Viewpoint

Creativity in the Architectural Design Process

How We Make Sense of the Many Tools That Are Available in Today's Profession

By Ilana Gutierrez, Assoc. AIA and Collaborators Posted on March 13, 2017

Technology has fundamentally changed the way we work and think within the architectural world. I have spoken with many architects at different levels in their career to understand how technology, hand drawing, and other conventions play a role in the design process and the effective communication of architectural ideas. Through these conversations with principals, directors, and collaborators at Rothschild Doyno Collaborative, I have learned that there should be a constant dialogue between all creative conventions of design such as hand drawing, physical modeling or computer programs to enhance the architectural design process rather than allowing creative tools to shape us. The approach to architectural education teaches us to problem solve using creative tools. Drawing from my experience, the first year...

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Finally Registered!

My Path to Licensure, and Some Lessons Learned

By Bea Spolidoro, Assoc. AIA Posted on December 12, 2016

It took me seven “pass” notifications from NCARB, but soon I will be able to call myself a registered architect. I still need state approval, but as of right now there is only a 40-dollar check to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania between me and my professional seal. Until two years ago, I was not interested in being registered. For one thing, as an immigrant in the US, there were too many uncertainties. I am not a registered architect in Italy and this is the only licensure I now carry. My friend Mindy Fullilove, Hon. AIA convinced me that a license in the US would be important for my career here. At the time, she was serving as Public Director on the...

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Design Pittsburgh 2016

View All of the Winners of Our Juried Competition

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on October 27, 2016

ARCHITECTURE: Honor Award PROJECT NAME: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Knoxville Branch CLIENT: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh ARCHITECTURE FIRM: GBBN Architects DESIGN TEAM: Anne Chen, AIA; Amanda Markovic; Julian Sandoval ENGINEERS: Sci-Tek Consultants, Inc.; WBCM; WNA Engineering, Inc. CONTRACTORS: Shannon Construction Co. PHOTOGRAPHERS: Massery Photography, Inc. DESCRIPTION: Formally described as a bunker, this project transforms a brutalist 1962 building into an inviting destination for a diverse community. The deeply recessed entrances were moved forward to provide ample glazing that facilitates views to the street and daylight to the interior. Small additions at the front and side of the original building maximize the interior plan, providing a dedicated area for teens and expanded children’s area with an outdoor deck. JURY COMMENTS: With...

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Choose Your Own Adventure

Which Route Will You Take Towards Licensure?

By Sean Sheffler, AIA, LEED AP BD+C Posted on September 1, 2016

I’m not ashamed to admit that I don’t have the best sense of direction.  Especially lately, when my day job has taken me to little out-of-the-way places that are hard to find, and sometimes even harder to find my way back from.  I’ve become increasingly hyper-reliant on the GPS and navigation apps on my phone to get me pointed in the right direction.  Oddly enough, sometimes even when I know exactly where I’m headed (back to the office, or, occasionally, home), I’m just not quite sure of how to go about getting there… because I’m starting out in unfamiliar territory.  That’s when the app is the most valuable, helping me to get myself oriented and make the right choices, instead of heading off...

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What Should Pittsburgh Look Like in 2050?

Young Architects Studio Competition 2016

Pittsburgh isn’t just growing again; it’s thriving. It’s a center of technology, innovation, culture, medicine and education, and has been recognized for its environmental stewardship and sustainable design practices. However, it is not a city without its challenges. The Young Architects Studio Competition (YASC) is a part of AIA Pittsburgh’s annual Design Pittsburgh, a celebration of architecture and design awards competition. This year’s YASC – Vision PGH 2050 – asks you to design a solution for a resilient Pittsburgh of the future.  The City was chosen as a member of the 100 Resilient Cities, whose purpose is to help cities become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. Through...

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July @ the AIA

Gearing up for Design Pittsburgh

It’s July, it’s hot, and you’re counting down the days (or hours) until vacation. Things may feel slower, even sluggish, on these 90° days, but the AIA is still at it, putting your dues dollars to work! AIA Pittsburgh is working full-throttle as Design Pittsburgh approaches. The Call for Submissions has been announced and we look forward to viewing your standout projects for our annual Design Awards Competition. Another new initiative is the AIA Pittsburgh Foundation for Architecture’s Leadership Institute for Emerging Professionals. Applications are due at the end of the month, so don’t miss out on this great opportunity! AXP not IDP: The Architectural Experience Program (AXP), formerly the Intern Development Program (IDP), has officially launched this week. See...

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Architects Who Run

A Semi-Serious Essay on the Importance of Running for Architects

By Bea Spolidoro, Assoc. AIA Posted on June 28, 2016

The English poet, William Wordsworth, defined poetry as “a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” I feel similarly about running, with the difference being that my thoughts take origin from pain in my left knee. Tranquil once again following the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, I want to address why architects, more than anyone else, should run.  This is especially true for those who, like myself, are not quite yet registered, but on their way. Running is like life: we set goals and then we go about achieving them. The pride I feel when I finish a run allows me to study harder and design with increased rigor. Also, we all know that running releases lots...

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May @ the AIA

April was a busy month here at AIA Pittsburgh. While May is a little calmer, don’t be fooled – there are plenty of events in the works!  Looking to get involved? How about a social outing? YAF is hosting their annual Pirates tailgate this month. Or possibly you’re heading to Philadelphia for the AIA Conventional?  And don’t forget about the AIA +2030 Series – Session 2 is this month, with more sessions to follow. Enjoy the warmer weather and longer days and check back often for new opportunities.  AIA Increases Focus on Research – AIA is making a renewed commitment to research. With the release of the Practice-Relevant Research Roadmap, the AIA seeks to 1) increase research literacy, 2) enable and support...

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To Be Licensed

"Why quit before the finish line?"

By Lee Calisti, AIA Posted on May 3, 2016

I want you to know, I’ve avoided this for years. Time’s up. There’s something in the air these days. There seems to be a belief growing that becoming licensed as an architect is optional or even unnecessary. A thought exists that there needs to be irrefutable value clearly demonstrated in bullet points on a highway billboard for candidates to consider pursuing it after they’ve completed their education. If this is you, you are asking the wrong question. It’s axiomatic. Why is getting a license even a question? Every time this issue arises, I try to listen and be empathetic. I helped start AIA Pittsburgh’s YAF in 1996 for goodness sake – I’m an advocate for emerging professionals. I’ve taught hundreds...

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Georgia On My Mind

Pittsburgh Architect Gets Ready for AIA Convention

While it is still a few months away, most of the planning for AIA Convention has already happened, including the schedule of workshops, seminars, and events. Speakers have been lined up, and among those is one of AIA Pittsburgh’s own who will be traveling down to Atlanta this May to lend their voice and expertise. Nicole Graycar, AIA, of IDC Architects | CH2M Hill, will be part of the team to present “Equity by Design: Knowledge, Discussion, Action!” An invited guest at last year’s AIA Emerging Professionals Summit, and Vice Chair of YAF, Graycar’s engagement in both the profession and the community makes her a great choice for this workshop. “Equity by Design” will look at how to advance the...

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