Young Architect Update

It’s hard to believe I’m approaching one year since I started as The Region of the Virginias Young Architect Regional Director. My time as YARD has been a constant learning curve and simultaneously energizing. I want to give an overview of the exciting current events happening within YAF.

First, the AIA membership is listening to young architects. In 2017, emerging professional content was six of the ten most read articles on the AIA website, and 65% of the traffic on is ages 18-44. And for the second year in a row, the young architects’ ArchiPAC group, “EP WolfPAC”, donated more to Race for the ArchiCUP than any other group. I encourage all emerging professionals to stay connected by visiting the AIA Center for Emerging Professionals.

In 2017, YAF sponsored a Practice Innovation Lab that explored new ways of thinking about the profession and what lies ahead. The lab was designed “to get architects out from behind their desks to strategize rather than theorize.” More information can be found here. On the heels of a successful Practice Innovation Lab, the YARDS decided at the Annual Conference in February that the theme for 2018 YAF should be “Practice Innovation: Redefining Purpose.” By listening to the concerns of the emerging professionals around the country, there is an overwhelming desire to promote and challenge the profession; all while finding purpose in the process. Young architects in several regions and local components have been conducting their own versions of Practice Innovation Labs. These sessions can come in many different forms and sizes, and if you’re interested in organizing or starting one of these sessions, please contact me.

The Mission Statement of the Young Architect Forum is “Engage. Inspire. Advocate. Serve. Promote.” To solidify this mission, the YAF group is subdivided into five categories: Knowledge, Community, Public Relations, Communication, and Advocacy. I am currently serving in the Knowledge group. Our main task is getting emerging professional seminars formulated and approved for Conference. We’re already working on seminars for A’19 in Las Vegas. The YAF sponsored seminars for A’18 were superb. Some seminars available were “Rage Against the Machines: Surviving the End of Architecture”, the “Mini MBA: Mastering the Business of Architecture for Emerging Professionals,” and “Harassment in the Workplace: Building a Respectful & Harassment-Free Workplace Culture.” I volunteered at A’18 in NYC with several tours, seminars, and some YAF sponsored causes, like the anti-harassment commitment wall. Post-conference, I helped get seminar summaries on YAF’s social media to try to reach an audience that maybe couldn’t attend A’18. To stay connected please follow the ‘aiayaf’ on Instagram and AIA Young Architects Forum on Facebook.

Another mission the YAF has been advocating is developing an EP Friendly Firm Initiative. Several regions have already started a successful Emerging Professional Friendly Firm recognition program, and YAF has worked with those regions to help assemble a toolkit for other regions to get one started. I believe Virginia is looking into this and West Virginia is in the process of starting a committee to explore this program. We’re also trying to conduct a comprehensive study of the status of component level committees. I’ve sent out a survey to the local component YAF leaders and we hope this information will enable the YAF to better support our members in the future and to ensure EP committees feel connected to each other and AIA National.

One more way to stay connected is by reading ‘YAF Connection’. This quarterly publication is the official magazine for young architects and includes articles on leadership, mentorship, and fellowship. See the latest issue here.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time so far as the Virginias YARD. Witnessing emerging professionals tackle the big issues in our practice is inspirational and invigorating. It really makes me question, “What can I do to advance the profession?”

All the best,




Marie McCauley, AIA
Virginias YARD

McCauley Selected as Young Architect Regional Director

December 19, 2017

West Virginia’s Marie McCauley, AIA, Selected as Young Architect Regional Director (YARD)

Marie McCauley, AIA

The Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects Region of The Virginias has selected Marie McCauley, AIA, as Regional Director for the 2018 – 2019 term on the Young Architects Forum, a National AIA Committee.

Marie graduated with a Bachelors of Architecture degree from the University of Tennessee in 2007 and lives in Ripley, West Virginia. She currently works with Silling Architects in Charleston and, before that, with ZMM Architects and Engineers, also in Charleston, and Peterson Architecture in Noblesville, Indiana. She also currently serves on AIA West Virginia’s Young Professionals committee and as an AIA IDP Mentor for AIA West Virginia.

Marie describes familiar milestone events in her first few years as an architect, “During the five years after graduation, I got married, bought my first home, had my first child, sold my first home, and moved from Indiana to my home state of West Virginia. I say this because I understand much of the joys and challenges of what young architects experience.” Of her upcoming service as YARD, Marie says that, “I would listen to the concerns of recently licensed architects,” because she believes, “We all share in the same goal, to positively contribute to the architectural landscape and dialogue in the communities where we live and work.”

AIA WV President Phoebe Patton Randolph said, “We are confident in Marie’s ability to represent the young architects of the Region of the Virginias and congratulate her on the opportunity. Marie will bring a great perspective and thoughtful approach to the role of YARD.”

AIA’s YAF is the voice of recently licensed Architects and a catalyst for progress within the profession. YAF programs, activities, and resources provide young architects with information and leadership; excellence through fellowship with other professionals; and mentoring to enhance individual, community, and professional development.

The Young Architects Regional Director (YARD) serves as a link between the YAF and regional AIA members. YARDs are also responsible for gathering information about issues facing young Architects within their Regions and helping to disseminate information about national/regional activities and resources.