The Only Not Only

It is not lost on me that I am the first African American to serve as the President of AIA-Virginia. While I am extremely glad that it has never been a headline, a part of my introduction, or a justification for my holding the office, I do appreciate the historic significance of this opportunity. I must admit, though, that being a first is not something I have a lot of experience with. You see, all my life, I have followed in the footsteps of trailblazers who have suffered the slings and arrows of ‘firstendom’ to make it possible for my achievements to be unencumbered.

Robert Easter, FAIA

Even growing up, I had three siblings; one brother was the oldest and the other was the youngest, while my sister was the only girl. Me? I was in the middle. To give me a sense of uniqueness, a dear friend of my parents dubbed me the “only not only.” Being somewhat anonymous (or at least, tag-less) in my household left (as you can tell) a lasting imprint on my psyche, although I know my parents loved me.

My birth order was not my fault or my failing; just as our race, culture, creed, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation are not something that any of us get to choose. Most of us even inherited our religious affiliations. How we fit in the hearts and minds of others, however, is often weighted, fairly or unfairly, by those characteristics and attributes.

Throughout my tenure this year, I have tried to highlight the role that often overlooked and marginalized communities have played in design excellence. Obviously, I haven’t been able to mention everyone, and if you feel left out this year, believe me, I understand. It’s the story of my life. 

There are architects from Native and indigenous communities, Asian and Asian American communities, and European communities whose work could have been highlighted and who have worked to make architecture more enduring, impactful, and relevant to our social fabric. I am sorry that you were not included this year in my writings. I leave it to future editions of our newsletter and writers of greater reach and intellect to complete that which is just now being heralded. Please know that over the course of this year, you have been in my heart, just not on my keyboard.

I have tried to traverse the Commonwealth and hear all of the voices of our membership. Sadly, the only chapter that I missed was my own. (Someone being left out seems to follow me wherever I go.) Through that experience, I have learned about the many wonderful things our local components have accomplished and the service that our members are receiving and doing to improve the quality of our environment.

In my particular case, the limitation was simply a matter of time. My relegation to “only not only” status makes me sensitive to others feeling left out. So, as I close my tenure I ask you to forgive me if you feel un-included. I hope you have learned something about a community that you might otherwise not have given thought to. I hope you might be inspired to write your own story that will include a contribution you have made to the grand idea that is architecture.

This has been an enriching experience for me and I am grateful for the support you have given me during this year. I am grateful to the staff for their dedicated work, and to our members for their commitment to service. I look forward to Mitch’s term, and I hope that I have left you with enough “nagging curiosities” to keep you engaged in the wonderful work that is AIA Virginia.

Robert L. Easter, NOMAC, FAIA
2022 AIA Virginia President

Newly Licensed

We understand the dedication and effort required to study for and pass the ARE. Congratulations to the following members for passing their exams and gaining licensure. This is great news that thrills all of us and we are so proud to call you architects!

Lisette J. Stone, AIA (Blue Ridge)
Weonyoung J. Rho, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Daniel C. Murrow, AIA (Richmond)

Have you recently passed the ARE? Upgrade your membership to Architect using this AIA form. or send an email to your Member Services Director, Cathy Guske, cguske@aiava.org

Are you ready to get licensed? AIA Virginia has 60-day Amber Book subscriptions for $50 here>>

Have questions about licensure? Contact AIA Virginia’s State Licensing Advisor, Michael Hammon, AIA at mhammon@glaveandholmes.com

New Members

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

New Architect Members

David Lambert, AIA (Blue Ridge)
Joseph Terranova, AIA (Hampton Roads)
fulan zhang, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Emily Savoca, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Bradley Kaufman, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Elaine Anderson, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Leesa Mayfield, AIA (Northern Virginia)

New Associate Members

grace choi, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Dominique Murray, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Lauren Townsend, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Morgan Yuzhbabenko, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Gloria Kim, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Asmaa Hussain, Assoc. AIA (Blue Ridge)
Mary Aufuldish, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Danielle Scheeringa, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
Caroline Connor, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Karen Garcia, Assoc. AIA (Central Virginia)
David Callins, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Ava Helm, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Kyle Butler, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
Clara Marie Schwaerzler, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
DIANA FANG, Assoc. AIA (Central Virginia)
Taylor Spruill, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)

Transferred In
Vanessa Betancourt, AIA (Central Virginia) from AIA New York State
Breta D. Bishop, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia) from AIA New Jersey
Javier A. Buscaglia-Pesquera, AIA (Northern Virginia) from AIA Illinois
Elizabeth M. Goll, AIA (Blue Ridge) from AIA Iowa
Perry J. Hammond, Assoc. AIA (Richmond) from AIA South Carolina
Christopher McGill, AIA (Blue Ridge) from AIA North Carolina
Rebecca A. Meyer, AIA (Northern Virginia) from AIA Washington DC

New/Renewed Allied Members

Brian Stanley, Principal, Dunbar

View all of the AIA Virginia Allied members

Young Architect Forum Update

If you did not have an opportunity to attend the ArchEx East conference, I highly recommend attending in the future. The recent conference was my first time in attendance, and it provided a unique value and community. The intimacy of the conference provided the perfect opportunity to engage with peers in a meaningful way. I also hosted the Emerging Professionals Roundtable and participated in several others that broke the ice for conversation for the remainder of the week. Look for it in Richmond next year. 

I also attended the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit (WLS) and heard from some of the most amazing women in the profession advancing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The keynotes were inspiring and thought-provoking. It is heart-warming to consider that the entirety of AIA national leadership will be led by women in the next few years and you can already feel a marked difference in their approach. As part of CEO Lakisha Wood’s strategic plan, the WLS will now become an annual, rather than a bi-annual event. Look to attending in Boston next year. 

Chapter Spotlight

I wanted to fill you in on some exciting work with AIA Greater Richmond (RVA)’s YAF. They were awarded a 2022 College of Fellows Emerging Professionals component grant this year. Their proposal sought funds to support community engagement efforts this year. From there they established the “COMMUNITY WISH“. This was an experimental installation studying reclaimed materials and modular construction for ease of construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction in new locations. More importantly, it was active research of what kind of spaces and structures we can build in order to engage our community for feedback, interaction, etc. They designed and built the Community Wish pavilion at this year’s Folk Fest which brings an enormous amount of visitors to Richmond’s Brown’s Island. Pictures of the installation are below. Congratulations to everyone involved and keep up the great work!

Follow the YAF:

Stay up to date on the latest news:

Feel free to connect with me, too. What are some ways your firm is working with emerging professionals and young architects? Send me an email or a message on LinkedIn!
As always, I’m here for you.

Carrie Parker, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Associate Vice President at CannonDesign
Young Architect Representative for Virginia to the Young Architect’s Forum, 2022-2024
carrieleeparker.aia@gmail.com
linkedin.com/in/carrieleeparker

Representation Matters

Many of us grew up studying the work of Cesar Pelli, the recently passed, Argentina-born architect who, from 1977-1989 served as the dean of the Yale School of Architecture. His transformative work includes the expansion of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, and the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we pause to remember this great American architect and the countless thousands of our colleagues who share the Hispanic culture that adds to the vibrancy of our nation.

Robert Easter, FAIA

It reminds me that representation matters; cultural diversity is a strength worthy of celebration. Too many of our children watch images in the media that denigrate, marginalize and malign those who share their culture. Whether it is law enforcement tasked to restrain the free movement of immigrants by building cages and separating children from their parents, or politicians flying people across the country to make a statement, the images and the accompanying reports are heartbreaking and suggest a country that is losing its capacity to show compassion. The message that the young audience receives can only add to the trauma of life in these difficult times. We need to produce different visuals; the reality is that the communities that we live in were built by a myriad of creative thinkers who are solving critical issues related to sustainability, affordability, and resilience.

In June, we hosted the Design Forum devoted to Latin American designers, entitled “South is Up.” It was a wonderful introduction to the work of Smiljan Radic, Enrique Norton, Viviana Pena, Alberto Kalach, and Cazu Zegars and was marvelously steered by Juan Burke, a professor of architecture at the University of Maryland. I wish more of our members were able to see and hear the fascinating presentations about architecture that impacts culture, climate, and context.

Among my many architecture heroes is Dr. Carmina Sanchez del-Valle, a valued colleague at Hampton University and one of a few Latina educators acknowledged as an ACSA Distinguished Professor. Her impact on our students and our program has been extraordinary. There have been many who have contributed to the success of our profession, our communities, and our students.  Everardo Jefferson and Sara Caples of the New York form Caples and Jefferson lectured at Hampton University several years ago and continue to mentor our students and provided a source of inspiration for the women and Hispanic students in our program.

In AIA Virginia we have recently crossed the threshold of 2400 members, nearly 100 (less than 4%) of whom self-identify as Hispanic. They include firm principals like Kim Smith at VMDO, who has been a leader in design excellence with a focus on academic structures. Tony Dockery, the principal and owner of AGD Associates, LLC specializing in aviation. But there are countless others who are contributing to large and small firms across the Commonwealth.

In Kendall Nicholson’s article, “Where Are My People? Hispanic & Latinx in Architecture” published by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), we learn that the Hispanic population in the United States is approximately 18.5%, making them the largest minority community in our nation. They comprise 8.5% of the architecture professionals in our country. There are 20 accredited architecture programs at Hispanic Serving Institutions.

Our nation is embroiled in political and social unrest around the idea of ethnic and racial identity. I hope that the architecture community can provide some balance and civility to the discourse by reminding our profession and our nation that the genius of creation is the blend of human culture and experience, race and ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation that creates the unique and diverse fabric of America. Hispanic Heritage month, spanning September and October provides another opportunity for us to celebrate the influence of that diversity on our built environment. It provides an opportunity to teach young children that their dreams can become reality; that their contribution makes us all better. Because representation matters.

Robert L. Easter, NOMAC, FAIA
2022 AIA Virginia President

New Members

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

New Architect Members

Susan Anderson, AIA (Hampton Roads)
Cristina Clow, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Eileen DAndrea, AIA (Hampton Roads)
James Dowling, AIA (Richmond)
Yamini Kannankutti, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Rebecca Saunders, AIA (Northern Virginia)

New Associate Members

Waqas Al Mulhim, Assoc. AIA (Central Virginia)
Rebecca Barker, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
Nabila Essakalli Badia, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
Nathaniel Fitzsimmons, Assoc. AIA (Central Virginia)
Bradley Fuhrman, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Astrid Haugh, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Julia Kwolyk, Assoc. AIA (Central Virginia)
Laurie Marcotte, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Kelly McCarthy, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
Ingrid R. Mendez, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Ethan Miller, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
Waverly Pack, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Erika Quarles, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Bhavishya Venkitaraman, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Ahmed Abou El Ella, Intl. Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Manuel Perez, Intl. Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)

Transferred In
Mark T. Forth, AIA from AIA California (Hampton Roads)
M. Celeste Novak, AIA from AIA Michigan (Northern Virginia)
Mark A. Perryman, Assoc. AIA from AIA Ohio (Hampton Roads)

New/Renewed Allied Members

David Weber, Regional Sales Manager, Epic Metals
Glenn Thompson, Vice President Business Development, W.M. Jordan Company, Inc.

View all of the AIA Virginia Allied members

Newly Licensed

We understand the dedication and effort required to study for and pass the ARE. Congratulations to the following members for passing their exams and gaining licensure. This is great news that thrills all of us and we are so proud to call you architects!

Linda J. Coile, AIA   (Richmond)
Rachel L. Peterson, AIA  (Richmond)

Have you recently passed the ARE? Upgrade your membership to Architect using this AIA form. or send an email to your Member Services Director, Cathy Guske, cguske@aiava.org

Are you ready to get licensed? AIA Virginia has 60-day Amber Book subscriptions for $50 here>>

Have questions about licensure? Contact AIA Virginia’s State Licensing Advisor, Michael Hammon, AIA at mhammon@glaveandholmes.com

Young Architect Forum Update

ArchEx East

Please register and join me at Architecture Exchange East where I will be hosting the Emerging Professionals Roundtable. I look forward to meeting you all there and continuing the great discussion we had this spring at our virtual EP Roundtable. Register>>

YAF Connections

For those of you who don’t know, the YAF publishes a quarterly (digital) periodical called “Connection.” It always speaks to issues that are cogent to the profession, emerging professionals, and young architects alike. This is a fantastic way to learn not just about the YAF and AIA, but also to learn about national issues from a unique perspective. 

Connection Q2: Career Evolution was just published this week. Check out how young architects are grappling with the rapid evolution of the design profession. See how they build personalized careers, spotlight alternate career paths, build mentorship pipelines, discuss firm culture, and more.

That’s not all! If you are interested in being published, this is an accessible way to get out “there,” have your voice be heard, and grow your resume. The next issue’s theme is “E.D.I. & Belonging.” If you are interested in contributing, please reach out to me so I can connect you with the YAF Communications Team and guide you in your writing journey. The Q2: Career Evolution issue was my first time writing for Connection, and it was so easy! I submitted my draft, had one review with editors for content, and then a subsequent review for layout. The Connections team of editors are great and make the process easy. 

Drafts are due by October 28 for the Q3: E.D.I & Belonging issue, so please reach out and get writing!  

Follow the YAF:

Stay up to date on the latest news:

  • Twitter: @YAF
  • Facebook: @AIAYAFNational
  • Instagram: aiayaf
  • Linkedin: AIA YAF
  • AIA Knowledge Net (most comprehensive) 
  • Quarterly YAF Publication “Connection”. Links from Knowledge Net, also available HERE.

Feel free to connect with me, too. What are some ways your firm is working with emerging professionals and young architects? Send me an email or a message on LinkedIn!
As always, I’m here for you.

Carrie Parker, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Associate Vice President at CannonDesign
Young Architect Representative for Virginia to the Young Architect’s Forum, 2022-2024
carrieleeparker.aia@gmail.com
linkedin.com/in/carrieleeparker

Newly Licensed

We understand the dedication and effort required to study for and pass the ARE. Congratulations to the following members for passing their exams and gaining licensure. This is great news that thrills all of us and we are so proud to call you architects!

Isaiah S. Felton, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Mert Kansu, AIA (Central Virginia)
Ariel Westmark, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Matthew Salzer, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Anh Tran, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Matthew P. Williston, AIA (Richmond)

Have you recently passed the ARE? Upgrade your membership to Architect using this AIA form. or send an email to your Member Services Director, Cathy Guske, cguske@aiava.org

Are you ready to get licensed? AIA Virginia has 60-day Amber Book subscriptions for $50 here>>

Have questions about licensure? Contact AIA Virginia’s State Licensing Advisor, Michael Hammon, AIA at mhammon@glaveandholmes.com

New Members

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

New Architect Members

Savannah Aprahamian, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Sarah Rosenblatt, AIA (Richmond)
Rebecca L Waldram, AIA (Hampton Roads)

New Associate Members

Emily Broadwell, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Leslie Cheveldayoff, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Isabella DeBenedetti, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
Lauryn Downing, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Lindsay Duddy, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
Karim El-Araby, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
Brendon Glover, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Kate Kaufmann, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
Jessica Molnar, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Mary Moorhead, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Prutha Patel, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Daniela Slack, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Johnathan Tan, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
Pankti Thakkar, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Kelsey White, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)

Transferred In
Anna I. Kniceley, Assoc. AIA (Richmond) from AIA Pennsylvania

New/Renewed Allied Members

Matthew Lewis, Associate Principal, 2RW Consultants, Inc.
Ryan Harmouche, Business Development/Marketing, MEP Designs
Jeffrey Sadler, President, Ecovative
Kathy Blanchard, Senior Vice President, McGriff Insurance Services

View all of the AIA Virginia Allied members