Visions for Architecture 2021

The profession came together for the first time in nearly two years at Visions for Architecture on Nov. 5, 2021 to hear a talk by 2020 AIA Gold Medal winner Marlon Blackwell, FAIA and to celebrate the AIA Virginia Honors Awards and Design Awards. Photos by Yuzhu Zheng.

Visions for Architecture 2021 was generously sponsored by the following:

Visions for Architecture 2021 Sponsor Logos

McDermott and Parker Honored with Virginia Emerging Professional Award

Whitney McDermott, AIA, and Carrie Lee Parker, AIA, are recognized this year with the Virginia Emerging Professional Award by AIA Virginia. Launched in 2015, the Virginia Emerging Professional Award is intended to recognize the accomplishments of emerging leaders in Virginia for their contributions to the profession in design, research, education, discourse; service to the profession, mentorship, or service to the community. Most recipients are accomplished in several of these areas, and all demonstrate the strength of the architecture profession in their early promise as thought leaders and designers.

McDermott, an architect who holds degrees in civil engineering, architecture, and urban planning, has demonstrated an extraordinary consistency and focus for more than a decade on architecture’s capacity to improve the lives of others through construction innovation, design thinking, and community-focused collaboration. While at the University of Virginia, she became the Project Manager for the University of Virginia’s eco/MOD Design Build project and graduated with dual degrees in Architecture and Urban and Environmental Design. Post-graduation, she received a year-long fellowship at the Allegheny Mountain School and then returned to Charlottesville to help manage over 26,000 square feet of organic gardens at the city’s six elementary schools.

In 2017, McDermott began working with a group of residents from the Southwood Mobile Home Park, five miles south of Charlottesville, to create a strategy that would transform the way marginalized communities participate in community design. For nearly five years, she has offered her professional and volunteer time working with the 85 percent Hispanic community to create a resident-led strategy to guide the neighborhood’s redevelopment. McDermott has created and led the training programs for residents using the principles of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) to reach across cultural boundaries in preparing workshops that communicate effectively. By employing ABCD coordination and governance, McDermott has helped residents create their own neighborhood redevelopment plan, write their own code of development, and create a mixed-income and mixed-use neighborhood 400 homes strong.

Parker, a Senior Associate at CannonDesign’s Washington, DC office, works with higher education clients on large, complex projects, to improve the user experience and provide innovative solutions at all scales. Her leadership activities inside and outside of the office, however, define her nomination for this award. For two years, Parker worked tirelessly on behalf of a group of front line designers and emerging professionals from across the globe that directly advise the Cannon’s leaders as part of its NEXT Council. For two years, she also worked with NCARB to make its Licensing Advisors Summit a success and enrich the proceedings of its Intern Think Tank, committed to improving both the practices and policies of architecture. Currently, she serves on AIA’s Manufacturer’s Council as an architect volunteer to maintain bonds between building product manufacturers and design’s vanguard, as well as a proposal author for the DC Board of Trade’s “Urban Design and Quality of Life Working Group,” where she has advanced ideas for storm surge monitoring and photo point monitoring for public spaces. 

Her community work includes board leadership for Horizon House, a 291-unit building in DC entering its sixth decade and serving senior and disabled residents. Wielding a hammer, she worked with Rebuilding Together Alexandria to renovate and rehabilitate the homes of families and seniors in need, putting in the sweat equity her own community needed to not just survive but thrive. She has served as a board member for her own residential community, driving numerous capital improvements and providing pro bono design services for the renovation of the lobby, community center, pool house, and other amenities. Parker’s enthusiasm carries over to the office, as well. In her nomination letter, Patricia Bau, AIA, a principal and co-director of Cannon’s education practice, noted, “Carrie has served many roles in the life cycle of a project as programmer, planner, designer, project architect and project manager. Her versatility makes her a valuable member of our team locally as well as across the firm nationally.” Parker personifies the values of service leadership, community outreach, and mentorship, says Roland Lemke, AIA, a design principal at Cannon, in his nominating letter. “In the seven years that I have known her, she has positioned herself as an irreplaceable member of our team and office family.”

The Awards will be presented at Visions for Architecture on Thursday, Oct. 8 in an online awards ceremony beginning at 4:30 p.m. The program is free but registration is required.

Henry Wheeler and Reggie Jones Recognized with Honorary Membership

Educator Henry Wheeler and legislative counsel Reginald N. Jones will receive Honorary Membership in AIA Virginia. Honorary Membership is bestowed upon a person of esteemed character who is not eligible for membership in the AIA Virginia but who has rendered distinguished and exemplary service, over a sustained period of time, to architecture and the built environment in Virginia. Wheeler and Jones will be celebrated at the Visions for Architecture gala on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at the Hilton Downtown Richmond.

“Every student has a teacher in their life that they remember as the one that stood above all others … the teacher in my life who was most impactful to my formation was Mr. Wheeler.” 

– former student Ken Thacker, AIA

Henry Wheeler was an instructor and, later, Department Head of Industrial Arts at Douglas Freeman High School in Richmond, Virginia. During a career that spanned four decades, he taught generations of students in his mechanical drawing, architecture, and engineering classes. Ahead of his time, he utilized a project-based-learning approach through a variety of increasingly complex assignments. Second and third year students were encouraged to pursue their own design interests with plenty of guided tutelage in independent study. When asked why he turned down a promotion into the school administration, Wheeler said, “I could have made a lot more money, but money isn’t everything. Happiness counts for a lot, and I enjoyed teaching. It was my first love.” His impact on built fabric of Virginia and beyond is immeasurable. Henry Wheeler inspired an astonishing number of his students — more than 354 of them by his own meticulous count — to life-long careers in architecture and allied professions.

“Honorary Membership in AIA Virginia should be our way of thanking Reggie for his many years of service, friendship, support, wisdom, and passion for our profession.”

– Robert A. Boynton, FAIA

For almost 40 years, Reggie Jones has been the legislative voice for design professionals in the Commonwealth. He helped shepherd the adoption of the original Virginia Public Procurement Act in 1982 through the introduction of design-build and the Design Build Construction Management Review Board, and the development of the Public Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act. Throughout this time, he has represented the interests of architects in many matters, including the statute of repose, indemnification, professional licensing, APELSCIDLA Board development, and concerns regarding encroachment on design professionals practice that required constant vigilance. Jones is an invaluable resource on legislative matters extending well beyond his scope of services.

Honors Committee Appointed

Appointments to the Honors Committee were affirmed on Dec. 6, 2013 by the 2014 Board of Directors. The Committee is charged with working to enable the Society to recognize, encourage, and honor distinguished achievements that constitute a beneficial influence on the built environment and/or the profession of architecture. They do this by bringing a series of annual recommendations for awards to the Board of Directors for consideration.

Mary P. Cox, FAIA will serve a one-year term as chair.

New members Michel C. Ashe, FAIA; Greg Hunt, FAIA; Paula Loomis, FAIA; Mark McConnel, AIA; Burt Pinnock, AIA; and James Ritter, FAIA, will replace departing members Carlton S. Abbott, FAIA; Peyton Boyd, FAIA; Robert A. Boynton, FAIA; Robert J. Dunay, FAIA; Sharon C. Park, FAIA; and Robert W. Moje, FAIA.  Each new member will serve a three-year term.

Members continuing their terms include Marvin J. Cantor, FAIA; Michael T Foster, FAIA; Robert E. Middlebrooks, AIA; Ellen S. Cathey, AIA; Paul R. Erickson, AIA; and Christine Snetter, AIA.

The Committee is expected to begin accepting nominations in late spring or early summer.

Call for Entries: 2013 Institute Honor Awards

© 2006, The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved.

The American Institute of Architects celebrates outstanding architectural work that elevates the quality of architecture practice; sets standards against which all architects can measure performance; and informs the public of its breadth and value.

For more than 60 years, the Institute Honor Awards have recognized projects of all sizes, budgets, styles, and building types—from public to residential, from large firms to sole practitioners.

The 2013 Institute Honor Awards program is now accepting online entries of projects that have been

  • completed since January 1, 2006 (except for Regional & Urban Design projects, which may be incomplete, and the Twenty-five Year Award, which will honor projects completed 1978–1988)
  • designed by an architect licensed in the United States or in one of its territories at the time of the project’s completion
  • submitted by an architect who was a member of the design team, whether or not serving as the head of the team

All awards entries are submitted online.

Architecture Both new buildings and renovations/restorations are eligible. An entry must have been designed by an architect licensed in the United States or in one of its territories at the time of the project’s completion.

Interior Architecture Focusing attention on the broad diversity of interior architecture, and acknowledging outstanding building interiors created by architects licensed in the United States.

Regional & Urban Design Distinguished achievement that involves the expanding role of the architect in urban design, city planning, and community development.

Twenty-five Year Award Recognition of architectural design of enduring significance, and conferred on a project that has stood the test of time for 25 to 35 years.

Submissions are due prior to 5 p.m. (Eastern) on Aug. 24, 2012.

Visit Institute Honors and Awardsto learn more.