2022 AIA Virginia Prize Jury Announced

AIA Virginia is pleased to announce the jury for the 2022 AIA Virginia Prize. The competition — which took place over the weekend of Jan. 21–24 —challenged students to craft an architectural proposition in the form of a passenger rail station to serve Virginia’s New River Valley.

The AIA Virginia Prize is a design charrette that engages students at the accredited schools of architecture in Virginia.  Conducted simultaneously at each institution, students are given the competition program Friday at 5 p.m. They work over the weekend to create a board presenting their design solution by 9 a.m. the following Monday.  The competition is intended to promote collaboration between the profession, students, and professors in Virginia.

Each school’s faculty reviewed the submissions and sent up to 10 finalists for final consideration by the jury which will be chaired by Carolyn Rickard-Brideau, AIA.

About the Jury

Carolyn Rickard-Brideau, AIA ~ Jury Chair
Carolyn Rickard-Brideau is Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, an international architecture and design firm.

Christopher Charles, AIA
Christopher Charles is an Associate Principal with Hanbury’s Norfolk office.

Wilson Rayfield, AIA
Wilson Rayfield is Executive Vice President, Aviation with Gresham Smith.

Ken Thacker, AIA
Ken Thacker is a principal with VMDO’s Charlottesville office.

Kevin Byrd, AICP
Kevin Byrd is Executive Director at New River Valley Regional Commission.

Ryan Ives, RLA
Ryan Ives is an Associate and landscape architect Senior Designer in Little’s Durham office.

Meet the 2022 ELA Class

The 14th Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA) class started the year virtually last Friday with our first session and look forward to getting together in person in February in our project area of Roanoke, Virginia.

Shahadah Allah, AIAS, from Hampton University
Christopher Brown, AIA, from Moseley Architects
Preethi Chithranjan, Associate AIA, from AECOM
Cody Dodd, Associate AIA, from Hanbury
Steven Foster, AIA, from DBI Architects
Cedric Gilliam, Associate AIA, from Jacobs Engineering Group
Brian Gore, Associate AIA, from Quinn Evans
Darian Henry, Associate AIA, from HBA Architecture
Helen Jadlowski, AIA, from SFCS
Christina Jeyaseelan, AIAS, from the Washington-Alexandria Architecture School (WAAC)
Isabella Nassar, Associate AIA, from KGD Architecture
Bronwyn Redd, Associate AIA, from Jacobs Engineering Group
Cody Solberg, AIA, from VMDO Architects
Katrina Van Orden, Associate AIA, from Hanbury
Sarah Weiner, from Virginia Tech
Alec Woletz, AIA, from Alloy Workshop Architecture and Construction

The 2022 leadership team is:
Breanna LaTondre Helms, Associate AIA, ELA class of 2019, Chair
Noah Bolton, AIA, ELA class of 2018, Vice-Chair
Nick Cooper, AIA, Past Chair
Chris Warren, AIA, ELA class of 2016, Emeritus Advisor

For more information about the ELA program or to help financially support this program, please contact Cathy Guske at AIA Virginia.

Design Forum: South is Up! Program Announced

Taking place in Northern Virginia on June 3–4, 2022, the Design Forum will continue the trend of showcasing thought-provoking and inspiring work. Design Forum: South is Up! features an incredible line-up of visionary Latin American designers that question, explore, and redefine spaces that respect and celebrate their urban and natural ecosystems and their rich cultural contexts.

Confirmed speakers include:

Smiljan Radić | Chile

Enrique Norten, Hon. FAIA | TEN Arquitectos, Mexico

Viviana Peńa | Colombia

Alberto Kalach | TAX Architects, Mexico

Cazú Zegers | Cazú Zegers Arquitectura, Chile

The program will take place at the award-winning Ballston Center at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. Save the dates of June 3–4. Registration is expected to open this spring.

Want to become a sponsor? Check out our sponsorship package and contact Jody Cranford.

Please join us in thanking our generous sponsors:





Registration Open for AEC Spring Conference

Reconnect with your industry peers and forge new relationships at the most influential industry event in Virginia — the AEC Spring Conference! Registration is now open for this program that brings decision-makers together, face-to-face, for the first time since 2019. Join your peers March 17-18, 2022, at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront to collaborate, explore trending topics, and share solutions to common challenges.

The AEC Spring Conference is a collaboration between AIA Virginia, ACEC Virginia, and AGC Virginia. Attendees can earn 13 AIA LU | Elective.

Take a look at the agenda.

Day 1

Breakfast (8–9 a.m.)

Roundtable Discussions (9 a.m.–noon)Share solutions to common challenges in risk management, leadership, business development, or grassroots advocacy during active discussions moderated by subject-matter exerts.

Lunch & Keynote Address: Virginia Politics (noon–1:30 p.m.)Learn what the latest legislation means for the industry from highly-respected political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth.

Panel Discussions (1:30–4 p.m.)
Collaborate and explore trending topics in higher education or economic development.

Welcome Reception (5–7 p.m.)
Build your network and return to your firm with new relationships and a fresh perspective.

Day 2

Breakfast (7:30–8:30 a.m.)

Roundtable Discussions (8:30–11:30 a.m.)Continue the conversations about risk management, leadership, business development, or grassroots advocacy. Dig deeper into the topics you explored on day one or sit in on new discussions and expand the network of colleagues you can tap when facing a new challenge.

Lunch & Keynote Address: Economic Update (11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.)Hear actionable economic updatesfrom Dr. Elliot Eisenberg, the Bowtie Economist.

Panel Discussions (1–3:30 p.m.)Discuss the latest developments and best practices in coastal resiliency or learn what’s in the infrastructure plan pipeline in various localities around Virginia.

If you’re ready to meet in person, join your colleagues this March. Attendance is very limited so secure your tickets today.

Please join us in thanking our generous sponsors





Draper Aden Associates

2022 AIA Virginia Prize Launches Jan. 21

The 2022 AIA Virginia Prize competition kicks off the spring semester by offering students the opportunity to win a $2,000 prize.

Any student enrolled in one of the accredited schools of architecture in Virginia is eligible to compete in the competition which will take place over the weekend of Jan. 21-24, 2022.

Universities send up to 10 finalists to be reviewed by a jury of respected Virginia practitioners. The winners will be announced later this spring. In addition to the $2,000 prize, three $300 “Best of School” awards will be given.

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.

Launched in 1980, the competition is intended to promote collaboration between the profession, students, and professors in Virginia.

Development of the competition brief rotates between the four schools annually — the 2022 Prize challenge is being developed by Virginia Tech. Learn about last year’s competition.

AIA Large Firm Roundtable ARE Scholarship

The Architects Foundation’s Large Firm Roundtable (LFRT) ARE Scholarship helps fulfill the LFRT’s goal to double the number of licensed Black architects by 2030. The scholarship defrays the costs associated with the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), provides a one-year subscription to ArchiPrep and covers one year of Associate AIA or NOMA member dues.


Applicants must:

  • identify as Black or African American,
  • be a current Associate AIA member or NOMA member,
  • hold an active National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) record,
  • and be eligible to sit for the Architect Registration Examination (ARE).


Deadline: Friday, Jan. 14, 2022
Review period: January–April 2022
Scholarship recipient selection meeting: April 2022
Scholarship recipients notified: Immediately following the meeting

Learn more and apply>>

ELA Class of 2021 Wrap-Up

Emerging Leaders in Architecture is a year-long professional learning and service program created by the Virginia chapter of the American Institute of Architects This program brings together students and young professionals from across the state for monthly sessions on topics that will deepen our understanding of professional practice, alongside a year-long project to create a meaningful deliverable for a particular community. For the class of 2021, our focus was the neighborhood of Blackwell in Richmond, Virginia. We were tasked with developing a design proposal that addresses the needs of a community on the verge of significant redevelopment while considering the preservation of its history and culture.

View their ArchEx project presentation

Blackwell is a predominantly Black, low-income residential neighborhood in the city of Richmond. Like many inner-city neighborhoods, its history is linked to urban renewal, gentrification, and cultural erasure. White flight and urban divestment have resulted in much of the surrounding neighborhood fabric and culture being erased to make way for newer development, highways, and outpriced housing markets. The residents of Blackwell feel as though they have been continually left out of the conversation and are now being driven out by increasing property taxes and cost of living.

To properly address the historical and present-day inequity, as well as the physical and economic challenges that impact the community of Blackwell, we focused our initial efforts on listening to community members to learn and prioritize their needs. We heard that Blackwell lacked access to resources, especially fresh produce, affordable housing, and physical places for people to gather. Without these resources, the residents will likely be pushed out of their neighborhood due to the redevelopment happening all around them.

As our group discussed how to honor, secure, and support the existing community and culture of Blackwell, we acknowledged that, as outsiders with limited time on this project, we cannot pretend to be experts on the community and cultural identity of Blackwell. The only people who can decide what Blackwell needs are the people who live or work there. So, instead of focusing on a specific structure or a location, we explored ways that we could connect residents with resources that already exist so that they can assert their own agency regarding the future of their community. We have since assembled a “community tool kit” for Blackwell: an entry-level, user-friendly guide for starting a grassroots effort to support whatever improvements the residents decide are most important. These tools have been developed for and in conjunction with the community of Blackwell.

Over this past year, this project and process have taught us all so much about the vital role that community engagement must play in all our projects as designers. We prioritized listening to the Blackwell community, and in response to what we heard, did our best to produce a tool for them that is tangible and practical. We have also partnered with local organizations that are willing to store and distribute this community tool kit so that this information is made continually available to Blackwell long after our ELA 2021 class has disbanded. Now, we look to your financial and professional assistance to put this tool into the hands of the community so that they can continue this initiative in their own unique way. If you are able, please consider financial support of this project to help bring this community tool kit to life.

Help fund this project>>

AEC Conference – Save the Date

The 2022 AEC Virginia Conference will be hosted by the Virginia chapters of the American Council of Engineering Companies, the American Institute of Architects, and the Associated General Contractors on March 17-18 at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Its vision is to bridge together architecture, engineering, and construction professionals to collaborate, create, and build for the future.  Preliminary information is available at Summary – 2022 AEC Virginia Spring Conference (cvent.com).

COTE Corner: Are You a Carbon Counter?

Are you a “carbon counter” in your firm? Holistically measuring the embodied carbon or CO2-equivalent emissions associated with a building’s materials is tricky — and vital to evaluating the highest-impact, most cost-effective solutions to reducing embodied carbon on projects.  AIA Virginia’s Committee on the Environment (COTE) is looking for folks who are interested in sharing best practices, resources, suppliers, and tools.

If you’d like to get involved, email Rhea George.

Are you new to the carbon accounting game? Check out the 3-part Embodied Carbon Toolkit.

Introduction to Embodied Carbon

Measuring Embodied Carbon

Strategies for Reducing Embodied Carbon

ArchEx 2021 Agenda & Information

ArchEx is AIA Virginia’s annual conference. This year, it takes place (mostly) virtually from Nov. 1–5, 2021. The program is curated to bring together the brightest minds and most engaging speakers to explore a broad theme.

In 2021, we’ll consider consequences — both intentional and unintentional. Design sometimes follows unexpected paths. Like cracks in the sidewalk, the built environment blooms in surprising ways with unexpected actors, leading us to new horizons. This year’s program features designs and designers responding with innovation, synthesis, and perhaps even a lesson or two from the undesigned constraints around us.

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