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Evolution of Wellness Design

New Tools for Enhancing Campus Wellness

By John Ryan, AIA Posted on May 21, 2018

In my first week of graduate school, the department chair told our cohort – “What we do here is not normal. That’s why we provide student health services.” He then launched into a listing of the various services provided by the university for student wellness, reciting a litany of different offices and facilities for safety and security, mental, physical and emotional health. Over time, we’ve come to think of student wellness as a set of disparate health services provided for student well-being. This change has largely resulted from specific trends and changes in college healthcare needs, such as rising stress and anxiety levels among students, attention deficit disorders, suicide awareness and prevention, and increasing levels of violence and sexual assault on...

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Winning Credit for Your Work

An Expert's View

By Cynthia L. Taylor Posted on May 15, 2018

Securing basic credit and even modest visibility for design projects is a frequent frustration for architects. If your firm does not have the resources for a high-impact publicity campaign, a few simple steps can still help you receive appropriate credit. The process does not have to be time-consuming or expensive, but it does require a little creativity and follow-through. Write it down One of the first and most important steps begins with your contract. Include a requirement that all project publicity will mention your firm. Whether your firm is the “prime,” part of a design-build or JV partnership, design architect or architect-of-record, be sure this is addressed in your professional agreement. Next, create a solid description of the project. While...

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May @ the AIA

See What's New This Month

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on May 1, 2018

Two opportunities right at the start of the month for continuing education credits, including a building tour of Morningside Crossings, a Passive House in a Large-Scale Retrofit as a follow-up to Build Pittsburgh 2018.  Look for more tours in the coming months.  It’s FINALLY warm enough to be getting back outside.  Look for walking tours and other fun programs to experience the city in the Events section.

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Architects Action Day 2018

Architects advocate in Harrisburg

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on April 26, 2018

Attendees having some fun in front of the Pennsylvania State Capitol.  Image credit AIA Pennsylvania. Tuesday, April 17th members of AIA Pittsburgh joined with architects from across the state, led by AIA Pennsylvania, for Architects’ Day 2018.  Nearly 50  architects joined in for this advocacy day in Harrisburg where they met with senators and congressmen from their respective districts. It was a busy day for Pittsburgh members who met with Senator Randy Vulakovich, Senator Jay Costa’s staff, Senator Wayne Fontana, Representative Jake Wheatley, Representative Paul Costa, Representative Dom Costa, Representative Frank Dermody, Representative Ed Gainey, Representative Harold English, and Representative Michael Turzai. In order to promote architects’ role in the health, safety, and welfare of the public, attendees dropped off over 200 educational...

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My Day at McMurray Elementary School

Presenting to Elementary Students on the Practice of Architecture

By Jennifer Beck, AIA Posted on April 12, 2018

New Peters Township High School Rendering, Hayes Design Group Architects Jennifer Beck, AIA, Project Architect at Hayes Design Group Architects, recently attended Career Day at Peters Township School District’s McMurray Elementary School. She, along with a number of other special guests, presented to fourth, fifth, and sixth-grade students about different careers to consider. Jennifer shared information about the field of architecture and all that goes into designing buildings. She also showed the students some examples of HDG’s recent projects, including the design of the new Peters Township High School (which recently went out to bid). After Career Day, Jennifer received a number of very creative and thoughtful thank you notes from the students! Peters Township’s McMurray Elementary School holds a...

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What Happens After School?

Emerging Designers Transitioning from School to Work

By Bea Spolidoro, AIA Posted on March 19, 2018

Recently, the Carnegie Mellon University’s AIAS chapter invited the Young Architects Forum to discuss ‘the aftermath’ of studying architecture. What happens once University is over? Should you accept your first offer or keep searching for the perfect job? What about teaching and researching? Eight panelists, with different backgrounds and work experiences, gave thoughtful answers to the good questions the students asked. Pursuing licensure is a fundamental step for people wanting to practice architecture. Getting registered involves studying with dedication, patience in gaining AXP hours, and a substantial budget. Students that find themselves unsure about what to do after earning their degree in architecture might postpone becoming licensed until they feel sure about their choice. After all, almost every architecture school...

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Restored by the Fords

Architects on Reality TV

By Maya Henry Posted on March 8, 2018

Photo credit Lexi Ribar Greg Dutton and Matt Diersen, AIA of Midland Architecture have had a long working relationship with interior designer Leanne Ford, completing many residential projects, both in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. In fact, one of their first collaborations was just awarded Best Kitchen Renovation by Pittsburgh Magazine.  So when Ms. Ford, along with her carpenter brother Steve, was looking for an architect to help with the technical aspects involved in bringing the ideas to life for their new renovation show, they reached out to Midland to collaborate. The pilot episode of Restored by the Fords aired in December on HGTV and after a well-received first season, a second season has already been green-lit. The show features types of homes that you see all...

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March @ the AIA

See What's New This Month

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on February 28, 2018

March is full of new and unique opportunities and events.  AIA Pittsburgh is hosting a design charette for Western State Penitentiary.  Pecha Kucha Night Vol. 29 is March 8.  And AIA PA COTE is a new statewide Committee on the Environment.

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I Belong to the AIA Because …

Architects on the Value of Membership

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on February 5, 2018

We love to ask our members why they belong to AIA.  Time is precious and we find that every answer is a little bit different, but the common themes are about the value of community and the strength architects have as a collective voice.  We asked the AIA Board of Directors, including new President Mike Gwin, AIA of Rothschild Doyno Collaborative, why they participate, and here we share those responses with you. Michael Gwin, AIA, President Rothschild Doyno Collaborative Time is valuable, why AIA? I have found that the answer is always the same. Every time I participate or volunteer time with the AIA I am rewarded. The experiences and skills of the people that I have connected with have helped...

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Freedom by Design at Carnegie Mellon University

Free Weatherization Program Connects Students and Community

By Elizabeth Levy Posted on February 4, 2018

The Carnegie Mellon University chapter of Freedom by Design has taken on their first project to introduce and disperse weatherization kits into homes across Pittsburgh. These kits provide families with a series of means to help insulate their home and a booklet outlining the importance of this cost-saving process. The long winter of Pittsburgh causes high heating costs for many residents across the state. Creating energy efficient spaces benefits the resident both financially and thermally. It is important for one to understand the role they can take in keeping heating costs low and their home warm. The FBD team has prototyped and established a packaged kit organized to assist homeowners and renters across a series of communities in Pittsburgh. The...

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