At the October Board Meeting

MEETING RECAP

AIA Virginia | 2021 Board of Directors
October 1, 2021
University of Virginia School of Architecture

Motions Made and Approved:

The Board of Directors of AIA Virginia voted as follows:

  • Approval of the 2022 Nominations for the four Advisory Councils
  • Approval of the Letter to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Requesting Documentation of One University Plaza Before Demolition
  • Approval of the COVID Policy for In-Person Meetings

Written reports were provided for the following consent agenda items:

  • PAC Update
  • 2021 Rumble in the Jungle PAC Competition
  • Advocacy Update: Commission on School Construction and Modernization
  • Virginia Municipal League Annual Conference Presentation
  • Architecture Exchange East Update
  • Membership Update
  • Amber Book Program Update
  • Virginia NOMA Update                                              
  • Emerging Leaders in Architecture Update
  • Communications Audit Status
  • Operation Reach, Retain, and Develop – Season 2                         
  • Community Dinner: Norfolk                           

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

The next meeting of the 2021 AIA Virginia Board of Directors will occur on December 17, 2021.

Where’s Corey

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

Here’s his recent travel schedule:

AIA Local, Regional, and National Engagement

Safety Assessment Program Training
Virtual
November 12

AIA Young Architect Award Jury Deliberation
Virtual
November 17

AIA College of Fellows Investiture
Washington, D.C.
December 8

AIA Strategic Council Assembly
Washington, D.C.
December 9

AIA Presidential Inauguration
Washington, D.C.
December 10

AIA Virginia Board of Directors Meeting
Richmond
December 17

Ambassador Engagement

Lead Virginia
Richmond
November 18-20

Legislative Event with Del. Carr
Richmond
November 30

Virginia NOMA Board of Directors Meeting
Virtual
December 1

Virginia Society of Association Executives Board of Directors Meeting
Virtual
December 10

Associated Thoughts: Unfinished Things

I am fascinated by unfinished things and infuriated by them too. The potent imagination of kids’ drawings, chunky with crayon dust but also just a little bit off-center (or a lot). Out-of-scale pen sketches scattered on the conference table, next to the napkin and two plastic cups from lunch. The drawings of Julie Mehretu and Sol DeWitt, the cut-short excellence of Chadwick Boseman and Virgil Abloh, the drips of Jackson Pollack, that idea you had in design school that was SO GOOD if only you could just sit down and work on it again—maybe next weekend? The list from that coordination meeting last week with the engineers, that will have to wait for this phone call after you get back from your dentist appointment. The world we inhabit is always being done and undone, and architecture is perpetually the business of unfinished things—of phases, substantial completions, deferred maintenance, term contracts, weathering, kickoff meetings.

Michael Spory, Assoc. AIA

When I began my term as Associate Director in December 2019, my world was moving between major chapters. Our first board meeting coincided with my last day at a previous job before I moved to a new city a month later to start a new job. Our conference chairs were much closer together too. In my role representing unlicensed professionals across the Commonwealth, I expected far too much of my own capacity (what else is new?). Over my two years, I would meet with student leaders at each of our accredited schools—Hampton, VA Tech, UVA, WAAC—and connect these fascinatingly talented young academic leaders. I would convene quarterly conference calls with emerging professionals from each of our five regions, and the magic dust of synergy would ensue. I would finish my exams, and help others finish theirs. I would chat at happy hours, email everyone about site tours and study groups, celebrate at ArchEX and Art of Practice and Design Forum, and so many other things.

Some of those things happened, sort of, a little bit. March 2020 saw the earth move under us, and most of us headed home for far longer than planned. Our projects and firms stayed afloat, mostly, but fractured the idea of how and where architecture gets done. We reimagined our programs. We all floundered, we all adjusted, and we mostly finished a great many things, in this confounding, evolving (design) world. All my expectations shattered, in the board work of virtual programming, digital meets, budget analyses, and resource allocation, and keeping the flame alive for young professionals caught in a world of architecture they did not sign up for. We had to pause when our careers were just beginning, with little security as the bulk of our professional lives was mostly unfinished.

And yet, I am inspired by the persistence and skill of our emerging professionals, leading the way through the fog of change over the last two years. I am inspired by my mentee (who was connected to me through the Reach Retain Develop program), a student at Virginia Tech, who inspired me with his imaginative and excellent projects, mostly executed from a dorm room. I am inspired by our AIA VA staff, who turned the backpack burden of virtual programming into a jetpack, getting us to glimpse what our new world will be as an organization. I am inspired by protests, by marches, by expanding my understanding of what an architect can be. I am inspired by John Spencer, Robert Easter, Pascale Sablan, NOMA. I am inspired by the increasing visibility of LGBT designers, of powerhouse women principals, of working-class architects in rural areas, of architecture in service to the least of these. I am inspired by the unfinished work of making our profession more diverse, more inclusive, more impactful.

Like so many things, when we come to the formal end of them, I wish my term of service would have looked different. I wish I could have met many more of you–our membership–and see your smiling faces and learn about your hard-won projects, your dreams for how architecture in Virginia can be more equitable and beautiful. I wish I had done more, but celebrate the wins–the successful virtual programs, the reinvention of YAFCon, the tremendous pivots of design students and educators, the reinvigorated mentoring networks–as well as the opportunity of unfinished things. As I look at my growing to-do list today—which grows faster than I can yellow things out—I am grateful for the optimism of Caitlin Morgan (our next Associate Director) and the experience and voice she brings to serve our members. We are in good hands.

Thanks for your time, your commitment, and your investment in the AIA. May we be grateful for the gift of expecting big things, of working hard at work worth doing.

In solidarity and action,
Michael Spory, Associate AIA
spory@vmdo-dc.com

Meet Kathleen Frazier, FAIA

Kathy is a founding member of Frazier Associates and is the Principal-in-Charge of architecture, urban design, and wayfinding projects. She is a certified Historical Architect with the U. S. Department of the Interior. Kathy’s extensive experience in historic preservation and community redevelopment projects includes adaptive reuse, facade rehabilitation, new construction in historic districts, design guidelines, streetscape, and corridor design, as well as town-wide signage and wayfinding programs.

Kathy has overseen the design services for the Virginia Main Street Program since its inception in 1986; it is an affiliate of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center. She also has extensive experience with historic tax credit and Community Development Block Grant funding mechanisms. Kathy’s experience and collaborative approach extend to the firm’s numerous local government clients as well as various private and state institutional, and educational clients.

Through the firm, her projects have won numerous awards, including those from the American Institute of Architects, Preservation Virginia, and previously the Preservation Alliance of Virginia, as well as numerous regional and local organizations. Her projects have also been featured in publications such as Traditional Building, Southern Living, Virginia Living and Urban Land Magazine and she has written various articles on downtown revitalization for the National Main Street Center publications. Kathy was recognized with the Distinguished Service Award from the Virginia Main Street Program. She also served two terms on the governor-appointed Virginia Art and Architectural Review Board.

Where did you go to college?
I started at Mary Baldwin College because I thought that I wanted to be an artist. They had a terrific small art department but in the process of taking many art history classes, I realized that architecture was my calling. I then transferred to The University of Virginia where I received my degree in architecture.

What does it take to be an architect?
I think it begins with a love for buildings and places as well as a dedication to learning and serving. Of course, one needs to be able to think three-dimensionally too! After graduating from college, I worked as a designer for the Historic Staunton Foundation as they started their effort to preserve and revitalize downtown Staunton. That experience started me on the path of working with property owners and helping them understand the unique history of their building, how to bring it back to life, and at the same time, boost their business and visibility in the community.

Was there an architect that particularly inspired you?
When at Mary Baldwin, I learned about a Washington D.C. architect, T. J. Collins who moved to Staunton in the late 19th century. The firm was still in operation until about 15 years ago and I did an internship there in 1976 and also worked there after graduating from the University of Virginia. At that time, the firm was run by T.J. Collins’ grandson, the sixth generation of builders/architects in the family.

Collins and his sons designed hundreds of buildings in Staunton and other communities in the Valley in every conceivable style of the period from Romanesque to Classical Revival. All the drawings still exist in Historic Staunton Foundation’s archives and many of the buildings survive as well. That experience really gave me an interest in historic preservation, and also I met my future husband, Bill Frazier, at the office in 1976 as he was doing his architectural history master’s thesis on T. J. Collins.

I also want to acknowledge Bruce Abbey, one of my professors at UVa. I had him for studio as well as lecture classes. He is the one who really sparked my thinking about contextualism and it guided my thinking on design in historic areas.

What are you currently reading?
One Summer: America, 1927
by Bill Bryson. A fascinating moment in our history when so much happened!

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
Every meal my husband, Bill cooks! That said, the most amazing surprise meal/restaurant was La Bernadin in New York City back in the late 1990s. It is still there today and is one of the best restaurants in the country. We found it simply by luck and oh my, what a meal.

Why do you volunteer with AIA?
Because it is important for the general public to understand what and how architects contribute to our communities. Everyone knows about the need to go to a lawyer or a doctor, but going to an architect somehow seems optional. It is always an interesting experience to work with communities and individuals who have never used an architect and see their understanding and appreciation grow for the profession. So, volunteering with AIA as well as with local non-profit organizations helps foster that link to society, and it helps to encourage more young people to join the profession! While it has been a long journey, it is so worthwhile and rewarding!

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 an architect!

Shayna Cini, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Cody M. Solberg, 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

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

Megan Ross, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Palmer Ferguson, AIA (Blue Ridge)
James Harte, AIA (Central Virginia)
William Robson, AIA (Hampton Roads)

New Associate Members

Harshita Batra, Associate AIA (Hampton Roads)
Kelsey Bendel, Associate AIA (Central Virginia)
Paul Carricaburu, Associate AIA (Blue Ridge)
akshata dusa, Associate AIA (Blue Ridge)
Christina Filippini, Associate AIA (Central Virginia)
Miguel Antonio Gereda, Associate AIA (Blue Ridge)
Shayan Ghodousi, Associate AIA (Northern Virginia)
Pnina Jalon, Associate AIA (Central Virginia)
Sari Melhem, Associate AIA (Northern Virginia)
Isabella Nassar, Associate AIA (Northern Virginia)
Natsumi Oba, Associate AIA (Richmond)
Merlyn Rivera, Associate AIA (Northern Virginia)
Stephanie Stubbs, Associate AIA (Northern Virginia)
Anthony Vercio, Associate AIA (Richmond)
Melody Nobleza, Int’l Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Carly Bromwell, Associate AIA (Blue Ridge)
Neetu Chandra, Associate AIA (Northern Virginia)
Preethi Chitharanjan, Associate AIA (Blue Ridge)
Elena Fandrich, Associate AIA (Central Virginia)
Joseph Harold II, Associate AIA (Richmond)
Darian Henry, Associate AIA (Hampton Roads)
XI HUANG, Associate AIA (Blue Ridge)
Julia Hunger, Associate AIA (Northern Virginia)
Kate Kasiak, Associate AIA (Hampton Roads)
Michael Lagarde, Associate AIA (Northern Virginia)
an liu, Associate AIA (Richmond)
Roya Saeidi, Associate AIA (Northern Virginia)

Transferred Into Virginia

Mark Stromdahl, AIA Emeritus (Hampton Roads) from AIA Maryland
Zaira Suarez, AIA (Northern Virginia) from AIA DC

New/Renewed Allied Members

Justin Trent, Managing Director, Lynch Mykins Structural Engineers, PC
Tuan Tran, Architectural Design Manager, Guardian Glass
Kelly Batchelder, Nello Wall Systems
David Weber, Regional Sales Manager, Epic Metals
Brian Stanley, Principal, Dunbar

View all of the AIA Virginia Allied members

We’re Baaaaaccckkkkkk!

There is no secret that the last 18 months have been a challenge for many of our brothers and sisters in the profession. For AIA Virginia, I feel like we have been playing defense in the pandemic. It started as an urgent scramble to get our members the essential tools and resources to navigate the choppy waters caused by an intentional economic shutdown and public health crisis. Over time, we transitioned to a virtual environment which undoubtedly has its advantages and disadvantages. It allowed us to continue providing the needed human interaction that is necessary for positive mental health. Our Design Forum keynote presentation by Steven Holl, FAIA, felt like a fireside chat on Zoom.

On the other hand, I have yet to hear of a virtual meeting or event going viral where people continue to talk about it for months after it concludes. Those who you meet for the first time through a virtual environment are not very memorable after you hit the large red “Leave Meeting” icon. As an association that is THE VOICE of the architecture profession, we cannot fully live out our mission behind a computer screen.

So, in this letter, I want to yell from the rooftops:

“We’re Baaaaaaaaacccckkkkkk!”

We have wasted no time getting back to making memorable moments and demonstrating the value that each one of you offers to our world as an architect. Within the last 30 days, AIA Virginia has twice been a requested resource by our state and local elected officials.

On September 29th, we delivered a presentation to the Commission on School Construction and Modernization which will help our state’s leaders develop funding recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor. That same night, AIA Virginia hosted our “Blueprint for Better Communities” dinner in Norfolk. This event brought together our local architects and prominent community leaders, including the Mayor, to discuss the pursuit of the city’s vision together.

Just a few days later, we presented “School as a Community Catalyst: Happy, Healthy, and High-Performing” to our local elected officials at the Virginia Municipal League’s annual conference in Leesburg. And lastly, we held our first in-person Board meeting since the pandemic at the University of Virginia where we had an inspirational time engaging with students, faculty, School of Architecture Dean Malo Hutson, and Alice Raucher, FAIA (Architect for the University).

This is the time of year where we set our eyes on Architecture Exchange East and Visions for Architecture. Our conference will be mostly virtual and span the week of Nov. 1-5. However, the last day will have an in-person option at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. On this day, we will host Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, as our keynote speaker followed by the safe celebration of our 2020 and 2021 Visions honorees over cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Remember, if you purchase an in-person ticket, it includes the keynote and Visions!

I encourage you to register at: ArchEx 2021 Registration Open – AIA Virginia (aiava.org)

Many of you I have not seen in person since the beginning of 2020. Come join us and I assure you that we will safely have a great time!

In service,

R. Corey Clayborne, FAIA, NOMA, MBA, CAE
Executive Vice President

Meet David Keith, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C

David Keith, FAIA is a Design Principal and CEO of Hanbury in Norfolk, Virginia.David champions a model of practice driven by continuous talent development, creating a thriving culture of design excellence and transforming the firms that he leads and the communities and campuses in which he works.

David is a fierce advocate for growing the next generation of architects and professional leaders. Entering the profession in 1987, in the first Intern Development Program class, he observed that few firms had a clear approach to helping young architects grow professionally and personally. Ever since, he has analyzed how architects learn. Beginning with his first opportunity to mold practice culture, he has shaped teaching firms that deepen and accelerate that learning, providing intentional opportunities for growth with every project.

David structures his practice to create a continuum of education for young designers entering the profession. His expanding firm’s new offices are located near architecture schools. He works closely with schools to understand what students are looking for. Out of this exchange and his personal experiences, David developed his firm’s career development and talent recruitment programs.

David has created teaching practices that use these tools to ensure continuous professional and personal growth:

  • Research: David incorporates researchinto studio practice, to enable individuals to explore subjects(building systems, program outcomes, evidence-based design, sustainability and resiliency, etc.)about which they are passionate. David works to build each designers’ confidence that they can complete outstanding projectsthat reflect their passions and interests.
  • Mentoring:David’s Responsibility Matrix (presented as a case study inThe Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice) enables young designers to assess abilities, identify personal growth agendas, and communicate those agendas to teammates. This process takes place at every project phase kick-off, when young team members identify both the strengths they will bring to the project and five or six goals for professional growth. The project manager is expected to incorporate two or three of these goals into the team’s work plan, thus ensuring growth with every project and providing an opportunity for each employee to shape their career track in a personal way. This approach creates motivated and highly effective teams that often over-perform.
  • Expectations of Senior Staff: The incorporation of goals for growth into work plans is a core expectation of senior staff. Because it puts young people in unfamiliar situations, they will at times make mistakes. David closely guides how senior staff responds to such mistakes, enforcing a strict “No Assholes Rule”: no getting mad, no beating people up, no blaming. It is a moment for teaching.

Summer Scholars Research Projects

A pivotal element of David’s approach is the Summer Scholars program, which has brought young people from more than 25 prestigious schools of architecture throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, India and China to engage in research and design that achieves real-world significance.

Design Excellence

The outward fruit of systematic talent development is design excellence across a wide range of contexts, from conventional practice, focused on higher education, civic and commercial projects; to pro bono practice, advancing the missions of organizations like Operation Smile; to rigorous design-build work for the US military; to regional community development. 

Firm Transformation

The inward payoff of talent development is firm transformation. The most vivid measure of David’s success is the transformation of Clark Nexsen. In the 15 years he was its Director of Architecture and Design Director it won over 200 design awards — more than 40 of them from the AIA — and rose to #11 in the ARCHITECT magazine 50. His current firm, Hanbury, with David in his fourth year as President and CEO, is on a similar trajectory.

The profession has long sought better models for bridging between school and practice. David Keith’s teaching office, its success abundantly proven, is just such a model.

Where did you go to college? 

I’ve been a Virginian most my life. Born in Northern Virginia, grew up in Charlottesville, attended Virginia Tech and have spent most of my professional life in Richmond and Hampton Roads.

I have a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech (1987).

What does it take to be an architect?

Curiosity, passion, humility, and leadership mixed-in with a strong desire to learn and solve problems in creative ways.

Was there an architect that particularly inspired you?

I am most inspired and grateful for the many teachers/mentors that have influenced my career….Olivio Ferrari, Doug Gilpin, Marley Carroll/John Walters, Rohn Price/Dave King, Sandy Bond/Rob Comet/Doug Westmoreland, Brad Tazewell and Jane Rathbone along with many others. 

What are you currently reading?

I love books about art, architecture and design, however my reading has tailed-off dramatically…I’m currently reading Vishaan Chakravarti’sA Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America

and I found Henry Ayon’s book Egyptian Placesto be a delightful journey to a place I haven’t been.

What is the best meal you’ve ever had?

It’s not a single meal, but my favorite meal by far is Thanksgiving Dinner. We celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving with Turkey, Country Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Stuffing, Pumpkin Pie (with Cool Whip), Green Beans, and Yeast Rolls. Most of all, I enjoy the gathering of the family (and it’s always a 4-day weekend which more often than not includes a Hokie win over the Hoos).

Why do you volunteer with AIA?

I believe that our profession has much to offer the world, and the AIA is the one organization that brings together architects from all backgrounds and provides opportunities to make an impact beyond our projects. It’s important to be involved and volunteer with the AIA as it will be what we collectively bring to it.

Newly Licensed

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

Sarah E. Kimble, AIA (Northern Virginia)

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