Chair | Bea Spolidoro, AIA | Rothschild Doyno Collaborative
Most significant lesson learned: Talk less, draw more
Favorite food: Risotto Milanese style
Favorite Pittsburgh space: The Allegheny North shore Riverfront
Connect with Bea: BeaSpolidoro.com @beaspoli, Flickr
Vice Chair | Eric Phillips, AIA | Strada
Time is valuable, why AIA? There are many professional reasons to be involved in the AIA (networking, keeping up on the current state of Pittsburgh’s architecture, supporting colleagues, promoting knowledge, etc.), but my personal goal is outreach. I believe young designers can learn and grow so much by being involved in the many events that YAF and AIA put on during the year. It’s rewarding to create personal connections and help others to get more involved. Favorite Pittsburgh space: It feels rewarding to be a part of the designers that are making Pittsburgh an active, modern and ‘hip’ city again. My favorite part of town is Pittsburgh’s activated streetscapes (which in no coincidence is the thought behind my firm’s name, Strada – Italian for ‘streets’). I love seeing the sidewalks active, seats at cafes and restaurants full, and to feel the energy of those coming and going, enjoying their city. My favorite streetscapes for taking a stroll are Penn Ave. in the Cultural District and Butler St. in my neighborhood of Lawrenceville. Favorite Pittsburgh Restaurant: Tough question to answer, as it gets more and more difficult to sort through the amazing restaurants popping up around town. I’d still have to say that my favorite is Gaucho Parrilla Argentina (or ‘Gaucho’ for casual conversationalists) in the strip. It started strictly as a take out lunch joint and has transformed into a restaurant for which people will wait in line for hours! Beautiful Argentinian wood-fired meats and can’t miss sides of empanadas, papas, and grilled corn. It’s 9:00 in the morning and I’m already salivating just thinking about Gaucho! Favorite Pittsburgh Brewery: I’d like to say I’m a craft beer enthusiast. And I’m in luck, as Pittsburgh’s craft beer scene has blown up over the past 5 years. Right now, Dancing Gnome Brewery in Sharpsburg can’t do wrong. Large bodied, juicy, hazy IPAs/PAs are their jam (they actually have a beer named Jam) and every single one I’ve had is delicious. Their tap room is simple, modern and welcoming (designed by Peter Margittai Architects).
Treasurer | Jiayu Qin, Leed GA, ASLA | Environmental Planning & Design
Best way to overcome a creative block: relax and be playful
Time is valuable, why AIA? Great group of people!
Favorite food: My favorite food invented/re-invented by Americans is the SANDWICH
Best way to overcome a creative block: Walk away and do a hands on craft like knitting or calligraphy. Or read a fun book (as opposed to something for a class). Then come back and see how my mind has shifted. Favorite Pittsburgh space: The Point. It’s an amazing public space reclaimed from such polluted roots. Favorite food: It changes depending on my mood. However, I am almost always up for any type of desserts. Favorite thing to make as well!
PR Chair | Timo Ong | Strada
Best way to overcome creative block: I would say plenty of good sleep, an hour of a good climb, and a dose of graphics from Behance in between to get those juices running.
Summer Reading List: I’m still making my way through a biography of William Wilberforce titled Amazing Grace and am thinking of a good biography on St. Francis of Assisi next. Any recommends? Also, the Gift by Lewis Hyde. Favorite food in the city:Depending on the fix I need that day. If I’m homesick, Cafe 33 in Squirrel Hill, or Pho Minh on Penn hits close to home. For almost everything else, the Tacos at Bakersfield or the Ranchero at Taco Bea Town makes me happy.
Past Chair | Raymond Bowman, Assoc. AIA
Best way to overcome a creative block: Find the right music, something that will focus and distract you in equal measures. Time is valuable, why AIA? I would like to improve the profession for the next generation of architects in the long term. I am rewarded in the short term by valuable connections and friends. Favorite Pittsburgh space: This might be cheating, but the bike trails and bike lanes have made it possible for me to explore pittsburgh and to find and visit new spaces. Favorite food: I’ve been making a lot of curry. It’s a healthy, delicious way to use up questionable vegetables.
Connect with Ray: rmb-design.com, dipodcast.com