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Architects Leading in their Communities

How to Improve Your 2019 Resolutions List

By Eric Fisher, AIA and Bea Spolidoro, AIA Posted on January 8, 2019

As architects making resolution lists for the new year, one item you might add to your list, if you haven’t already, is to become a leader in your community. It’s possible you believe your designs make you a leader. They speak for themselves after all. And we know you are busy. It takes so long, you may think, to do your paid job that you simply don’t have time to do other professional work. Your families call. Your local night spot beckons. However, leadership work can be spiritually rewarding, as we discovered attending a recent day-long leadership seminar. Held on November 9, 2018, and organized by the AIA National Center For Civic Leadership (CCL) the seminar contained a full day of...

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2018 Letter from the President: A Year of Designing with Purpose

By Michael Gwin, AIA Posted on December 21, 2018

Dear Fellow AIA Members, 2018 has been a great year to be President of AIA Pittsburgh and be part of the many changes and accomplishments of the last 12 months. Our chapter is in a moment of significant growth and has been creating opportunities to design with purpose in our practice, communities and society. We even applied this year’s theme – Design with Purpose – to our internal discussions about how we want to design our organization with a view to the future. This year, we advanced our strategic goals and mission to serve the regional membership in three key areas: Building community among members and beyond to enhance our professional lives and our ability to contribute to the greater...

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Last Minute Gifts for the Architect in Your Life

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on December 20, 2018

iPhone/Pad holder with planter by STAK ceramics (based in Homewood) Whether you need to buy a last minute gift for the architect in your life, or just want some fresh gift ideas for friends and family, Columns has compiled some great choices here with a little help from the AIA membership.  Take a look, and we’d love to hear your own suggestions in the comments.  All photos from product websites. Knotzland Bow Ties: The architect in a bow-tie may be a stereotype but there is nothing typical about these colorful bow ties from Knotzland.  Locally made in Homewood. STAK ceramics: iPhone/Pad holder with planter by STAK ceramics (also based in Homewood).  Looking for a way to get your succulents closer...

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Ayla Abiad, Assoc. AIA Is Building Bridges

A Designer With a Mission

By Sarah Rafson Posted on December 16, 2018

Ayla Abiad, Assoc. AIA is a designer at AE7 who knows firsthand how complicated the adjustment process is for immigrants and refugees arriving in the US, and works to undo our preconceptions about newcomers. A native of Damascus, Syria, Abiad was studying for her Masters in Sustainable Architecture at the University of Buffalo when the Syrian conflict broke out. What began as an offer to help one Syrian family in Buffalo soon became a non-profit, Build A Bridge (BAB) Foundation, which assists refugees and immigrants “in becoming independent, informed, and contributing members of the community.” As her powerful TEDxBuffalo talk shows, Abiad is a designer with a mission. With an architectural background in healthcare design, BAB merges Abiad’s interest in...

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From Burj Khalifa to PPG Place

Two Designers on Work and Life in Dubai and Pittsburgh

By Aleeza Furman and Kyleen Pickering Posted on October 17, 2018

Architectural practice is an increasingly global endeavor, with materials and collaborators far-flung across the globe. Pittsburgh has long been defined by its waves of immigrants attracted to booming industries and continues to be a place of cultural exchange. The local architectural community continues that trend.  For this Columns Q&A, Aleeza Furman and Kyleen Pickering interview Manar Hashem and Will Jodka, two Pittsburgh-based architectural designers who have done a great deal of work internationally.  They discuss differences in living and working as senior designers between Dubai and Pittsburgh, with insights for young designers contemplating big moves in their careers. Both Hashem and Jodka recently transferred from architecture firm AE7’s Dubai office to its Pittsburgh office—though they have taken different paths to get...

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Dossier

Dossier: Design Pittsburgh Jury Chair Aaron Hill, AIA

"Get actively involved in the AIA in order to surround yourself with people you will learn from and be inspired by."

Name:  Aaron Hill, AIA Firm:  Bialosky Cleveland Family:  Wife – Carrie & 5-year-old twins – Harper (girl) & Hayden (boy) Years in practice:  20 Education:  University of Florida (B. Design) / Georgia Tech (M. Arch) Your first job:  Official scorekeeper at the local little league baseball par Project you’re proudest of:  NASA Research Support Center – A new workplace being depended on to shift the culture of NASA to attract the next generation of engineers and scientists. What have you always wanted to tell your clients?  “They didn’t teach me about you in school.” What’s the most annoying thing architects do?  Not listen Favorite tool (can be digital, drafting, physical,…):  Moleskine Favorite building: TWA Flight Center Favorite outdoor space:  The High Line Architect you’d like to have...

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The Diversity of Sustainability and Resilience in Design

Submissions for the 2018 Design Awards

By Maya Henry Posted on September 20, 2018

New for Design Pittsburgh 2018, any built project submitted in another Design Awards category is eligible to also be reviewed for the Excellence in Sustainability + Resiliency award category.  This award recognizes built projects that have successfully integrated sustainable and/or resilient building strategies and practices into the design. As defined by the AIA Pittsburgh Design Pittsburgh Committee, sustainability envisions the enduring prosperity of all living things, while sustainable design seeks to create communities, buildings, and products that contribute to this vision.  Resilience is the capacity to adapt to changing conditions and to maintain/regain functionality and vitality in the face of stress or disturbance, while resilient design is the intentional design of buildings, landscapes, communities, and regions in response to these...

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Rethinking Public Space Starts with a Spark

A Look at the Inspiration for #YAFforSPARK

By Maya Henry Posted on September 13, 2018

The new Spark public patio outside Onion Maiden at 639 East Warrington Avenue in Allentown. Image courtesy Onion Maiden To most of Pittsburgh, new outdoor patio spaces located in Allentown and Downtown may seem to have materialized overnight.  However, these two pilot City of Pittsburgh Spark projects were carefully planned, designed and built over many months. The goal of a Spark is to extend the sidewalk into a street’s parking lane, providing space for gathering and relaxation. Part of the City of Pittsburgh’s Complete Streets initiative, Sparks are part of a long-term effort to enhance businesses and invigorate the public realm in a new and unique way.  Sparks originated in 2010 in San Francisco to convert parallel parking spaces into areas for...

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Dossier

Dossier: 2018 AIA/YAF Liaison for AIAS at CMU Chitika Vasudeva

"A great building must begin with the unmeasurable ..."

Name: Chitika Vasudeva, AIAS Family: Parents and a younger brother in Kuwait Years in practice: -2 Education: Carnegie Mellon University (B’Arch ’20) Your first job: Research assistant at CMU for professors Francesca Torello and Joshua Bard on the Plaster ReCast project. Whats the most annoying thing architecture students do?  Overuse the word ‘juxtaposition’ and compare notes on who slept the least and/or is the most overworked. Favorite tool: Analog tools all the way, whether its Micron pens and Copic markers on trace, or quick and messy conceptual models Favorite building: Schindler House Favorite outdoor space: The Erasmus Bridge The architectural personality you’d like to have a drink with: Ada Louise Huxtable Best gift to give an architect: An all-expenses-paid trip to see...

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Leading Lines

Review of Emmanuel Panagiotakis' New Black and White Photography Exhibit

By Robyn Engel, AIA Posted on July 22, 2018

Stepping down from the street, Emmanuel Panagiotakis’s gallery feels like a cool cavern away from the hot breath of the city behind you. Upon entering the space, one is immediately bombarded with the deep saturations and bold, sweeping lines that often characterize post-card images of Pittsburgh and other souvenir-worthy destinations. Amidst the showy, prototypical images that speckle the gallery, Leading Lines is an oasis of thoughtful, balanced photography. Panagiotakis capably explores themes of texture, rhythm, and void space within this black and white exhibit that is magnetic and unique in a way that other gallery pieces struggle to achieve. Examining Ceiling Detail, Full View (above), and Ceiling Detail, the observer is first aware of the many textures of the image,...

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