CONFESSION: I never saw myself serving as President of AIA Pittsburgh’s Board of Directors. I don’t fit the mold. I don’t fit the mold of what I once thought the AIA is, who exactly it represents, and why it exists. I’m a relatively young architect, I’m a sole proprietor, and I happen to have a vagina. None of these traits fit the model of the “Architect” that I assumed the AIA served. It wasn’t until I became more deeply involved in the organization that I realized how many of my assumptions about the organization were incorrect. Because I have had many conversations with other architects over the years who share many of the misconceptions that I once had, I’d like...
An Unlikely Leader
Musings - and misconceptions - from this year's chapter president
By Jen Bee, AIA Posted on January 16, 2014
AIA Pittsburgh Nominates New Leaders
A look at the new Board of Directors' nominations
The AIA Pittsburgh Board of Directors is a vital group of architects who help to focus the goals of the organization and provide the leadership to help make those goals happen. As board members’ terms expire, architects who have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills and active involvement in the profession are nominated to the Board of Directors and are voted upon at the Annual Membership Meeting each September by the members. Take a moment to learn more about this year’s nominees and then come support them with your vote on September 10th at the Annual Membership Meeting, held at the SOTA Construction Services’ headquarters. Jen Bee, AIA Jen Bee is principal of Pittsburgh-based architecture firm Jen Bee Design LLC. Deeply rooted...
Barry Svigals, FAIA
Get to know Build Pittsburgh's keynote speaker
Name: Barry Svigals, FAIA Firm: Svigals + Partners, LLP Years in practice: 36 years practicing architecture Eduction: Bachelor of Arts, Yale College; Master of Architecture,Yale School of Architecture Your first job: With Herbert S. Newman and Partners, a former professor and mentor who was an inspiration to work with. Project you are most proud of: I wouldn’t want to suggest that any one project is more important than another, each is the most important to our clients. As a segment of our work, however, creating schools for small children has been enormously rewarding. Most embarrassing moment: On the first day of my first job, incorrectly feeding an original drawing into the blueprint machine (can we remember those?) and not having...
The AIA Manifesto
It's more than three letters after your name
Storming the Hill (Grassroots 2013)
By Sean Sheffler, AIA, LEED AP BD+C Posted on March 25, 2013
I’m just getting back into town after spending last week in Washington D.C., where I joined my fellow architects from all corners of the nation for the AIA’s annual Grassroots Leadership Conference. Nearly 700 representatives of the AIA stormed the hill — Capitol Hill, that is — to meet with our elected officials and lobby on the behalf of the AIA, architects in general, and the profession at large. This was my second year at Grassroots; after the incredible experience I had last year (which I waxed philosophic in an editorial), a return trip to our nation’s capital in 2013 was almost a sure thing. Why, exactly, is a difficult thing to describe. A friend recently asked me why I...
A Fellow Among Us
Congratulations to AIA Pittsburgh’s Rich DeYoung, who was among the 122 member architects inducted into the College of Fellows for 2013. The Fellowship program was developed to elevate those architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession. DeYoung, president and CEO if WTW Architects, is currently serving as the 2013-14 AIA secretary. He is also a past AIA national board member, has served as Pennsylvania regional director, a member of the AIA Secretary’s Advisory Committee as well as the AIA Advocacy Committee. He was president of AIA Pennsylvania in 2006 and president of AIA Pittsburgh in 2003. He, along with the other 2013 Fellows, will be...
Eric Osth, AIA
The key is collaboration
Name: Eric Osth, AIA Firm: Urban Design Associates Family: Married, two children Years in practice: 15 Education: B.Arch., University of Miami, cum laude; M.U.D., University of California, Berkeley, University Fellowship Your first job: Loading Dumpsters on a construction crew. Project you are proudest of: Yang Pu Knowledge & Innovation Zone in Shanghai, China (SOM) and A Pattern Book for Habitat for Humanity (UDA) Building you would like to tear down: East Liberty Giant Eagle What is the best part of your job: Terrific, passionate clients. What would you change about your job: A little less air travel. What have you always wanted to tell your clients: Thank you. What is the most annoying thing that architects do: Avoid collaboration. What...
Dutch MacDonald, AIA
Get to know the 2013 Chapter President
Name: Dutch MacDonald, AIA Firm: MAYA Design Family: Wife: Becky Mingo; 3 Children: Max, Toby, and Atticus Years in practice: 22 Education: BArch Carnegie Mellon University Your first job: Paperboy. I traveled about 4 miles roundtrip everyday to deliver 22 papers! Project you’re proudest of: The many loft buildings Downtown and in the Strip that were catalysts for revitalize housing in those areas. What’s the best part of your job? Looking deeply at the intersection of technology, people, and environments. What have you always wanted to tell your clients? Don’t short change the design process. It is much more cost-effective to design the right thing in a prototype (design/model) then course-correct while under construction. What’s the most annoying thing architects...
For the Joy of Architecture
A tribute to an amazing mentor
By Mark Dietrick, AIA, LEED AP Posted on November 1, 2012
Over the past several years, you undoubtedly have read (both here in Columns and in other industry journals) about the significant challenges facing the profession of architecture. The unprecedented economic downturn has had a devastating impact on our profession. Many are questioning our ongoing relevance causing much pessimism about our future. Many baby boomer architects are beginning to retire while a shrinking number of young professionals are seeking accreditation. Simultaneously the industry is becoming increasingly more complex, causing a significant need for the effective mentoring of young architects so that they will be able to step up and take on the many challenges. To help meet the ever growing complexities of projects and the demand for more efficiency in project...
In Memoriam: Frank McCurdy, AIA
AIA Pittsburgh remembers this Past President
Frank G. McCurdy, 77, of Harrison Twp. passed away on Friday, October 12th, 2012, peacefully in his home. Frank was born in Tarentum on March 6, 1935, the son of the late Irene (Robertson) and Frank M. McCurdy. A 1953 graduate of St. Joseph High School, he was instrumental in the design of the school’s new gymnasium. He completed the five year Architectural program at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1958, and he received his Master’s Degree in Urban Design from Harvard University in 1963. In 1982, he was certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He was a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), serving a term as President of the Pittsburgh...