreciated the fresh approach to a shipping container building, particularly in the way the volume could be reconfigured.

"Frames of Reference" by Jackson Reed, Virginia Tech was awarded the AIA Virginia Prize.
“Frames of Reference” by Jackson Reed, Virginia Tech was awarded the AIA Virginia Prize.

Special Jury Award and Hampton University Best of School
The Best of School Award for Hampton University goes to Julian Washington for “Veggie Soul.” The jury appreciated that the submission was rooted in its cultural context as well as its inventive placement inside an existing building. They found the rendering particularly evocative, giving a true sense of the concept and placement. The jury found this submission particularly notable and elected to make a Special Jury Award of $500.

Veggie Soul" by Julian Washington, Hampton University - The Best of School Award and Special Jury Award
“Veggie Soul” by Julian Washington, Hampton University – The Best of School Award and Special Jury Award

University of Virginia Best of School
The Best of School Award for University of Virginia goes to Taha Suhrawardy for “Sic Parvis Magna Café.” They jury enjoyed the design’s informality counterbalanced with its placement within a formal setting. Its lightweight characteristics and structural creativity were interesting. The approach to mobility was notable.

“Sic Parvis Magna Café” by Taha Suhrawardy, University of Virginia – Best of School Award

Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center Best of School
The Best of School Award for the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center goes to Meredith Sattler for “Deadrise Oyster Bar.”  This entry expressed what the environment has to offer in a really simple, pleasurable way. The jury found the response to the tidal condition interesting.

“Deadrise Oyster Bar” by Meredith Sattler, Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center – Best of School Award

The following were recognized with an Honorable Mention

“The New Taste of Flow” submitted by Mengzhe Ye and Weiran Jing from University of Virginia
The jury appreciated the graphic approach. They found the innovative and thoughtfully-considered user experience notable.

“The Hangout” submitted by Gary Garner from Hampton University
The jury found the idea of using readily-available swing equipment to create seating and a dining environment refreshing.

“King St. Pop Up Café” submitted by Juan Urey Fernandez from the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center
The jury was pleased with the clean, comprehensive design. The site placement was clear and precise — there was little missing.

“The Fulcrum” submitted by Andy Merida from Virginia Tech
The jury appreciated the elegant simplicity of this submission and its implied invitation to engage your imagination.

“Boba — A Pop Up Bubble Tea Shop” submitted by Kirt Hilker from Virginia Tech
The jury delighted in the submission’s imaginative approach that was truly representative of a “pop up” café.

“untitled” submitted by Anna Fletcher from Virginia Tech
The jury found this entry and its story gripping. The graphics beautifully captured the mood and emotional context of the narrative.

About the Challenge

The competition — which took place over the weekend of Jan. 25–28 — challenged students to design a pop-up diner with a small kitchen, short-term supply storage, and a dining counter for standing and sitting customers. Students were asked to consider the energy, water, and waste flows in their solutions. [Read the full competition brief.]

About the AIA Virginia Prize

Conducted simultaneously at Hampton UniversityUniversity of VirginiaVirginia Tech, and the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, the competition is a design charrette that engages students at all of the accredited schools of architecture in Virginia. Students are given the competition program on a Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. They work over the weekend to create a design solution and submit it by 9 a.m. the following Monday. The top submission wins a $3000 prize.

Launched in 1980, the competition is intended to promote collaboration between the profession, students, and professors in Virginia. Historically, the charrette has taken place in January, however over the last several years, the competition has been hosted in September to accommodate an ongoing scheduling conflict at one of the schools. Now that the conflict has been resolved, the Prize weekend has shifted back to the spring semester to better align with the demands of the academic calendar.

Development of the competition brief rotates between the four schools annually — the 2019 Prize challenge was developed by Virginia Tech.

About the Jury

Each school’s faculty reviews the submissions and sends up to 10 finalists to Richmond for final consideration by the following Jury.

Nick Serfass, FAIA, Executive Director, RVATECH | Jury Chair

Burt Pinnock, FAIA, Chairman, Baskervill

Lori Garrett, FAIA, Senior Principal & Director of Higher Education Studio, Glavé & Holmes

Patrick Thompson, Assoc. AIA, Associate, Commonwealth Architects

Donna Phaneuf, FAIA, President + Lead Design Principal, Via Design

It’s a Wrap: Art of Practice 2019

Nearly 60 firm leaders came together in Northern Virginia on March 22 to exchange ideas, enjoy fellowship, and learn at the second biennial Art of Practice.

The program kicked off with Message Book training presented by the AIA’s Caitlin Reagan and Frank Scanlan. The group learned the basics of communication philosophy and how to design effective messages. After hearing some excellent tips and watching good (and truly awful!) examples of public speaking, attendees took part in an interactive exercise on crafting message headlines. After that, the group dug into how to use these tools in business development and advocacy environments. Several brave souls volunteered to put what they learned into practice. Short mock interviews were conducted and played back for the group to critique.

Following robust conversations (and wine) over lunch, Michele Russo, the Managing Director of Research and Practice at the AIA, offered an economic forecast. After sharing current conditions and the top four business concerns in architecture firms, she offered a 2019/2020 outlook for the profession.  Predictions indicate that firms can expect growth in 2019 – but at a slower rate than last year. She shared several indicators that hint at slower economic growth in 2020.

Karl Feldman from Hinge offered emerging research and best practices for employee recruitment and retention. He shared generational differences in how candidates approach a job search as well as how they evaluate opportunities. Following a lively Q&A session, Karl moderated a Leadership Transition Panel Discussion featuring Donna Phaneuf, FAIA; Mark Orling, AIA; Bob Moje, FAIA; Tom Kerns, FAIA; and Rob Comet, AIA. Each of the panelists shared their approach to leadership cultivation and transition within their firms.

Art of Practice Video

Special thanks to Philip Moo for creating a video of highlights from the day.

Art of Practice Photo Gallery

Virginia Celebrates Four New Fellows in 2019

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is elevating 115 member-architects to its prestigious College of Fellows — an honor awarded to members who have made significant contributions to the architecture profession. AIA Virginia welcomes four new Fellows who will be celebrated at the Region of The VirginiasFellows Fête on March 23, 2019 and honored at a ceremony at A’19 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Meet Virginia’s New Fellows

Manoj Dalaya, FAIA

While logic and planning serve as the foundation for collaboration in the design process, artistic intention is essential in Manoj Dalaya’s approach to design. His high-performance, fortified spaces embrace art, environment, and community — all while integrating the security, infrastructure, and technological requirements of secure campuses. A principal at KGD Architecture, Dalaya serves on the AIA Northern Virginia Chapter Executive Committee and chairs their Design Awards Committee. He lends his architectural and real estate expertise to several Washington, D.C. area urban development committees and to architecture and real estate students at local universities. He was honored with AIA Virginia’s Award for Distinguished Achievement in 2018.

Jody Lahendro, FAIA

For nearly fifteen years, Jody Lahendro has served as Historic Preservation Architect at the University of Virginia where he manages work on more than 120 designated historic buildings — including the Academical Village designed by Thomas Jefferson.  Notably, he recently managed the award-winning Rotunda Renovation project.  Prior to time at UVA, Lahendro had his own architectural practice in Richmond for 18 years, specializing in historic preservation, restoration, and adaptive reuse.  He also served as preservation architect for the Taliesin Preservation Commission as it began its charge to preserve Frank Lloyd Wright’s home in Spring Green, Wisconsin.  Lahendro’s public service includes volunteer positions with local and state governments, non-profit organizations, and pro bono assistance to non-profits owning historic buildings. 

Burt Pinnock, FAIA

A Principal with Baskervill, Burt Pinnock has been a profound voice for creative, compelling, and responsible design in Richmond’s urban landscape. Once the Capital of the Confederacy and an epicenter of the nation’s slave trade, Richmond was also home to thriving, independent black communities. His body of work spans projects that seek to preserve and integrate those distinct identities into a more complete version that is contextual to both time and space. Burt has also served on a number of boards and commissions, including the Board of Zoning Appeals, Commission of Architectural Review, Urban Design Committee, Richmond Slave Trail Commission, LISC Advisory Board, Historic Richmond Foundation, Venture Richmond, and many more. He is also the creator and co-founder of Storefront for Community Design, a nonprofit that creates access to architecture and design services while also facilitating community engagement workshops for development efforts throughout the city.

Nick Vlattas, FAIA

Nick Vlattas is one of the founding shareholders in 1979 of Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company. Now known as Hanbury, the firm has been a respected voice in the planning, architecture, and interior design professions across the United States and abroad. The practice is based on a willingness to listen and learn, exploring transformational ideas with colleagues, clients, and consultants. This approach has garnered the recognition of both design and industry-specific award programs. As Chief Operations Officer, Secretary/Treasurer, Trustee, and architect at Hanbury, Nick has been responsible for quality of operations, financial management, human resources, and information technology. Nick served as President of AIA Hampton Roads, and on the Board of Directors for AIA Virginia for many years including serving as President in 2016 and Treasurer from 2010 to 2014. He is also a charter member of the Rotary Club of Oyster Point in Newport News.

About Fellowship

The fellowship program was developed to elevate those architects who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession and made a significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level. Prospective candidates must have at least 10 years of AIA membership and demonstrated influence in at least one of the following areas:

  • Promoted the aesthetic, scientific, and practical efficiency of the profession;
  • Promoted the science and art of planning and building by advancing the standards of architectural education, training or practice;
  • Coordinated the building industry and the profession of architecture through leadership in the AIA or other related professional organizations; or​
  • Advanced the living standards of people through an improved environment.

Fellows are selected by a seven-member Jury of Fellows. This year’s jury included (Virginia’s own) Mary P. Cox, FAIA, Virginia Commonwealth University, who served as Chair; Peter Bardwell, FAIA, Bardwell + Associates, LLC; Mary A. Burke, FAIA, Burke Design & Architecture PLLC; Philip Castillo, FAIA, Jahn; Mary Johnston, FAIA, Johnston Architects, LLC; Paul Mankins, FAIA, Substancearchitecture; and Nancy Rogo Trainer, FAIA, Drexel University.