Tag Archive | "Emerging Leaders in Architecture"

2017 ELA Class

Meet the Emerging Leaders Class of 2017

AIA Virginia’s award-winning Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA) program was developed to jump-start the careers of young professionals. Conceived of and lead by a passionate steering committee of successful architects, the program was designed to share the things they wished they had learned in architecture school.

Each of the seven day-long-sessions focuses on developing essential skills like financial management, communication and negotiation, advocacy and public service, and much more.

Want to be a member of this elite group of leaders? The application for the 2018 class will be available later this summer. Contact Marshall Dreiling for information on how to nominate an emerging leader or with any questions about the program.

We asked members of the ELA class of 2017 the same five questions, here are their inspiring answers.

 

Katie Atwater

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?

A: Last fall as part of Doors Open Baltimore, I had the opportunity to visit the Baltimore Basilica for the first time.    The cathedral itself is awe inspiring, but the best part was going down to the undercroft.  The masonry work itself was well worth the visit!

Q: What is the last book you read?

A: Last book I finished was A Man Called Ove and I’m currently reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and Homo Deus, A Brief History of Tomorrow.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture? 

A: I was introduced to the field of architecture the summer after my freshman year in high school when I was bored and my mom made me get a summer job at the architecture firm in her office building.  My passion for architecture came out of a love for both science and art from a young age.  I always loved building things, even when they didn’t make sense to anyone but me (pillow forts were the best!).

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

A: Go to a Nationals game.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?

A: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. No one but yourself expects you to know everything.  Admit when you don’t know something, and make it your mission to learn. If you don’t understand why something is done a certain way ask.  Either you’ll learn a lot, or you’ll affect change when the person you’re asking will realize there’s a better way.

 

Adreon Bell

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?

A: The expansion of the Musée National des Beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ), is a project with incredibly fascinating details that can be illuminated with simple design. The expansion, designed by OMA, adjacent to the classical cathedral, creates a new creative link between religion, urban vistas, and modern architecture.

Q: What is the last book you read?

A: The last book I read was Contagious by Jonah Berger. The book provides an analytical description on why some ideas come to fruition overnight, while others are unfulfilled. It also explains in a thought- provoking way, how word of mouth and social influence work to make an idea or project contagious.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?

A: Being the son of military service members, and traveling around the world has awarded myself a different perspective on culture, the arts, and architecture. However, it was not until my freshman year of high school when I took my first AutoCAD course that I became fascinated with the field. My natural curiosity and that fascination led my passion for architecture towards continued learning and research, in hopes of mastering the discipline.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

A: I own a bright orange 1979 Chevrolet El Camino, which was my first dream car as a child. I love taking it out for a drive, any chance the weather is warm and sunny. It is the most relaxing feeling in the world to me because I feel like I’m driving through Hampton Roads in my own personal time machine.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?

A: My words of wisdom would be, let ambition and curiosity be your driving force. Many aspiring architects get bogged down within the inner workings of a firm. Never settle; you can see, do, or become anything you want with focus and determination. Be the individual who loves learning and not the individual who knows it all. The world is yours

 

Claude Leopold Breithaupt 

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?

A: The Pantheon embodies materiality and structural expression in its purest form, resulting in a simple yet powerful architecture that reminds one that good design is timeless.

Q: What is the last book you read?

A: Dawn of Art: The Chauvet Cave. Watching my 3yo daughter draw using line quality to render perspective got me thinking about the origins of art and artists. The rendering done by some of our earliest ancestors is exceptionally advanced and shows that art and artists have been an integral part of human culture from the beginning. Highly recommend anyone that isn’t familiar with these paintings check it out.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?

A: A visit to Kahn’s Kimball Art Museum early in my architectural education really solidified in my mind what I understood to be good architecture, and still serves as inspiration. I knew then I had chosen the right career.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

A: Scuba diving is the epitome of a controlled breathing exercise, and is like traveling to another world. Backcountry hiking/backpacking is a great way to reconnect with nature, mind, and body. I have hiked in the Olympic and Cascade ranges in the PNW, Crater Lake, Yellowstone, and Yosemite, and hope to hike the Appalachian trail someday.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?

A: The term “professionally poor” is real, but don’t think you have to spend the rest of your career being paid a small fraction of your billing rate working for someone else. Dylan said “The times, they are a-changin’,” and the days of working your way up the ladder to partnership at a firm for most of your life before you are considered an architect are numbered. With online marketing and social media outlets, one can generate publicity without relying on well-established branding to bring in work. If you build it (well) they will come. Aim high and don’t be afraid to be independent. It’s risky and more work, but I immensely enjoy answering the question “who do you work for?”

 

Che Clark

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?

A: Not really one building/ structure, but the entire World Trade Center site.  I was recently in NYC for a business trip and my hotel room overlooked the WTC site.  I remember everything that happened the morning of September 11th very vividly and visited the site almost a decade ago.  To see the transformation from then until now is truly remarkable.  One World Trade Center Plaza is pretty amazing in itself – but Michael Arad’s design for the memorial is very powerful and Davis Brody Bond’s Museum (along with Snohetta’s design for the entrance Pavilion to the Museum) complements its well making for a very powerful piece of Architecture.  It is definitely something I would recommend anyone who visits NYC to take the time to go visit.

Q: What is the last book you read?

A: Since I am actively taking the ARE – I don’t have much time for other reading, but Vince Flynn is one of my favorite authors at this time. The last book of his I read was American Assassin.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?

A: I was exposed to the profession from an early age because my Father is an Architect.  It is something that always interested me and it seems like something I always knew in my mind I would end up doing – the path to get there was just always up in the air.  I took a somewhat circuitous route to end up where I am – but I think I always knew in the end, that Architecture was going to be my career choice.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

Hang out with Family and Friends.  My wife and I are lucky enough to live in the same neighborhood with friends of ours that we have known for a very long time.  Watching all of our kids grow up and play together on a daily basis is the best.  Our favorite spot to relax is the beach and since we only live a few miles away, we spent a lot of our free time there.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?

A: Follow your passion.  Architecture, as a profession, has many different avenues in which you can pursue a career.  Whatever it is that interests you – find that niche and follow through.  The most important thing is to find what speaks to you and try to mold your career around that passion.

 

Barry Collier

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?

A: Not a specific building, but a type – Cathedrals.  The scale and details show all the craftsmanship and skill that was needed to design and build.

Q: What is the last book you read?

A: Right now I have been alternating between code books and the Louden Melrose / Shenandoah West Neighborhood Transformation Plan.  The Neighborhood Transformation Plan provides a lot of insight into the area of our ELA class project.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?

A: For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be an architect.  I started by drawing the childhood homes of my parents as a child.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

A: Cookout on the grill with a good beer and spend time with my family.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?

A: Take risks, move somewhere completely new, and get out of your comfort zone. Your experience as an aspiring architect, good or bad, will influence you throughout your entire career.

 

Jamie MacNichol

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?

A: La Tourette by Le Corbusier, especially the chapel. I had the opportunity to stay there for two days, which were some of the most relaxing in recent memory.

Q: What is the last book you read?

A: The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?

A: Legos, when I was younger I would always build things with them. After building a set, I’d always take them apart and make my own creations.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

A: Play guitar, though I don’t get the chance to play as much as I would like to anymore.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?

A: As I am still an aspiring architect, I would say to never stop learning. Be aware that you don’t know everything and never be afraid ask questions. If someone is willing to impart wisdom, be willing listen.

 

Awais Mahmood

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently – either positive or negative?

A: The Lerner Hall, at Columbia University, has always been an inspiring piece of architecture for me. The “Glass House” is a 5-story curtain wall structure, which connects the ground floor to the floors above with a series of structural glass ramps and stairs. Walking up those suspended ramps gives a sensation of floating.

Q: What is the last book you read?

A: I prefer audio books, as they always seem to go faster than reading. The last book I read though, would be Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall. The book was inspiring enough for me to do my Architecture Thesis on it.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?

A: I have always been good at Arts and in 6th grade was told I have a future in Architecture. Needless to say, ever since I aspired to become an Architect. Growing up in Dubai, U.A.E. and seeing all the astonishing buildings around, added fuel to the passion.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

A: Anything that breaks up the monotony of a daily routine will do. If I had to pick, I would go with either cuddling with the kids on the couch, to watch a movie or watching them play while using their endless imagination.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?

A: Embrace technology advancement, yet never stop hand sketching. In a technology driven society, that is the one talent, as Architects, we need to hold onto. Computers work fast, but the brain to hand coordination will always out do a computer.

 

Corey McCalla

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?

A: VCU’s Institute for Contemporary Art, by Steven Holl (under construction) – I was intrigued to see a building design by Holl, one of my favorite contemporaries, in my city. I look forward to seeing it open and am curious about its life in a historic city.

Q: What is the last book you read?

A: Wool by Hugh Howey (but really it was Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey by Emily Winfield Martin, read to my daughter 100+ times)

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?

A: Through my father, who is also an architect. He took me to see Kahn’s Salk Institute when I was a teenager, and it changed my life.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

A: Seeing a film at the theater.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?

A: Look for inspiration in every aspect of your life. Whether it comes from traveling, or reading, or film, or simply comes from a conversation at a bar, one can be inspired at any time. And never stop asking questions.

 

Andrew McKinley

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?

A: What is the last book you read? Architect’s Essentials of Ownership Transition by Peter Piven. For fun, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak along with hundreds of other children’s books with my daughter!

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?

A: I always enjoyed drawing, painting, and sculpture and intended to pursue a formal education and career in art.  During my sophomore year of high school, my art class performed a research project on well-known buildings and their architects; I selected I.M. Pei’s entrance to the Louvre.  The energy invested on this exercise opened my eyes to the opportunity to pursue art as a profession on a large scale.  I was hooked.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

A: Going to the beach and just about anything with my wife and daughter.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?

A: Be vocal about your goals and opportunities you wish to pursue.  Build your knowledge base as broad and as quickly as you can.  Seek out a good mentor; someone willing to invest time in you and advocate on your behalf.  Soak up the knowledge of experienced members your office by finding out what skillsets they excel at and asking as many questions as they are willing to answer.

 

Chris Moore

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?

A: The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center.  Not only do I appreciate the thought, design and innovation put into to making it as site friendly as possible, I use the wind turbines as a gauge for water conditions every time I head into or out of the inlet.

Q: What is the last book you read?

A: For Leisure: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde; For Inspiration: Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon; For Work:  The Florida Building Code 5th Edition, Chapter 10

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?

A: In high school, I enjoyed problem solving and technical drawing. Architecture was the next logical step.  It was only later that I discovered it as a theory and an art form.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

A: Anything on, in or under the water.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?

A: Often the “default” solution is the right solution.

 

Theresa Mozinski

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?

A: The renderings for the design of a vertical farm in the Sunqiao Urban Agricultural District designed by Sasaki Associates.  The building is a mixed use, hydroponic vertical farm, and education center amidst the urban fabric of Shanghai. I think it is a beautiful and exciting solution to start to supplement the loss of vast amounts of farmland to rapid urbanization.

Q: What is the last book you read?

A: The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?

A: When I was seven years old my parents renovated their house.  I decided to take matters into my own hands and drew a set of CD’s, complete with a second-floor window to backyard water slide.  They ultimately went with the documents generated by the design professional that they had hired, but I’m still striving for that water slide.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

A: Run, draw, or play my saxophone.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?

A: Work hard, push boundaries, and don’t forget to have fun!

 

Gareth Ratti

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?

A: The Shard by Renzo Piano had a positive impact on me when I saw it visiting my family and friends back in the UK. The scale of it was immense and I loved how it seemed to pierce the surrounding city landscape. The views from the top were breathtaking.

Q: What is the last book you read?

A: DADA by Jimmy Fallon. I love getting to read this to my newborn girl.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?

A: I always enjoyed visualizing rooms in my house when I was a child and letting my imagination come up with new concepts on how they would look at function. I would also think about my dream home and what it would look like and then I would then start thinking about creating larger buildings that would make an impact in my community.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

A: As soon as I get home I love to play with my newborn baby girl. It doesn’t matter how busy my day has been; she always makes me smile. I also love to play and watch sports and go to the gym.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?

A: Always be open to learning no matter what the project is. Even the smallest of jobs that don’t seem glamorous can have many different things to learn from. Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t try to be someone that you are not.

 

Amanda Schlichting

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?

A: The Belvedere Gardens Mausoleum in Salem, VA by SMBW. Its physical and metaphorical connection to the surrounding landscape creates a strong sense of place.

Q: What is the last book you read?

A: Kaplan’s Site Planning & Design Study Guide since I’m in the middle of exams.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?

A: I was tasked with designing my own house as part of a sixth-grade computer class. After the project ended, I started drawing every building I visited and fell in love with architecture.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

A: Hiking, riding motorcycles, and spending time with my three dogs.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?

A: Continue to develop your skills and hobbies outside of architecture. Learn how to communicate your ideas clearly and effectively. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and never stop learning.

 

Michael Spory

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?

A: Thorncrown Chapel by E. Fay Jones, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The chapel sits so lightly in the forest—somehow you’re in a treehouse, a pavilion, a church, and the Ozark woods, all at the same time. And how it was constructed (every piece of lumber was no larger than could be carried by two workers) aligns with the landscape itself—one of the finest buildings in the country.

Q: What is the last book you read?

A: Garden City by John Mark Comer

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?

A: By accident, really. I fell in love with art and photography in college, and architecture seemed like something that took those big abstract ideas and put them into reality through design. As a farm kid, I loved the practicality of architecture alongside the possibility for creativity, so I took a risk, applied to graduate school, and kept on going.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

A: Playing soccer. Staying active clears my head.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?

A: Make (and keep) friends and interests “unrelated” to architecture. It can easily be an all-consuming world, and relating to other ideas and people will not only keep you sane and grounded but also provide a wider array of tools to bring to your designs and practice. Economics, graphic design, literature, philosophy, music—go for it.

 

Emely Taveras

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?

A: The Basilica of Notre Dame in Montréal, CA.  It is one of the most colorful church interiors I’ve been in, it was exceptionally beautiful and inspiring.

Q: What is the last book you read?

A: The Magicians by Lev Grossman.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?

A: 6th grade was the first time I said: “I’m going to be an architect.”  I drew house plans as gifts for my friends.  When my parents were looking for a new house, I loved going on tours and would study the MLS listing sheet.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

A: Practicing yoga.  It has been a great source of inspiration and enlightenment for me.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?

A: It’s your practice, do what will make you happy and don’t lose sight of where you want to be keeping in mind that it may change as you change.

Posted in Professional Development News

ELA 2017

ELA 2017 Class Project Announced

The 2017 Emerging Leaders in Architecture class will be focusing their work this year in the Melrose-Orange area of Roanoke, Virginia. While the scope of work is still to be determined, this area has been identified as a target area where entitlement funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) could be used. The City of Roanoke can use these annual funds to address any of three national objectives of HUD; benefiting persons of low to moderate income, eliminating slums and blighting influences, and urgent needs.  Creation and preservation of affordable housing is also a goal of HUD that directs how these funds can be spent. Approximately $2.0 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) funds are received from HUD each year to meet these objectives.

Annually, the City of Roanoke targets at least 51% of these funds into neighborhoods or blocks that qualify as having a majority of its residents as low to moderate income under HUD definitions.  Generally, the city spends between 4 – 6 years in each target area.  Previous target areas assisted include West End, Hurt Park, Gainsboro, and Southeast.

A map of the Melrose-Orange target area showing neighborhood institutions is shown below.  The intent of targeting an area for the multi-year commitment of HUD funds is to encourage private investment and improve the sustainability of neighborhoods.

Residents, business owners, and other stakeholders meet bi-monthly at Goodwill of the Valleys jobs campus on Melrose Avenue to provide input and to learn about activities in MOTA.  The public is invited to attend these meetings.

The ELA class will attend a kick-off meeting on Friday, Mar. 17 where they will hear from City leaders, neighborhood representatives, and community members as well as touring the area.

Stay tuned for updates on the progress of this project.

Posted in Professional Development News

2017 ELA Class

ELA Class of 2017

We are excited to announce the individuals who will be a part of the 2017 class of Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA).

Katie Atwater of LeMay Erickson Willcox Architects
Adreon Bell of Hampton University
Claude Breithaupt of Studio Breithaupt
Miken Cheveyo (Che) Clark of Mason & Hanger
Barry Collier of Colley Architects PC
Jameson MacNichol of Virginia Tech
Awais Mahmood of Baskervill
Corey McCalla of Moseley Architects
Andrew McKinley of VIA design architects, pc
Chris Moore of Hanbury
Theresa Mozinski of Virginia Tech WAAC
Gareth Ratti of Clark Nexsen
Amanda Schlichting of Dewberry
Andrew Shea of University of Virginia
Michael Spory of Stantec
Emely Taveras of Glavé and Holmes Architecture

Watch AIA Virginia NEWS for updates and for more information on their class project in Blue Ridge!

Posted in Featured, Professional Development News

ELA Class of 2016

Nominations for 2017 ELA

AIA Virginia announces a call for applications for the 2017 Emerging Leaders in Architecture: An Honors Academy of AIA Virginia (ELA) program.

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 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:

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.

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.

Open Applications Applicants may apply on their own or be nominated by someone else.  Seven participants will be selected from among these applicants.

Find out more information by downloading the program outline and application or by emailing Marshall Dreiling at mdreiling@aiava.org.

The application deadline has been extended to Nov. 22 2016.

Posted in Professional Development News

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2016 ELA Class Profiles

AIA Virginia’s award-winning Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA) program was developed to jump-start the careers of young professionals. Conceived of and lead by a passionate steering committee of successful architects, the program was designed to share the things they wished they had learned in architecture school.

Each of the seven day-long-sessions focus on developing essential skills like financial management, communication and negotiation, advocacy and public service, and much more.

Want to be a member of this elite group of leaders? The application for the 2017 class will be available later this summer. Contact Marshall Dreiling for information on how to nominate an emerging leader or with any questions about the program.

We asked members of the ELA class of 2016 the same five questions, take a look at their inspiring answers.

Alexander Cheng

Alex Cheng

Alex Cheng

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A:“Tulou” structures are found in the village of Xiashi in the Fujian province of China. They are incredibly massive rammed-earth structures that appear monolithic on the exterior, but more amazingly within the tulou, we find a microcosm of a city. The contemporary lifestyle of the village finds its place in the ancient built forms of the past.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: The last book I read was The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. The essential message of the book is that your happiness precedes your success. It changed my outlook on how to live and how to work.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: I found my passion for architecture in the place where I was raised – in a mid-century modern neighborhood called Hollin Hills, designed by the architect Charles Goodman. The neighborhood is characterized by glass box houses nestled within dense tree canopies, that offers a profound connection between architecture and nature.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: When I get the chance to relax, I like to play tennis, golf, or run – really any outside activity brings me peace.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: As an aspiring architect myself, it’s hard to say! But to steal a piece of advice that I took from my college professors, I would say it is important to “learn how to learn.” I think that somehow, you have to keep up a ravenous appetite for learning to have more knowledge to draw from in the practice of architecture.

 

Alyssa Tope

Alyssa Tope

Alyssa Tope

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: I recently learned about Tanner Springs Park in Portland, OR. It was very inspiring to see the designers honor both the ecological and industrial history of the site in a sustainable way. Although it is not a building, this way of thinking will absolutely inform my future projects.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: Architecture-related: Landscape Urbanism Reader by Charles Waldheim. Non-Architecture-related: Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: I first knew I wanted to be an architect in 5th grade when I was told to design “the ultimate dog house.” Since then, I continue to fall in love with architecture because it gives me the ability to express all facets of my mind. Design allows me to solve problems, be creative, and serve people and the environment.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Whether I am hiking or bicycling down a rural road, I am never more relaxed and my thoughts are never clearer than when I am in nature.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A:Working in the studio or the office until 3 a.m. won’t teach you or inspire you nearly as much as a new experience (especially those outside of the architectural world). As author Kent Nerburn wrote, “If we don’t offer ourselves to the unknown, our senses dull, our world becomes small, and we lose our sense of wonder.”

 

Asher McGlothlin

Asher McGlothlin

Asher McGlothlin

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently- either positive or negative?
A: The church at Stykkisholmur, Iceland, designed by Jon Haraldsson. The church’s simplicity is comforting and inviting, allowing one to feel at ease upon entering the space.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks. A great book on music’s effects on the brain. Oliver Sacks pulls inspiration from E.O. Wilson’s hypothesis of Biophilia to propose that human beings have an innate connection and need for music.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: My grandfather was a carpenter and growing up I spent a lot of time helping him with his projects. He has a great eye for design and inspired me to follow in his footsteps.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Play music. Being able to focus only on the current moment is the essence of meditation and music is the best route I’ve found to do this. When you really get into a song, and put your all into playing it, it is impossible to focus on anything but the present moment.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Follow your heart down whatever road it leads you. It is always wise to listen to those who have more experience than you and to account for their advice in your decisions, but at the end of the day, you are the one who has to live with those decisions. So follow the trail that calls to you. It may be rough at times, but a great story has never been told in which conflict wasn’t present.

 

Braden Field

Braden Field

Braden Field

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: Not exactly a building, but I was mesmerized by the Wonder exhibit at the Renwick Gallery in DC earlier this year.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: The Burglar’s Guide to the City by Geoff Manaugh.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: I’ve always been curious about by how things go together. I was also fascinated by the scale of architecture’s impact on the world and found beauty in good design. Sometime late in high school, I decided that I wanted to pursue architecture as a career, and haven’t looked back since.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: I love to cook. Preparing a meal from scratch, especially without a recipe, and sharing it with good friends and family is always enjoyable.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Don’t wait for the next great project or client, the next better job, or the next promotion – find ways to make whatever you’re working on, wherever you’re working on it, in whatever role you have, the best thing you’ve ever done. Be careful – what you’re working on right now may be the best thing you ever do. Stay curious, and never stop trying to learn.

 

Brian Gurczynski

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: Pantheon, positively.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: Code Commentary, I don’t have much time to read these days.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: When I was a kid I liked drawing floor plans of my ideal snowboarding cabin. I must have drawn over 1,000 of them in middle school.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Boating

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Do not let your limited experience intimidate you to provide creative input.

 

Chris Warren

Chris Warren

Chris Warren

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: 400 Grove by Fougeron Architecture really made a positive impact on me about how I want to approach façade shape and details in my buildings.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: The Kaplan Site Planning and Design Study Guide since I am taking my exams right now.  But I wish I was reading Plato’s Republic right now.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: I was born this way.  Seriously, though, I’ve always wanted to be an architect my whole life, so it wasn’t something I discovered.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: I like to make things.  Recently I restored my Great Grandfather’s dresser into a cabinet.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Apply to one of those new programs where you take all the ARE’s in school.  Having a job and studying after work is not fun.

 

Donna Ryu

Donna Ryu

Donna Ryu

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: Albert Kahn’s Herman Kiefer Hospital in Detroit, Michigan (1954). Positive – Detroit is a historically rich and inspiring city that is rebuilding from the ground up. This historic hospital is one of many being advocated for and anticipated to be preserved and reimagined in Detroit’s efforts to rebuild their urban landscape!

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: I can’t recall an exact moment where I knew architecture was for me. It has become a profession that fills my curiosity and continues to challenge the way I see & experience the world.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: I can’t choose just one – watching a good movie or reading a book (or a comic book!)

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Don’t only do architecture. Be inspired and re-inspired by people, music, film, animation, food, etc.

 

Janine Stewart

Janine Stewart

Janine Stewart

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: It has yet to be completed, but the design for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C., by  Freelon, Adjaye, Bond/Smith and Group JJR really struck me. The symbolism is clear in the building’s form.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: Both my parents (neither of whom are architects) led me to this passion. I watched my father design our house and was fascinated by the process, and my mother started the tradition of driving around looking at houses and buildings whenever we were out and had time to kill.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Watch movies or TV shows. The creators of Netflix have simultaneously enriched my life and stolen my time.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Architects can shape cultures and lifestyles: don’t take that for granted and the learning never stops – embrace it, it’s wonderful.

 

Kelsey Oesmann

Kelsey Oesmann

Kelsey Oesmann

Kelsey is currently biking across America with Bike & Build, to raise funds and awareness for affordable housing.

You can follow her trek at https://coasttocoastkelsey.com/

Watch for her answers to the 5 questions later this summer!

 

 

 

 

 


Kevin Svensen

Kevin Svensen

Kevin Svensen

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: While in Rome my wife and I attended a traditional Baroque concert at Sant’ Agnese in Piazza Navona and I had never experienced beauty so fully before. Being surrounded by Classical Baroque architecture, painting, sculpture and music delighted all the senses in an amazing way. It was a spiritual experience I did not expect going into it.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: I read a lot of children’s books these days to my 2 ½-year-old daughter Linnea. The last I read was The Very Hungry Caterpillar among many others.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: I have wanted to be an architect for as long as I can remember. That passion was developed through art, woodworking and construction. I have always been curious about how things go together.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: I enjoy traveling, which mostly consists of finding beautiful places and cities to enjoy good food, wine, and coffee.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Travel, especially to Europe, and never stop drawing.

 

AIA ELA ad - Kyle Springer

 

 

 

 

Kyle Springer

Kyle Springer

Kyle Springer

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: The Whitney Museum

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: I found my passion while my father built an addition on his house. Watching the process go from sketches to something real was quite transformative to the way I saw buildings.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Record shopping

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Travel. I don’t think it’s possible to see too much.

 

Lauren McQuistion

Lauren McQuistion

Lauren McQuistion

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: Marcel Breuer designed the original Whitney Museum in New York City in 1966. It recently reopened as the Met Breuer after the Whitney as an institution relocated to a new Renzo Piano building. Some people hate the original Breuer building. Some people love it. I happen to love it so much I found a way to make it the focus of my graduate thesis, and I’m so glad it’s finally open again and full of art! If you haven’t ever seen images or details of the staircase, look it up.

Q:What is the last book you read?
A: Detroit City is the Place to Be by Mark Binelli

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: My dad is an architect. I grew up around drafting boards and trace paper. I suppose going to the office with him on Saturday mornings as a little kid should have been a foreshadowing of all the hard work and long hours that go into this profession, but at the same time, that challenge to work hard and constantly learn and grow is exactly what I enjoy the most about it.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: I read. A LOT.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Stick up for yourself and the things you believe in. Don’t be afraid to take chances in your design work and you career path. Listen and learn as much as you can about as many things as you can even if it doesn’t seem directly relevant to architecture. And ask questions. Lots of questions.

 

Luke Stearns

Luke Stearns

Luke Stearns

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: Philharmonie de Paris, Jean Nouvel. Not without some controversy and construction challenges, this definitely still evoked a positive reaction.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: Seven Eves by Neal Stephenson. I have a soft spot for well-written science fiction.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: While studying abroad as an undergraduate in Budapest, Hungary I grew increasingly passionate about the architecture that surrounded me there and on my travels.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Hiking in the mountains and working in my shade garden have recently been my favorite ways to relax.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Walk. Slowing down allows us to notice things that would otherwise buzz by in anonymity. Take the time to see the world around you and explore to find as many different worlds as you can.

 

Michael Chapa

Michael Chapa

Michael Chapa

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: When I first visited New York City I took a train and arrived through Grand Central Station and was awestruck by the grand hall. I recently visited Calatrava’s new World Trade Center hub and it took me back to that moment. I still feel humbled and challenged to build something as gripping.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: I had a great art teacher in high school who patiently taught a friend and I the fundamentals of collage and composition. A few weeks into architecture school I made the connection between those lessons and our studio assignments. (Thanks, Ms. Malbon!) I’ve lost and found it another 100 times since then, but that was the first.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: I crave variety and I fight every day against routine, though cooking is the one thing I will do to tune out everything else. I have no problem spending three or four hours on a weeknight making an amazing meal, practicing with a new ingredient, or learning a new technique.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Do what you want to do.

 

Robert Crawshaw

Robert Crawshaw

Robert Crawshaw

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: I am constantly inspired by the work of those that put as much time into the detail as they do the form. There are a few firms out there that are starting to mix fabrication into their design culture; if you can resolve the level of ornament needed on a stand-alone piece of furniture, you likely can translate that into emotional environments.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: As a proud Hampton Roadsteader, most of my “reading” is on CD…in traffic. Lately, I have been listening to the speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. for his ability to find center.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: Every summer my family would visit my grandparents and we would stay in a house my grandfather built on a steep slope overlooking a lake. From the front door, you could see the window wall at the back of the house but the transparency was less about looking out over the water and more about drawing you into the house with the sky.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Whenever I find time to devote to myself, I like to learn some new skill applicable to arts in general; not to master, but to increase my appreciation for those that have mastered and have a better understanding of what my hands can do.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: There are few things I appreciate more than my parent’s insistence on me developing my writing skills; not just for the compositional outcomes, but the analytical mindset required to cultivate and convey an argument. Couple writing with a willingness to get your hands dirty through art and fabrication and anyone could have an incredible career.

 

Simone Saidel

Simone Saidel

Simone Saidel

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA (very positive reaction)

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: Ballast ARE 4.0 Structural Systems

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: I began asking for house tours at a young age. I was fascinated by how people lived in their homes. The requests for building tours followed shortly after.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Listening to music

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions. Your knowledge base increases and it will help you find your voice.

Posted in Professional Development News

DSC_0181

ELA Project Helps Win Grant

Congratulations to AIA Virginia’s 2015 Emerging Leaders in Architecture!  Their project, “Porous City,” helped the Commonwealth of Virginia land a $120,549,000 grant from the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC), sponsored by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The grant, announced recently in Norfolk by HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Governor Terry McAuliffe, and Michael Berkowitz from the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities, will be used to address sea level rise in the Hampton Roads region.

The 2015 ELA project, “Porous City – a digital test lab of current + future resiliency strategies for the City of Norfolk,” focused on the Chesterfield Heights neighborhood in Norfolk. The results included a website they created (www.porouscity.com) and an education program as well as design concepts applicable to coastal flooding areas throughout the region. ELA’s project supported the NDRC application by demonstrating ongoing and innovative research into scalable and repeatable strategies for flood-prone communities.

Each year, ELA participants complete a real-world project where they experiment with practical application of the principles discussed in the ELA sessions. Communities selected for the projects actively participate in the process and benefit not only from the creative, innovative problem-solving ideas developed by these young architects, but also from the ELA recommendations for implementation. Great work, AIA ELA 2015!

AIA ELA website:
http://www.porouscity.com/

Winning application:
http://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/index.php/virginias-resiliency-plan.html

ODU news:
http://www.odu.edu/news/2016/1/hud_grant#.VqZJvVKTr5d

100 Resilient Cities:
https://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/our-work/initiatives/100-resilient-cities/

Thank you to Brian Frickie, AIA and Mel Price for contributing this article.

Posted in Professional Development News

ELA Class of 2016

2016 Emerging Leaders In Architecture

Friday, January 8th marked the kickoff for 2016’s Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA) program. Sixteen of Virginia’s best and brightest young architects met at The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design to get started on this year’s project, learn a little bit more about each other and hear from two excellent speakers about the past of the profession and the future of creativity.

In this session, the students learned about the history of the profession from Bryan Clark Green, Ph. D., who has done extensive research about the preservation of Virginia’s historical architecture. Green received honorary membership in AIA Virginia at the 2014 Visions for Architecture gala for his efforts. Kelly O’Keefe, who has won Entrepreneur of the Year and Ad Person of the Year, spoke to the students about how the responsibilities of leaders and industries have changed over the years, and how the students need to set themselves up to meet the future changes head on.

The students will apply these insights while working on their annual project. This year is structured differently than previous years as the students will be selecting a project from a select group of options chosen by the ELA Steering Committee. The students will soon choose which brief they would like to focus on, and will tour the location in March. They will work on solutions to this program brief and present their solutions in November at Architecture Exchange East 2016.

The ELA program began in 2009 and now has over 80 alumni — many of which have assumed leadership positions in their respective firms and AIA components. Currently, there is an ELA alum or current participant on the board of every AIA component in Virginia.

Follow ELA on Facebook

Please contact Marshall Dreiling, mdreiling@aiava.org, (804) 237-1769 with any questions about this program.

Posted in Featured, Professional Development News

ELA Class of 2015

Call for Applications – ELA Class of 2016

Application deadline extended to Nov. 30, 2015. Apply today! 

AIA Virginia announces a call for applications for the 2016 class of Emerging Leaders in Architecture: An Honors Academy of AIA Virginia (ELA).

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. Download the program outline and application. 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:

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.

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.

Open Applications Applicants may apply on their own or be nominated by someone else.  Seven participants will be selected from among these applicants.

Find out more information by downloading the program outline and application (hyperlink to the same file as above) or by contacting Marshall Dreiling (hyperlinked to my email). The application deadline is Nov. 15, 2015.

How to Apply

The committee seeks applicants from three categories:

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.

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.

Open Applications: Applicants may apply on their own or be nominated by someone else.  Seven participants will be selected from among these applicants.

Find out more information by downloading the program outline and application or by contacting Marshall Dreiling.

Posted in Professional Development News

Profiles of Emerging Leaders 2015

AIA Virginia’s award-winning Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA) program was developed to jump-start the careers of young professionals. Conceived of and lead by a passionate steering committee of successful architects, the program was designed to share the things they wished they had learned in architecture school.

Each of the seven day-long-sessions focus on developing essential skills like financial management, communication and negotiation, advocacy and public service, and much more.

Want to be a member of this elite group of leaders? Apply to be a member of the ELA class of 2016. Contact Marshall Dreiling for more information on how to nominate an emerging leader or with questions about the program.

We were curious about these leaders, so we asked members of the ELA class of 2015 the same five questions, and this is what they had to say.

Isabel Argoti

Isabel Argoti

Isabel Argoti

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: The Woodies Building in Washington D.C. – positive. It has an interesting combination of classical architecture with intense color décor.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: Consider Lily by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: My uncle is a contractor. I grew up around amazing houses and mansions being built my family first hand. Seeing the plans in drawings in his office come to life absolutely fascinated me. I wanted to design the houses he built, and plus he always told me that he would build my designs.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Sleep. Architects do not sleep enough.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: I am still an aspiring architect myself. But find your inner drive for architects –I can’t see myself studying or pursing anything else in school and that makes the late nights easier.

 

Taylor Clark

Taylor Clark

Taylor Clark

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: The ruins of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Harpers Ferry. Good architecture should aspire to leave beautiful ruins.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: In my previous life, I studied and performed music. When I first heard Goethe’s quote, “Music is liquid architecture. Architecture is frozen music,” I was hooked.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Play my guitar or upright bass.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: A professor once told me, “If the only tool I have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.” Build a well-rounded knowledge of things beyond architecture. Also, spend some time swinging a hammer.

 

Angella Dariah

Angella Dariah

Angella Dariah

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: The Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscript Library on Yale’s campus gave me a positive reaction. I thought it was quite interesting how this huge concrete block was being held by just these four tiny pillars on each corner.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: Honestly, the last book I read was the Handbook for the Practice of Architecture. I’m one of the few in this ELA group that is still in school.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: My dad is an architect in Hartford, CT, and when I was little, he always took me to work with him whenever I was off from school. From then, it was history.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: I absolutely love to sing and dance. Some people may say that these two activities are far from relaxing, but to me, they bring you to a whole other place, away from your problems, thoughts etc.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: I know it’s so cliché but, FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS AND NEVER GIVE UP! Don’t be that person that always says “I should have”; be the person that always says “I have” (and then some lol).

 

Matthew Fadel

Matthew Fadel

Matthew Fadel

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: I just got back from a trip where I was able to see The Guggenheim in Bilbao from the outside. The most interesting part was the large portion of building that was left open to the elements, allowing people to see how the materials come together.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: Since having my first-born child this past year, I’ve been looking forward to reading many different things.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: Not until I was introduced to architectural theory in college; I found the philosophy and the thinking that guides design to be alluring and very powerful. Being able to convincingly reason aesthetic expression hooked me and opened me up to the profession in new ways.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Stream programs via Netflix with my wife

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Take the initiative with your professional education and advancement; do not wait for things to be handed to you. Ask for them, demand them, and when you’re faced with issues that are new and unknown, don’t hesitate to ask questions.

 

ELA advertisement HEWV

 

 

 

 

 

Erika Feggestad

Erika Feggestad

Erika Feggestad

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?

A: The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library by Gordon Bunshaft. It didn’t look like much to me on the outside, but the inside is amazing when the sun is filtering through the marble.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: Who wouldn’t want to draw pretty pictures for a living?

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Sit on the beach and read a book.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Your social skills can be as important as your design skills in this profession.

 

Lynden P. Garland, AIA

Lynden P. Garland, AIA, MBA, CDT, LEED AP

Lynden P. Garland, AIA, MBA, CDT, LEED AP

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: The National Building Museum in Washington DC – It’s just an incredible space.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: 1776 by David McCullough and Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic by Kent Seltman and Leonard Berry

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: I have always had a passion for learning and sharing knowledge to help and improve people’s lives. My personal mantra is to find ways of making today better than yesterday. Once I realized how architecture could deeply affect people, it became the vehicle that allowed me to best express my personal mantra.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Cooking and baking are always a great joy. I’m a bit of a foodie and I like to try new recipes. I also make sure to work out. It helps to relieve stress and, more importantly, it allows me to eat whatever I want.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: It’s smart to admit that you don’t know, just make sure you’re asking plenty of questions. Never let anyone diminish you, your work, or the value of your profession.

 

Emily Hope

Emily Hope

Emily Hope

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: Women’s Opportunity Centre by Sharon Davis Design located in Rwanda, completed in 2013. It is a campus development that includes a series of circular pavilions, built with materials that were locally sourced and produced. The design thoughtfully responds to the project’s climate, its program and the needs of its users in a way that I find inspiring.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: 1493 by Charles Mann

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: It was just a realization of the common theme in all my childhood pursuits- killing dinosaurs was never as much fun as laying out the base camp.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Take a long walk while drinking a nice, strong cup of tea.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: The reality of getting projects built will zap your enthusiasm if architecture is only a mild interest. Make sure being an architect is your true goal. Own the person you are and find a way to pursue your passion.

 

Chelsea Lindsey

Chelsea Lindsey

Chelsea Lindsey

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: I actually just visited the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial at night. There was something very powerful about visiting such iconic monuments while they were lit.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: I’ve just started to read I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: My passion evolved while I was very young. I had a dollhouse that after a few years I realized was not large enough for the plastic family that lived inside. I decide to add an addition made entirely out of empty tissue boxes and books. Then in third grade, our teacher presented a lesson on architecture, where we learned about a few famous buildings and architects and why there are different typologies of building depending on their specific location. Around the same time, I started to look at mail order blueprint home magazines. I would look at a house plan and start sketching different ways to redesign the house. All of that pushed me towards a passion for design and the desire to become an architect.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: I love doing yoga as a way to relax. I also really enjoy experimenting with cooking and baking, though not everything is a success!

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: If you are really passionate about architecture, you’ll find a way to make your dream come true. It takes a lot of hard work to go from an interest in architecture and design in high school to becoming licensed, but the people who have that passion will find a way to make their dream into a reality. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions, that really is the best way to learn.

 

AJ-Medina-VS-AIA-ELA-2015

 

 

 

 

Alejandro J. Medina

Alejandro Medina

Alejandro Medina

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: Lately I am not so much in love with “great architecture” but I am taking great note of the offices of other business associates in a wide range of professions. I can’t say that I have a strong conclusion yet, but rather a sense that we need to devote more attention and design to the places of employment where more of America spends its life.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: The last book I read was given to me by ELA. It is called Walkable City.

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: When I was a young kid I watched Sleepless in Seattle; Tom Hank’s character in that movie is an architect. That’s where it all started but of course it grew from there.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: I Create. It’s in my nature. Sometimes it is woodworking or photography. My focus right now is creating/launching a new young professional organization for Hampton Roads called THRIVE.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Stay strong if you love it. The profession requires many sacrifices, but all of it is worth it when you see you first building come to life. Especially when you realize that what you created will live long past your time on this earth.

 

ELA advertisement HEWV

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth Morgan

Elizabeth Morgan

Elizabeth Morgan

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: I was recently shocked by renderings for a new skyscraper at the Thermal Baths in Vals, Switzerland by Morphosis Architects. Having visited Peter Zumthor’s Therme Vals a few years ago, and delighting in the building’s sensitivity to place, scale, light, sound, and material, I can only say that this new resort hotel appears to be on the other end of the spectrum.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: Beautiful Ruins, a novel by Jess Walter

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: While in college pursuing a fine art degree, I became involved with a couple of non-profit organizations and found that I had great passion for both creating and community outreach. Art and architecture have always been present in my life, (my dad is a landscape architect/designer and my mother is an artist in many ways), but I never really considered how well my interests and skills aligned with the profession of architecture until I read two books: “Design Like You Give a Damn” by Cameron Sinclair and “Rural Studio: Samuel Mockbee and an Architecture of Decency” by Dean and Hursley.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: I relax either by practicing yoga or sipping on a martini with a good book, usually not together though. I’m also a sucker for a well-made film or television series.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Don’t take yourself too seriously but put some serious energy and positivity in to your work, and nurture the relationships you make with colleagues/faculty/mentors in school and beyond.

 

CHP-Design-Studio_AIA-Newsletter-Ad-6

 

 

 

 

Kristin Moye

Kristin Moye

Kristin Moye

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: Not a building, but The Plot 2.0 in downtown Norfolk by Work Program Architects is a really fun civic project that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: Through my academic community. I had some incredible professors and some amazing friends who showed me that architecture is a challenging and wildly beneficial profession for the soul and for the community.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Read science fiction novels.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Find a community of architects, builders, engineers, or tinkerers that you can talk to openly about architecture and the built environment. Don’t stop talking about it.

 

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Vanessa Raquel Reisin

Vanessa Reisin

Vanessa Reisin (right)

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: Casa Azul – Frida Kahlo’s house in Mexico City

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: My path was indirect, however gave me the background and experience that brought me to where I am today. I studied and worked in urban planning for a few years before exploring architecture through two non-degree graduate programs in New York and Paris. The exhilaration and pure adrenaline of studio drew me in.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Eat. I love big meals with close friends and family.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Take advantage of all of your resources, especially the architects around you of earlier generations. Be engaged, and present, and humble, yet bold. Travel.

 

John A. Salmons

John Salmons

John Salmons

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: The Walters in Baltimore. It was a positive reaction for me; I really enjoyed how the spaces flowed into one another.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: The last book that I read was Thinking Architecture by Peter Zumthor

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: It was on a trip to New York, when I saw the Guggenheim I knew I wanted to be an architect.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: I really enjoy day trips, traveling is the best way to find unexpected wonders of architecture.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Don’t ever give up on the passion that fires your inspiration.

 

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Lauren Shumate

Lauren Shumate

Lauren Shumate

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: Hagia Sofia (Istanbul, Turkey) – positive

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: I’ve always liked the idea of architecture (played with lots of legos as a kid, etc.) but it wasn’t until my first architecture studio that I had an outlet for my creativity and I developed a true passion for design.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: I love to travel. There is nothing like dropping into a new culture and experiencing new food, language, and people. My husband and I recently took a trip to Istanbul and I highly recommend it!

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Work hard but value quality, contribution, and a healthy work/life balance above all. Value relationships with classmates and colleagues – the architecture profession is much smaller than you may realize – you will continue to cross paths!

 

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Emily Striffler, Assoc. AIA

Emily Striffler, Assoc. AIA

Emily Striffler, Assoc. AIA

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: While in Cape Cod we came across the East Sandwich Preparative Quaker Meeting House, which was built over 200 years ago. It’s a very humble building, but it is incredibly well made. Everything was thought about as it was built, and the materials are honest and rough. It’s still used today, and that really caused me to pause and appreciate its simplicity and timelessness.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: The life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: My mother is an artist and my father is an engineer – I can’t recall a specific moment where I discovered it – I think my upbringing enabled me to acknowledge it very early in life.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Gardening. Can’t beat it, in my opinion. Walking the dog is a close second!

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Relax, and find time to do something that interests you every day.

 

Daniel Whitmire

Daniel Whitmire

Daniel Whitmire

Q: What building evoked a strong reaction from you recently—either positive or negative?
A: Morphosis Architect’s minimalist skyscraper at Vals – I’m intrigued!

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: Mere Christianity

Q: How did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: I realized I loved architecture during my 4th year of architecture school at Virginia Tech

Q: What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
A: Fighting and other non-relaxing things

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring architects?
A: Pay attention – you can see more by traveling less. Also, pens are invaluable!

Posted in Professional Development News

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The Benefits of Working Together

At their June meeting, the Emerging Leaders in Architecture students learned the importance of working together — a vital tool as they continue to work on their class project in Chesterfield Heights, Norfolk.
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The students heard from Mike Evans, FAIA, former president of Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company, who spoke about the architect’s mind and heart. This talk built upon the previous session in Alexandria on collaboration and embracing the strengths of team members. The students also heard from Brian Frickie, AIA, and a number of recent graduates of the ELA program who furthered this message.

After lunch, the students participated in a panel discussion and case study focusing on working with developers and contractors. Skip Smith, Vice President of Development at W.M. Jordan Company, and Mark Payne, Vice President of S.B. Ballard Construction Company, were on hand to answer the students’ questions and provide different perspectives for the case study.

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Posted in Professional Development News

 

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