An Update from the ELA Class

The Emerging Leaders in Architecture: An Honors Academy of AIA Virginia is completing their eleventh year in 2019. Architecture students, candidates for licensure, and recently licensed architects apply for the program in November of each year and are selected to participate based on chapter and university nominations and open applications. Beginning in January, the class gathers once per month for a series of topic-based seminars to expand the horizons of their experience. Each meeting rotates around the state chapters, introducing participants to new places, new firms, and new peers. Aside from that, the class is tasked with a group project, and present the results of their work at the Architecture Exchange East Conference in November.

We are a diverse class of sixteen architects, designers, and students from all over the world and working in the state’s top firms and schools in Virginia.  Though we are only a few months into the year, we’ve already had loads of fun and gotten to know each other quite well. At our first session in Richmond in January, we each gave three minute long Pecha Kucha style presentations to introduce ourselves to the group, got familiar with the program and visited a project site. For our project kick-off in February, we met at AECOM’s offices in Arlington. Following our day of seminars, we spent the night at an Annandale AirBnB mansion-ette, which featured a baby grand piano and a hot tub. It was there that we learned of Ojima’s musical talent, Ryan’s trivia brilliance, and we discovered that Jeff is our group “Dad.” Everyone also got the chance to learn more about each other on a personal level and get comfortable as a group, be more personal and get comfortable with each other which we all really enjoyed. In our March session, held at the offices of DBI Architects in Reston, we dug even deeper with a Strengthsfinder test. We learned how valuable it is to have strengths balanced in the four main categories like Zakiya and Ianta (something that is a rare trait). They give credit to their Virgo qualities. We then practiced our teamwork and strengths dynamics in a fierce spaghetti tower competition. (See our Facebook page for pics!)

This year, our team has been asked to tackle a broad question, “What should we do with unused office space in Northern Virginia?”  NOVA has about 172 million square feet of office space and about 20% of that space is currently vacant. In presentations given by local developers, planners, and politicians, we learned that two primary disruptors contributed to the rise of vacancy beginning in 2008: the BRAC commission, which called for some government functions in leased space to be relocated to bases, and secondly the release of the iPhone. The iPhone brought with it a major shift in the way work happens. People are no longer tethered to physical places where information is stored; many can now conduct their business from anywhere. As a result, more employees work from home and companies require less square footage per person to operate. Currently, developers look to the bottom line to decide which obsolete office buildings are candidates for upgrades. Tenants have come to expect amenities such as exercise facilities and cafeterias from newly constructed office space. Proximity to parking, public transit, and shopping also help developers predict which buildings have investment potential which is a challenge for the unused spaces farther from civilization.

Currently, we are wading through a sea of research available on this big topic. We are studying the evolution of office space typologies and adaptive reuse case studies across the world, mapping vacancies, and seeking input from the next generation of building end users – children!  We are working on reframing the question. Beyond the bottom line, we are interested in how these buildings could contribute something more to both the community and the environment in which they reside. 

In the coming weeks, we will be moving from the research phase into more defined parameters for our final project. We will be tackling questions like: what is the scale of our solution, will policy-making play a role, what are everyone’s individual goals for a solution, and finally, how are we celebrating at the end of this thing?

For updates on our progress please visit our Instagram @elaclassof2019 and spread the word!

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

Building Evaluator Training Coming to Arlington

When a disaster strikes, one of a community’s first tasks is to determine whether its buildings are safe for habitation. Too often, the structures that must be examined greatly outnumber the trained city inspectors. You can help bridge this gap.  

The AIA Safety Assessment Program (SAP) trains architects, engineers, building officials, and inspectors to evaluate homes, buildings, and infrastructure in the aftermath of a disaster. This workshop teaches you to conduct rapid damage assessments of structures affected by earthquakes, wind, and water. Upon completion of this course, you’ll be able to consistently and safely assess structures for habitability. You’ll also receive a nationally recognized Cal OES registration ID card from the state of California.

CREDITS// 6.5 AIA LU|HSW
Saturday, April 6, 2019
8 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Location: Jacobs| 1100 N. Glebe Rd., Suite 500, Arlington VA

ABOUT THE TRAINING

This curriculum is based on the State of California’s training program and has benefited numerous communities — resulting in thousands of safety evaluations and saving municipalities millions of dollars.

The Safety Assessment Program Training is a technical training program that includes Applied Technology Council ATC-20 Post-earthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings and ATC-45 Safety Evaluation of Buildings after Wind Storms and Floods.

2019 AIA Virginia Prize Jury Announced

AIA Virginia is pleased to announce the jury for the 2019 AIA Virginia Prize. 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.]

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

Jury

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

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

Sandra Hunter, AIA, Design Manager, Loudoun County Dept of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure

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

Burt Pinnock, AIA, Principal, Baskervill

Patrick Thompson, Assoc. AIA, Associate, Commonwealth Architects

The Prize is expected to be awarded in April.

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.

Art of Practice Agenda Announced

Current and future firm leaders from across the Commonwealth will converge on March 22, 2019, at the Winery at Bull Run for the second biennial Art of Practice summit. The program is intended to cultivate leadership skills, identify solutions to common business problems, and fuel collaboration across the profession.

Registration is now open for the day-long event in Northern Virginia. The venue was selected to nurture a retreat-like atmosphere and to encourage relationship building among peers. In keeping with this notion, space is extremely limited, so early registration is strongly encouraged. Tickets are available to members only and are $125 (lunch is included). Participants can earn 6 learning units.

Art of Practice is sponsored by:

Pella Windows of Virginia
Hinge Marketing
VMDO Architects
MEB General Contractors

About the Program

Advanced Communications Training
Effective communication skills are critical the success of any business leader. Take part in an intensive leadership communications program — developed specifically for architects — that was designed to improve your public speaking and storytelling skills. Learn advanced presentation techniques and discover more about your personal style and delivery. Come away with an understanding of how facial expression, eye contact, hand and body movement, and voice impact your message.

Lunchtime Roundtable Discussions
The learning doesn’t stop when we break for lunch. Taking a cue from the most popular part of AIA Virginia’s Firm Roundtable meetings, we’ve reserved time for peer-to-peer learning. Discover best practices and share your experiences with colleagues while you enjoy a catered lunch (carefully paired with sparkling water or a glass of Bull Run’s finest).

Employee Recruitment and Retention
Firm leaders are telling us that their biggest challenge right now is finding and hiring the right talent. Hear emerging research from the AEC industry and discover best practices for employee recruitment and retention.

Moderated Leadership Transition Panel Discussion
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Whether your firm is facing the retirement of a key leader, a merger, or simply considering how to nurture the next generation of principals, leadership transitions can often take years — even with advance planning and management. Hear how your colleagues faced a host of issues and positioned their firms for success in the face of change.

Lodging

A limited room block is held nearby at the Hyatt Place Chantilly. Make reservations online or call the Reservations Center at 1-888-591-1234 using the group code G-AIAE. Complimentary shuttle service is available for those who wish to stay afterward and a enjoy tasting.


About the Art of Practice

The biennial Art of Practice was launched in 2017 with the purpose of providing current and aspiring firm leaders and with timely, relevant, actionable advice on how to grow and sustain their businesses.

Read the key takeaways from the 2017 event and see the photo gallery.

Practice Conference Takes Place on March 22

Registration is now open for AIA Virginia’s second biennial Art of Practice. The day-long event, which takes place on March 22, is intended to cultivate connections between peers in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere.

Both seasoned and emerging leaders will come together at the Winery at Bull Run in Northern Virginia to share and learn best practices, advance their business skills, and form a lasting network of peers.

Participants in the program will consider the following questions:

  • In the face of a changing economy, what are smart firms doing to prepare for the future?
  • What are the leading trends that will impact practice?
  • What role should the AIA play in supporting firm leaders?

As the Board of Directors developed the current Strategic Plan, it was clear from member feedback that there was a desire for programming, tools, and resources to help elevate the business skills of AIA Virginia members. In response to that need, the Art of Practice was launched in 2017 with the explicit purpose of providing current and aspiring firm leaders and with timely, relevant, actionable advice on how to grow and sustain their businesses.

Registration is open to AIA members only.

Read the key takeaways from the 2017 event and see the photo gallery.

Sponsored by:

Pella Windows of Virginia
Hinge Marketing
VMDO Architects
MEB General Contractors

Meet the 2019 ELA Class

Started in 2009, The Emerging Leaders in Architecture: An Honors Academy of the American Institute of Architects Virginia (ELA), develops future leaders in architecture firms, in communities, and in the profession. The goal is to accelerate the growth of emerging architects and provide the tools and experiences needed to advance their careers and serve society as leaders in the community.

The 2019 Class includes:

Macy Anne Carman-Goeke, Annesley Cole, Assoc. AIA, Ashley Falwell, Assoc. AIA, Karim Habbab, Assoc. AIA, Kelley Holmes, AIA, Sydney Huibregtse, Assoc. AIA, Breanna LaTondre, Assoc. AIA, Ryan Oldach Assoc. AIA, Jeffrey Rynes, AIA, Kelsey Sinichko, AIA, Ianta Summers, Zakiya Toney Assoc. AIA, Jeanne Vick AIA, Alexander Zondlo Assoc. AIA, Divya Nautiyal, Assoc. AIA and Ojima Glover.

The 2019 ELA Steering Committee are Christopher Kehde, AIA (Chair), Jennifer Stringer, AIA (Vice Chair), Gwyn Gilliam, AIA (Past Chair), Abigail Watson, AIA, Bruce Wardell, AIA, Scott Boyce, AIA, Spencer Lepler, AIA, and Taylor Clark, AIA.

The Emerging Leaders in Architecture program needs your support! Contact Cathy Guske, Member Services Director to discuss the various ways to show your support.

Student Design Competition Offers $3000 Prize

The AIA Virginia Prize design competition kicks off the new semester by offering students the opportunity to win a $3000 award. The competition is a design charrette that engages students at all of the accredited schools of architecture in Virginia.

Conducted simultaneously at Hampton University, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, 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.

Each school’s faculty reviews the submissions and sends up to 10 finalists to Richmond for final judging.

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

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 is shifting back to the spring semester to better align with the demands of the academic calendar.

Watch for announcement of the winner in the coming months. If you’d like to get involved, contact Rhea George at rgeorge@aiava.org.

Announcing [yaf]CON

AIA Virginia is proud to announce a partnership with the Young Architect’s Forum in Hampton Roads to present [yaf]CON.

[yaf]CON is a newly-curated micro conference for emerging design professionals held 2-5 p.m. on Nov. 9, 2018 during Architecture Exchange East.

[yaf]CON is open to the young and to the young- hearted. The goal is to have fun, to learn, and to discuss the power of design for our communities. This inaugural program was developed to create a platform for emerging professionals for years to come.

You can add [yaf]CON to your ArchEx agenda for no extra charge — or join us for [yaf]CON for only $50.

[yaf]CON is intentionally open to allied professions to encourage cross-pollination of ideas, skill sets, and networks to better activate and enrich our cities through the energy and passion of emerging professionals in the design and construction fields.

[yaf]CON is curated and hosted by the AIA Hampton Roads Chapter of the Young Architects Forum.

2019 ELA Class Nominations Open

AIA Virginia announces the call for applications for the 2019 class of Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA): An Honors Academy of AIA Virginia.

ELA is an intensive program of educational sessions structured around presentations, discussions, team exploration, analysis, consensus-building, collaboration, and case study activities undertaken over the course of a year by a small cadre of participants selected for their potential to be outstanding contributors to the profession and the community. Facilitators and mentors who are established leaders in the building, finance, non-profit, development, university, legal, consulting, and design professions and in the community at large develop and deliver the sessions, designed to provide participants with advanced knowledge and skills related to specific areas of leadership and practice.

The program consists of seven, day-long seminars, several work sessions, culminating with a presentation at Architecture Exchange East.

The application is available here>>
The application deadline is Nov. 16, 2018.

The seminars are interactive, drawing on real examples and actively involving participants. They rotate among sites in Roanoke, Charlottesville, Richmond, Alexandria and Norfolk in conjunction with the firms, schools, and the local AIA component in each area.

How to Apply

The committee seeks applicants from three categories:

  1. Component Nominees: Each of the five Virginia AIA local component Boards may nominate one or more individuals for admission to the program.  One participant will be selected from each chapter for a total of five.
  2. Student Nominees: Each Virginia Architecture School (UVa, VT, Hampton, and WAAC) may nominate one or more students for admission to the program.  One participant will be selected from each school for a total of four.
  3. Open Applications: Applicants may apply on their own or be nominated by someone else.  Seven participants will be selected from among these applicants.

 

ELA Sessions at a Glance

Inheritance and Inspiration
Historically, architecture as a profession comes from a long-standing tradition of patronage and apprenticeship. Today, the profession of architecture has evolved into one that is forward-thinking and fast changing. It requires creativity and leadership for the commerce and culture it serves. As such, we inherit a status and obligation as architects to lead.

Serving Communities
Architects have a social responsibility to strengthen communities. This session evaluates how architects can lead by serving whether it’s in elected office or on a board or commission. Architects need a seat at the table when important civic decisions are made and must be able to speak to the value we bring to a community. Participants will have a chance to experience how the power of architects and design are shaping a community first-hand

Practicing Professionalism
This session kicks off with participants discovering their CliftonStrengths. Understanding where one excels allows him/her to be more effective in a team-oriented profession such as architecture. Fun and experiential team exercises will allow participants to learn more about their classmate’s strengths which will be informative and productive when working on the class project. The session also covers the obligations architects have to the general public in terms of ethics, law, and codes.

Communicating Effectively
Communicating effectively is vital to the success of an architect. Participants learn how to craft appropriate business and professional communications that will be beneficial in public relations, presentations, and persuasive writing and speaking. Participants will be required to do oral presentations as well as undergo a writing critique.

Working Together
Architects are required to work with various stakeholders when executing a project. These parties include public and private owners, developers, contractors, consultants, financial institutions, and allied professionals. Participants will hear from these stakeholders about they view success with architects.

Firm Foundations
Architecture is a business. Businesses have leadership, ownership, and transitions. Participants will learn about these topics in addition to small business management, financial planning, and business/project financial management standards. Participants will learn through role-playing during part of the session.

Value of Good Design
Architects can have a substantial impact in shaping a community’s identity and expression. This can be accomplished through mentorship, education, economic development, and politics. This session brings participants together with community officials to discuss how architecture is essential to healthy community development. This covers the importance of the economics, implementation, and business interests that are associated with good design. The session concludes with a community presentation of the class project.

Conclusion
Participant presentation of the class project at Architecture Exchange East followed by a closing ceremony and reception. Complimentary registration to the conference is provided for the day of the presentation.