Member Dossiers have been part of Columns since its (print) inception and the popular feature has stuck around since we’ve gone digital. Here are five of Columns most recent Dossiers and their advice for young architects to inspire you at the start of 2019. Alicia’s advice to young architects: “Don’t let other people convince you that their limitations are your limitations. You can do it if you decide to.” Dossier: Alicia Volcy, Assoc. AIA Mike’s advice to young architects: “Understand the value of being part of a team. ‘You can go fast alone or you can go far together.” Dossier: AIA Pittsburgh President Mike Gwin, AIA Larry’s advice to young architects: “Choose your own mentors. Don’t settle for an “arranged marriage”...
Recent Dossier Round-up
Take Another Look at These Popular Profiles
By Maya Henry, COLUMNS Editor Posted on January 17, 2019
Architects Leading in their Communities
How to Improve Your 2019 Resolutions List
By Eric Fisher, AIA and Bea Spolidoro, AIA Posted on January 8, 2019
As architects making resolution lists for the new year, one item you might add to your list, if you haven’t already, is to become a leader in your community. It’s possible you believe your designs make you a leader. They speak for themselves after all. And we know you are busy. It takes so long, you may think, to do your paid job that you simply don’t have time to do other professional work. Your families call. Your local night spot beckons. However, leadership work can be spiritually rewarding, as we discovered attending a recent day-long leadership seminar. Held on November 9, 2018, and organized by the AIA National Center For Civic Leadership (CCL) the seminar contained a full day of...
Top Ten Columns Articles of 2018
Important Moments and Themes from 2018
By Maya Henry, COLUMNS Editor Posted on January 1, 2019
10. There is not one answer to why our members belong to AIA. Read the diverse viewpoints from the 2018 Board of Directors in this round-up. I Belong to the AIA Because … 9. Columns Editor Maya Henry interviews Kuza Woodward of IMPACCT Brooklyn about what Pittsburgh can learn from affordable housing development in Brooklyn Q&A with Kuza Woodard of IMPACCT Brooklyn 8. What have Greg Dutton and Matt Diersen, AIA learned as consulting architects on HGTV’s Restored by the Fords? Restored by the Fords 7. Bea Spolidoro, AIA reports on Carnegie Mellon University’s AIAS chapter’s roundtable on what happens after you graduate from architecture school. What Happens After School? 6. John Ryan, AIA explores the evolution of wellness design in...
2018 Letter from the President: A Year of Designing with Purpose
By Michael Gwin, AIA Posted on December 21, 2018
Dear Fellow AIA Members, 2018 has been a great year to be President of AIA Pittsburgh and be part of the many changes and accomplishments of the last 12 months. Our chapter is in a moment of significant growth and has been creating opportunities to design with purpose in our practice, communities and society. We even applied this year’s theme – Design with Purpose – to our internal discussions about how we want to design our organization with a view to the future. This year, we advanced our strategic goals and mission to serve the regional membership in three key areas: Building community among members and beyond to enhance our professional lives and our ability to contribute to the greater...
Last Minute Gifts for the Architect in Your Life
By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on December 20, 2018
iPhone/Pad holder with planter by STAK ceramics (based in Homewood) Whether you need to buy a last minute gift for the architect in your life, or just want some fresh gift ideas for friends and family, Columns has compiled some great choices here with a little help from the AIA membership. Take a look, and we’d love to hear your own suggestions in the comments. All photos from product websites. Knotzland Bow Ties: The architect in a bow-tie may be a stereotype but there is nothing typical about these colorful bow ties from Knotzland. Locally made in Homewood. STAK ceramics: iPhone/Pad holder with planter by STAK ceramics (also based in Homewood). Looking for a way to get your succulents closer...
Ayla Abiad, Assoc. AIA Is Building Bridges
A Designer With a Mission
By Sarah Rafson Posted on December 16, 2018
Ayla Abiad, Assoc. AIA is a designer at AE7 who knows firsthand how complicated the adjustment process is for immigrants and refugees arriving in the US, and works to undo our preconceptions about newcomers. A native of Damascus, Syria, Abiad was studying for her Masters in Sustainable Architecture at the University of Buffalo when the Syrian conflict broke out. What began as an offer to help one Syrian family in Buffalo soon became a non-profit, Build A Bridge (BAB) Foundation, which assists refugees and immigrants “in becoming independent, informed, and contributing members of the community.” As her powerful TEDxBuffalo talk shows, Abiad is a designer with a mission. With an architectural background in healthcare design, BAB merges Abiad’s interest in...
Why Color Matters
Two Projects Demonstrate the Importance of Color in Design
By Maya Henry, COLUMNS Editor Posted on November 15, 2018
Color trends may come and go, but the psychology of color is long-standing and universal. Reds can stir up anger and passion while blues and greens are calming. Designers who can blend these basic theories with contemporary color trends are more likely to create spaces that resonate with actual users. People might not know why they feel better in a space, but chances are it has a lot to do with the colors the designer has chosen. Incorporating ideas of biophilia, our inherent connection to the environment, is becoming increasingly popular as new technologies allow for shapes and materials to more closely mimic nature. Users are demanding natural building materials, ample light, and fresh air that combines to create a...
From Burj Khalifa to PPG Place
Two Designers on Work and Life in Dubai and Pittsburgh
By Aleeza Furman and Kyleen Pickering Posted on October 17, 2018
Architectural practice is an increasingly global endeavor, with materials and collaborators far-flung across the globe. Pittsburgh has long been defined by its waves of immigrants attracted to booming industries and continues to be a place of cultural exchange. The local architectural community continues that trend. For this Columns Q&A, Aleeza Furman and Kyleen Pickering interview Manar Hashem and Will Jodka, two Pittsburgh-based architectural designers who have done a great deal of work internationally. They discuss differences in living and working as senior designers between Dubai and Pittsburgh, with insights for young designers contemplating big moves in their careers. Both Hashem and Jodka recently transferred from architecture firm AE7’s Dubai office to its Pittsburgh office—though they have taken different paths to get...
Ice Box Challenge Pgh
How Did 1800 Pounds of Ice Hold Up in the Pittsburgh Sun?
By Maya Henry Posted on October 10, 2018
Photo by Marissa Dello Russo of AIA Pittsburgh Curious to hear how 1800 pounds of ice has held up over the past four weeks in the Pittsburgh sun (and rain) while encased in two separate boxes designed to simulate conventional construction methods versus Passive House Standard? If you’re an architect (and a gambler) you can feel pretty confident betting that the ice in the Ice Box built to Passive House Standard will win out. And you would be right. The Passive House Standard Ice Boxes consistently retain at least four times more ice than the conventional boxes. Passive House Standard is a proven methodology for achieving high-performance from almost any building type and is...
Dossier: Design Pittsburgh Jury Chair Aaron Hill, AIA
"Get actively involved in the AIA in order to surround yourself with people you will learn from and be inspired by."
Name: Aaron Hill, AIA Firm: Bialosky Cleveland Family: Wife – Carrie & 5-year-old twins – Harper (girl) & Hayden (boy) Years in practice: 20 Education: University of Florida (B. Design) / Georgia Tech (M. Arch) Your first job: Official scorekeeper at the local little league baseball par Project you’re proudest of: NASA Research Support Center – A new workplace being depended on to shift the culture of NASA to attract the next generation of engineers and scientists. What have you always wanted to tell your clients? “They didn’t teach me about you in school.” What’s the most annoying thing architects do? Not listen Favorite tool (can be digital, drafting, physical,…): Moleskine Favorite building: TWA Flight Center Favorite outdoor space: The High Line Architect you’d like to have...