Charles Jencks stands at the podium, tall and lanky but defiantly confident. A well-packed Carnegie Music Hall applauds the world-renowned landscape architect and architectural theorist as he pipes out a few initial thoughts to calm the diverse crowd. After a brief description of a 16th century painting on the screen above his head depicting hope on the horizons, Jencks jumps straight into what has propelled him into the international spotlight; Maggie’s Centres. Before even giving an overall synopsis of what his famed centers are, Jencks makes sure to tell the audience what inspired them: hope. He explains that hope is an architect’s best tool when creating any built environment; buildings are trajectories into the future – a horizon and a...
Message of Hope, pt. 1
A personal look at Maggie's Centres with Charles Jencks
By Vincent DeFazio, Assoc. AIA Posted on November 12, 2014
Steps Towards Sustainability
Introducing the COTE Intensives
By Marc Mondor, AIA, LEED Faculty Posted on October 16, 2014
AIA Pittsburgh, with its Committee on the Environment (COTE), is presenting a new series entitled COTE Intensives. These lectures/workshops are designed to dive deeply into various sustainability topics of interest. We’ve listened as our members told us the sustainability topics that are of interest to them, focused our efforts, and are now able to present a program that delivers this content. You may be aware that the AIA Pittsburgh COTE delivered the AIA+2030 Series from May 2013 to April 2014. This content-rich series described how to demand, design, deliver, and operate energy efficient and net-zero buildings. The approach for every session has been to seek and deliver expert content, and then view the principles through the lens of case studies, occasional exercises,...
I Want My CRANtv
Residential Expertise Comes to YouTube
By Becky Spevack Posted on August 12, 2014
Last September, the Custom Residential Architects Network, an AIA Knowledge Community, created their own channel on YouTube, CRANtv, and published a short video entitled “The Architect’s Education”. Ten months and four videos later, CRANtv has garnered over 7,000 views and its creators hope to continue to build a library of educational tools to communicate the value of the residential architect. Columns was able to catch up with the AIA National Chair of CRAN David Andreozzi, AIA and learn more about how the series was started. COLUMNS: You are a residential architect in Rhode Island, as well as involved at not only a local but national level with the AIA and the Custom Residential Architects Network. How and why did you...
Rising to the Challenge
The AIA+2030 Professional Series, Session X Review
By Melanie Como Harris, AIA, LEED AP BD+C Posted on May 4, 2014
AIA Pittsburgh’s first ever AIA+2030 Series concluded on Thursday, April 24th. The series finale – Putting It All Together: Achieving 2030 Goals on the Project and at the Office – answered a question that has been gestating throughout the series: how do we apply what we’ve learned? As COTE committee chair Marc Mondor, AIA appropriately pointed out in his introduction, we have to figure out how to take the multitude of tools and strategies we have absorbed during the 36 hours thus far in the series and incorporate them into each of our practices. Session X offered a few ways to do just that. Presentations featured: a local case study that demonstrated many of the 2030 strategies, an expert that...
Doctorate of Professional Practice?
School of Architecture to offer new program
Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Architecture is now offering a new academic program – the Doctor of Professional Practice (DPP) – that can be completed without leaving one’s current position. CMU’s DPP program offers distance learning, coupled with on-site educational workshops that support “learning through practice.” The program targets mid-career professionals aspiring to solve advanced problems in the fields of architecture, engineering, or construction. The program is part of CMU’s School of Architecture post-professional degree programs and was developed in collaboration with The University of Salford, UK. The DPP is a three-year program, with specific coursework and scholarship to achieve candidacy status during the first year, a proposal defense the second year, and a thesis defense the final year. Modes of...
Rising to the Challenge
The AIA+2030 Professional Series, Session IX Review
By Melanie Como Harris, AIA, LEED AP BD+C Posted on April 23, 2014
Attendees of the AIA+2030 sessions have, up to this point, met at the Bruno Building for an intimate knowledge exchange. However, Session IX – Hand-Off + Staying in Shape – took a provocative turn. This time around, class was held on the Phipps Conservatory campus. The first half of the evening consisted of presentations by John Greenwald, President of Mechanical Operations & Consulting (MOC), and Jason Wirick, Director of Facilities and Sustainability Management at Phipps. The second half of the evening involved a tour of Phipps’ newer buildings from the facilities operator’s point-of-view. Together, the unique learning experience enlivened the often mundane topic of building operations and maintenance. Series moderator Marc Mondor, AIA kicked off the session by introducing John...
Rising to the Challenge
The AIA+2030 Professional Series, Session VIII Review
By Melanie Como Harris, AIA, LEED AP Posted on March 18, 2014
The focus of Session VIII of the AIA+2030 Educational Series was alternative energy sources. Taking place on February 20th, the session – Site Power: Renewable Energy Opportunities – was jam-packed with industry experts in geothermal heating & cooling, biomass, wind, and solar. Each presentation not only described, in detail, how each system works, it also addressed the potential applicability to projects in Southwestern PA. The evening’s first presentation was provided by Marc Portnoff of Thar Geothermal. Marc started off the presentation by comparing and contrasting ground source geothermal against traditional energy sources such as natural gas, coal-fired electricity, and nuclear energy. According to the US EPA, “ground source geothermal is the most energy-efficient, environmentally clean and cost effective space conditioning...
Rising to the Challenge
The AIA+2030 Professional Series, Sessions III & IV Review
By Melanie Como Harris, LEED AP Posted on October 9, 2013
The fifth installment of AIA Pittsburgh’s AIA + 2030 educational series will take place this week, building upon the contents of its predecessors. All of the sessions thus far have been inspiring while featuring a variety of useful strategies and tools to implement in our projects. Given that the two most recent sessions provided the knowledge base upon which Thursday’s session will build, it is worth reviewing those previous sessions. Session III – Accentuate the Positive: Climate Responsive Design Held back in June, the evening started off with a presentation from Christine Mondor, AIA of evolveEA. Her approach to climate responsive design is rooted in three elements: energy efficiency, thermal comfort, and climate-adaptive responsiveness & resilience. Reinforcing the strategies of...
More Than One Path to Licensure
Five recently registered architects discuss their journeys
By Sean Sheffler, AIA, LEED AP Posted on September 23, 2013
The paths in the architectural profession are many and varied, and the nature of those practicing within it, are divergent. Our differing backgrounds, education, and experience each influence our approach to practice, which we perform in different states, in different regions, and in different market segments. Some of us are working in 200-person firms, while others are sole practitioners. Some of us design, some of us market, some of us develop construction drawings. Where our paths converge, however, is in the act of earning one’s license. Registration – whether we are currently working to achieve it, or look back fondly upon the process — is the one thing we all have in common as professionals. We asked five recently registered...
Top 5… Books for the Beach
AIA Pittsburgh's top 5 summer architectural reads
By Becky Spevack Posted on July 2, 2013
The Summer Solstice has passed and the season is officially upon us. Summer brings with it many things – longer days, thunderstorms, flip flops, and of course, vacation. No vacation is complete without a good book, so Columns has asked its readers to recommend their favorite architecturally relevant books. With quite a few to choose from, we have picked some of the more recent releases, in hopes that we’ll bring something new to your attention. Here are the top five picks we think are worth having in hand while your toes are buried in the sand. Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012 In a country where...