Patricia Gruits with MASS Design Group to Speak at ArchEx 2019

AIA Virginia is pleased to announce that Patricia Gruits with the non-profit firm MASS Design Group will be a keynote speaker at Architecture Exchange East (ArchEx). In keeping with the theme of re:culture, she’ll share her approach to working with communities as well as the story behind the firm’s culture during the ArchEx General Session on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 in Richmond, Va.

About Patricia Gruits
Patricia Gruits is a Director with MASS Design Group leading both design and research projects in health, education, and equity. Since joining MASS in 2013, she has led the design of the Maternity Waiting Village in Malawi with the Malawi Ministry of Health, a series of primary schools in East Africa with the African Wildlife Foundation and the M2 Foundation, and is currently leading the development of an assessment tool to measure the impact of design and infrastructure investments.

Ruhehe Primary School
The redesign of Ruhehe Primary School offers the first proof of concept for design interventions piloted by MASS Design Group at Mubuga Primary School in 2015. Photo by Iwan Baan.

Prior to joining MASS, Patricia worked with Kennedy & Violich Architecture in Boston and co-founded the global non-profit, Portable Light, which provides a portable and sustainable source of power and light to those in resource limited areas of the world. 

Her work has been featured in journals of architecture and design as well as on the BBC World News and the Discovery Channel. She has lectured at SCAD, RISD, Kunstfack University, Tufts University and BuildBoston and has taught design studios at Northeastern University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Patricia received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan.

About MASS Design Group
The Boston-based MASS Design Group is organized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit to create a model of practice optimized to deliver maximum impact to their  partners and the communities they serve. They take on projects that are mission-aligned, that serve the public, and that their board of directors believes are worthy of consideration.

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. The program is curated to bring together the brightest minds and most engaging speakers to explore the theme of culture.

Call for ArchEx 2019 Volunteers

We’re seeking a limited number of individuals to serve as volunteers at Architecture Exchange East 2019. In gratitude for your service, volunteers are invited to attend ArchEx for free on the day(s) you help out.

We are looking for volunteers who are capable of completing a number of different tasks throughout the conference. Volunteers are expected to commit to a minimum of one full day in order to receive the complimentary conference registration.

While we try to accommodate all requests, you’ll be assigned to positions where we have the need. (You must fulfill your entire commitment to receive complimentary conference registration.)

If you are interested, please complete the Volunteer Interest Form. We’ll be in touch later to confirm the details of your participation.

Co-Founder of Oyler Wu, Known for Innovation, to Speak at ArchEx

AIA Virginia is pleased to announce that Dwayne Oyler will give a keynote address during the General Session at ArchEx on Nov. 7, 2019. Oyler is a partner at the LA-based architecture firm Oyler Wu Collaborative, which he co-founded with Jenny Wu. The firm is widely recognized for its experimentation in design, material research, and fabrication. He’ll share the firm’s approach to fostering a collaborative and innovative culture – including the development of LACE, Wu’s 3D printed jewelry line.  

About the Work
The firm was recognized with the prestigious Miller Prize in 2017 to create The Exchange, an installation at Eero Saarinen’s Irwin Conference Center. The installation “fabricates a new space within the site by completing the geometries implied by three canopies, legacies of the Irwin Conference Center’s history as a drive-up bank.”

They’re also known for their design of 3D System’s Culinary Lab, an experimental food lab in LA. The firm stripped the interior of a 1928 Neoclassical bank down to its elements, and created a two-story glass food-printing room outfitted with 3D food printers and a demonstration kitchen. The mezzanine is wrapped in an intricately woven guardrail of white linear steel elements and CNC milled wood panels.

In 2013, the firm designed The Cube for the Beijing Biennale. The 52-foot tall installation, constructed of painted steel and rope, is a 3-dimensional solid object bounded by six square faces. According to the firm, “the aspiration of the installation is to achieve the transcendence of the first dimension – the line – by simulating warping two-dimensional planes, which penetrate and populate the object framework, to create the perception of inhabitable three-dimensional space.”

Their experimentation with lines and geometry is carried through in their design for Monarch a 16-story residential high rise in Taipei, Taiwan. The project employs a “strategy of ‘pixilated lines’ by applying a set of exterior paneling in varying materials and differing geometries to run along the façade of the building.”

About Dwayne Oyler
Oyler received his Bachelor of Architecture from Kansas State University and Master of Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Prior to establishing Oyler Wu Collaborative, he worked for Toshiko Mori Architects and collaborated with Lebbeus Woods on numerous projects including Nine Boxes, Terrain, and Siteline Vienna. He has taught architecture studios at Syracuse University, The Research Institute for Experimental Architecture, and The Cooper Union. He teaches architecture design studios at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI_Arc) and is also a visiting professor at Columbia GSAPP in New York.

About Oyler Wu Collaborative
Oyler Wu Collaborative, based in Los Angeles, was founded in 2004. The firm has been recognized with numerous design awards, including the 2013 Emerging Talent Award from AIA California Council, 2012 Presidential Honor Award for Emerging Practice from AIA LA, and 2011 Emerging Voices Award from the Architectural League in New York. They also won the 2013 Design Vanguard Award from Architectural Record. The firm has published two books, including Pendulum Plane (2009) and Trilogy: SCI Arc Pavilions (2014).

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.

Pascale Sablan Announced as ArchEx Keynote

AIA Virginia is proud to announce that Pascale Sablan, AIA will be a 2019 Keynote Speaker at Architecture Exchange East. Pascale was named one of 25 Young Architects to Watch in 2019 by Architizer and recognized with the 2018 AIA Young Architects Award. She is an architect, mentor, intrapreneur and a passionate advocate for bringing visibility and voice to the issues concerning minority architects. She’ll share her insights and experiences at ArchEx on Thursday, Nov. 7 during the General Session. Registration for the conference opens on Sept. 4.

She’s a Senior Associate at S9ARCHITECTURE as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Beyond the Built Environment. Pascale is the 315th living African American female architect in the United States to attain her architectural license. She was recently appointed to AIA New York’s Board of Directors and to the AIA National Strategic Planning Committee to help develop the 2020-2024 strategic plan for the organization.

AIA Virginia is also pleased to collaborate with Pascale Sablan to bring SAY IT LOUD VIRGINIA to ArchEx 2019. The exhibition features projects by the diverse design professionals that contribute to Virginia’s rich built environment. The SAY IT LOUD series of exhibitions has been featured at A’18, South by Southwest, NOMA 2018 Unbounded, and the United Nations Visitors Center. In fact, the SAY IT LOUD – United Nations exhibition has been translated and displayed in Bujumbura, Geneva, Harare, Lagos, Lome, Nairobi, New Delhi, Minsk and Yaounde.

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.

About Pascale Sablan

Pascale Sablan, AIA, is a Senior Associate at S9ARCHITECTURE. With more than eleven years of experience, she has been on the design team for a variety of mixed-use, commercial, cultural, and residential projects in the U.S., Saudi Arabia, India, Azerbaijan, Japan, and UAE.

She has been recognized for her contributions to the industry with several awards, including the 2018 Pratt Alumni Achievement Award, Emerging New York Architect Merit Award and the NOMA Prize for Excellence in Design. Pascale was featured in the Council of Tall Building & Urban Habitat Research Paper, in the same company as Jeanne Gang and Zaha Hadid. She was named Building Design + Construction 40 Under 40 and was featured on the Cover of the September 2017 issue of their magazine.

She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute and a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from the Columbia University. Pascale has given lectures at Institutions, Universities and Colleges all over the US; Schools such as Columbia University, Georgia Technical College, Tuskegee University, Pratt Institute, Parsons The New School, Madison Area Technical College and California Polytechnic State University and Institution such as the National Museum of African American Heritage & Culture and the United Nations Visitor Centre.

About Beyond the Built Environment

Beyond the Built Environment, is uniquely positioned to address the inequitable disparities in architecture by providing a holistic platform aimed to support numerous stages of the architecture pipeline. Beyond the Built Environment, elevates the identities and contributions of minority architects and designers through exhibitions, curated lectures, and documentaries that testify to the provided value of their built work and its spatial impact.

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]

ArchEx Suggest-A-Session

Each November, at Architecture Exchange East, a community of nearly 1,000 professionals comes together to be inspired, make connections, and learn about the latest innovations in the industry. We believe community-driven content is the cornerstone of a great conference — which is why we want you to have a voice in the programming at ArchEx.

You don’t need to be a speaker or do a lot of heavy lifting to help shape ArchEx. Simply let us know what you want to discover.

Is there a topic you’ve been wanting to explore or experts you want to hear from? Maybe you have a panel discussion idea that has been percolating in your head for a while. Or a project you’ve always want to tour. Or a workshop concept that just needs to become a reality.

The idea can be rough around the edges, but we’re looking for something a bit more refined than “sessions for emerging professionals” or “historic preservation.” (Don’t get us wrong. We’ll definitely be curating content on those topics.)

Suggest a session and we’ll help make your vision come alive. Plus, if your idea is selected, you’ll receive a discount code for 25% off your registration. Remember: Our theme this year is re: culture. Submit your ideas before May 31, 2019.

ArchEx 2019: Call for Proposals

re:culture  — regarding culture


Architecture Exchange East is bringing together the brightest minds and most engaging speakers to explore the theme of culture.  And, we think you should have a seat at the table (or lectern, as the case may be). We’re seeking polished presenters as well as fresh voices to share their research and expertise at ArchEx in Richmond on Nov. 6–8, 2019.

We’ll engage in dynamic conversations around office culture. We’ll dig into redefining studio culture. We might even get a little lofty and examine architecture’s role in expressing humanity’s highest ideals.

If you’re an expert in (re)designing firm culture — submit a proposal.

If you’re a champion of participatory design — submit a proposal.

If you design cultural institutions — submit a proposal.   

If you’ve conducted research into the socio-cultural impact of architecture — submit a proposal.

If you can speak to Japanese influence on custom residential design in the U.S. — submit a proposal.

You get the idea.

We really value sessions that encourage conversation, connections, and collaborative learning. Think workshops, roundtables, and interactive panels. Most of our session slots will be 60 minutes, but we’ll have a few longer time slots for more in-depth explorations. All confirmed speakers will receive a 50% discount on conference registration.

Help us design the best ArchEx experience yet — submit a proposal.    Deadline is May 15. The proposal form is below.


The Call for Proposals is now closed.

Want to Help Curate ArchEx 2019?

Help curate the very best programming, tours, and courses for Architecture Exchange East 2019.

AIA Virginia is looking for a diverse group of members from a range of professional backgrounds to help shape the educational content for Architecture Exchange East (ArchEx).

Members of the Program Advisory Group help identify potential speakers, provide suggestions for content, and evaluate speaker proposals.

Volunteers can expect to:

  • Brainstorm potential speakers, topics, and tours for ArchEx (about 30 minutes)
  • Participate in an organizational meeting (by conference call or online) and share suggestions (about 1 hour)
  • Evaluate a selection of proposed seminars and provide feedback (about 1-2 hours)
  • Enjoy discounted admission to ArchEx

If you’re interested in helping to create a cutting-edge educational program by joining the Program Advisory Group, simply email Rhea George at rgeorge@aiava.org by March 1.