Mount Angel Abbey Library in Saint Benedict, Oregon. Alvar Aalto, 1970 There have been many definitions of ‘architecture’; mostly written by and for architects. What matters to me is what non-architects think of architecture. Over my nearly five decades in architecture (education plus practice), I’ve recognized five fundamental definitions or meanings of architecture held by non-architects. Architecture as consumer product; about style, fashion, and entertainment (embraced by most media, and most media influenced public, and I suspect most of the public are deeply media influenced). Architecture as real estate; an investment product (embraced by real estate brokers, developers, investors, business media and most building owners). Architecture as useful tool; minimal functional shelter (embraced by many builders, engineers, and facility managers)....
The Many Meanings of Architecture
By F. Jeffrey Murray, FAIA Posted on July 11, 2019
Changes to Design Awards 2019
New Categories Simplify Awards
By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on June 28, 2019
2018 People’s Choice Award winner and Architecture Honor Award winner Century Inn by Margittai Architects, photography by Breanna Kristian Photography & Pittsburgh Real Estate Media It’s rare these days for things to get simpler, but that is exactly what is happening with the new categories determined by AIA Pittsburgh’s Board of Directors for 2019 submissions. The categories have been simplified, but changes have also been made to more closely align to AIA Pittsburgh’s organizational values. In the past award categories were siloed by type of architecture. Going forward there will be three Architecture categories differentiated by square footage and one Unbuilt category. A number of other AIA Chapters have moved in a similar direction “The intent is to simplify to...
Architects Action Day 2019
Members advocate in Harrisburg
By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on June 14, 2019
Quintin Kittle, AIA of qkArchitecture (and AIA Pittsburgh Advocacy Committee Co-chair) and Rebecca Lowe, AIA of Desmone Architects in front of the PA State Capitol. AIA Pittsburgh members caravaned to Harrisburg to ADVOCATE for architecture, EDUCATE Pennsylvania state legislators and PARTICIPATE to make architects’ voices heard. On Tuesday, June 11th architects from across the state, led by AIA Pennsylvania, united in Harrisburg for Architects Action Day 2019. AIA Pittsburgh members participated in this advocacy day where they met with senators and State Representatives from their respective districts to speak directly about issues critical to advancing the profession of architecture throughout the state. 40 AIA PA members and staff comprised 9 groups that advocated in Harrisburg for Architect’s Action Day. The groups held...
Bill Bates, FAIA Speaks with David Lewis, FAIA on Mentorship
“It’s a powerful tool.”
By Maya Henry Posted on April 18, 2019
In this interview, Bill Bates, FAIA, current President of AIA National, interviews David Lewis, FAIA about mentorship. When the camera starts rolling, Mr. Lewis shares how his work was informed by early experiences in South Africa and the story of how the AIA helped to lay the foundation for what would become Urban Design Associates. The video, which premiered at AIA Grassroots in March, was commissioned by AIA National and shot by Pittsburgh-based Anthem Video. Stephen Kraus of Anthem reflected on what it was like to work with Mr. Lewis: “When I first met David Lewis, it was while carrying two large rolling cases full of video equipment right through his living room. Instead of being unnerved by the micro film crew trying...
10 Emerging Leaders and Advocates in Pittsburgh Architecture
Women are leading the way in Pittsburgh
By Point Line Projects and the National Organization of Minority Architects Pittsburgh Posted on March 31, 2019
Safiya J. A. Hodari, AIA on-site at the Fort Wayne VA Medical Center. Image: Megan Carleton. Pittsburgh relies on many different partners, advocates, and allies to build more sustainable, diverse, and vibrant communities. This March for Women’s History Month, AIA Pittsburgh and Point Line Projects have highlighted woman-owned firms in Pittsburgh, reported on the newly revitalized Women in Design group, and channeled the spirit of Pennsylvania’s first licensed woman architect, Anna Wagner Keichline. In this final article in our series, done in conjunction with NOMAPgh, we’re looking forward, shining a spotlight on a generation of emerging women designers who are already changing the face of Pittsburgh’s design scene. Beyond calling Pittsburgh home, they’re also energized around issues that they see as fundamental...
The Right Time for Women in Design Pittsburgh’s Relaunch
By Natasha Tabachnikoff, Point Line Projects Posted on March 14, 2019
Emily Pierson-Brown, Assoc. AIA of Perkins Eastman presents at a Women in Design Pittsburgh happy hour at IKM on January 22, 2019. Photo: Katelyn Rossier, AIA. After political and cultural shifts, some have called 2018 the “Year of the Woman.” This rings true for some women in Pittsburgh’s architecture community, thanks to the revival of Women in Design Pittsburgh (WiD-PGH). Originally co-founded in 2013 by Katie Walsh, now of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, and several others,* the group was relaunched in November of 2018 after a three-year hiatus. Two women leading the resurgence, Laurie Butler and Emily Pierson-Brown, Assoc. AIA, both of Perkins Eastman, say that the timing was right for their audience: “Politically, culturally, and economically, issues of gender equity...
Spotlight on 7 of Pittsburgh’s Women-Owned Firms
By Point Line Projects Posted on March 7, 2019
Mary Barensfeld, AIA, founder of Mary Barensfeld Architecture, photographed in her Hilgard Garden project in San Francisco. Photo: Joe Fletcher. For National Women’s Month, AIA Pittsburgh is partnering with Point Line Projects to highlight some of the women architects and designers making an impact in Southwestern PA. In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re showcasing some of our region’s woman-owned firms. Next, we’ll look at the comeback of Women in Design Pittsburgh, revisit Pennsylvania’s first registered woman architect (who was, according to some, “the first woman to actually practice architecture professionally”), and finally, highlight emerging practitioners to watch. Join the conversation on social media with the tag #AIAPghWomensMonth Architecture is one of the few industries where women have the means...
Jack Mascaro Receives James Kling Award
For Local Contractor It's All About Collaboration
By Maya Henry, COLUMNS Editor Posted on February 28, 2019
John C. (Jack) Mascaro, the chairman of Mascaro Construction Company, L.P., has been awarded the James Kling Fellowship Award from the AIA-MBA Joint Committee in recognition of the high standards Mascaro has maintained for the industry while fostering a community spirit among design and construction professionals. “A primary focus of the AIA-MBA Joint Committee is dialogue and collaboration between architects and contractors,” says Joseph Chaffin, AIA of the AIA-MBA Joint Committee. “This nomination is based on Jack Mascaro’s longstanding commitment to fostering a more collaborative environment and achieving the best outcomes for our client partners and our community.” The James Kling Fellowship Award is given each year alternately to an architect or contractor, who, through their action and example, provide both members...
Advancing the Profession Through Project Pipeline
NOMAPGH Leads Workshops for Students
By Maya Henry, COLUMNS Editor Posted on February 7, 2019
Project Pipeline Summer Camp 2018. All photos by Riccardy Volcy Providing students with exposure to architecture at a young age gives each child an opportunity to discover their artistic and technical passions early in their educational development. Students, parents, teachers, and counselors can then place students in classes that will build on the student’s interest in architecture and design. Project Pipeline is a series of architecture summer camps and design workshops led by NOMAPGH (National Organization of Minority Architects Pittsburgh Chapter). The first summer camp was held in 2018 with a follow-up winter workshop this past December. These educational opportunities were supported in great part by AIA Learning By Design. The AIA, with support from the Architects Foundation, and in partnership...
Year in Review
AIA Pittsburgh 2018
By Maya Henry, COLUMNS Editor Posted on January 25, 2019
Design Pittsburgh 2018 2018 was a year of rethinking AIA Pittsburgh’s direction and how best to support the membership at a time of demographic shifts and technology innovation. Under new staff and board leadership, a strategic planning process in early 2018 led the organization to emphasize ‘collaboration and connectivity’ as cross-cutting themes in its work for the year. Here are just some of the highlights of what happened at the local AIA level in 2018: Membership rose to its highest in the last ten years, with 604 architect, associate and emeritus members in the Chapter as of December 31. New staff members Kira Kellner and Marissa Dello Russo came on board with new ideas for programs and...