This Monday, November 18 Ray Gastil, AICP will present the David Lewis Lecture on Urban Design to close the Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture’s Fall Lecture Series for 2019. Gastil’s lecture, titled “Learning From Where You Live: Innovation and Connection,” will touch on his five years as Planning Director for the City of Pittsburgh as well as his experience in similar positions in Seattle and New York City. In advance of Monday’s lecture, COLUMNS sat down with Ray to learn more about his lecture topic and hear about his new role heading the Remaking Cities Institute. COLUMNS: What does innovation mean for architects and planners? One of the reasons that we [City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning] called the...
Learning From Where You Live: Q&A with Ray Gastil
"Architecture is Telling Stories About How We Live and What We Want."
By Maya Henry Posted on November 14, 2019
When Architects Give Back, Part 2
How Architecture Firms Support Volunteerism
By Maya Henry, COLUMNS editor Posted on September 5, 2019
AE Works employees show off their CANstruction structure. With the support of local business partners, AE Works has donated over 6,000 cans of food during this annual event Volunteerism is an integral part of the architecture profession whether it is through individual architects’ efforts to give back in their own communities or ingrained in firm culture. In this article we take a closer look at different ways two firms make community support integral to their bottom line. This article is part of a series; read Part 1 here. AE Works: Business for Good The architects, engineers, and building consultants at AE Works think about how they are affecting the environment, community, employees and their clients in each project. To measure...
When Architects Give Back, Part 1
How Architecture Firms Support Volunteerism
By Maya Henry, COLUMNS editor Posted on August 22, 2019
Volunteers from Hayes Design Group’s Adopt-a-Landmark program at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in May Volunteerism is an integral part of the architecture profession whether it is through individual architect’s efforts to give back in their own communities, or ingrained in firm culture. In this article (the first in a series) we take a closer look at different ways two firms make community support integral to their bottom line. Hayes Design Group Architects: Adopting a Landmark On Friday, May 17th, the Hayes Design Group Architects (HDG), headquartered in Robinson Township, held its fourth annual company-wide Adopt-a-Landmark program at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, a National Historic Landmark located on the North Side. Throughout the day, sixteen of the firm’s employees assisted with work inside...
In Memoriam: Kent Edwards, AIA
Past President of AIA Pittsburgh Remembered by Friends
By Edited by Gwen Dakis, AIA Posted on July 25, 2019
Age 69 (though age never mattered!), Kent Edwards, AIA, of Pittsburgh and Confluence, passed away on July 20, surrounded by his family after a valiant medical struggle. Kent was born in Sharon, PA, to Reese and Geraldine Edwards, both deceased. He attended Kent State University, graduating with a double major in Philosophy and Architecture. After 30 years as an architect in Ohio and Pennsylvania, where he served as President of AIA Pittsburgh, Kent and his wife, Cathy, started a community development consulting firm. He was also a proud member of Leadership Pittsburgh, Class VII. Kent will be missed terribly by his wife, partner, and great love of 18 years, Cathy McCollom. He sadly leaves behind his sons Ben (Sarah)...
The Many Meanings of Architecture
By F. Jeffrey Murray, FAIA Posted on July 11, 2019
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)....
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...