Feature

Architect 2.0: Designing the Future with New Technologies

Hilda Espinal's Keynote Address at Build Pittsburgh 2019

By Maya Henry, COLUMNS editor Posted on May 2, 2019

Technological advancements allow for almost photo-realistic simulation in design. Image courtesy Hilda Espinal, AIA/CannonDesign Architecture is a very old practice. Technology by its nature heralds the new. What happens when the two come barreling towards each other? Hilda Espinal, AIA, Build Pittsburgh 2019’s keynote speaker and CannonDesign’s Chief Technology Officer, shared her insights about designing the future with new technologies to a crowded ballroom of early risers. While technology provides a number of exciting opportunities for the architecture profession, Espinal says it can also add new demands and create unrealistic expectations. She noted that clients very often want the quality of Intel, the dependability of Starbucks, the innovation of Tesla, the reliability of FedEx, the variety of Amazon, and the experience of...

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Dossier

Dossier: Hilda Espinal

Build Pittsburgh Keynote Speaker

Name:  Hilda Espinal Firm:  CannonDesign Years in practice: 23 Education: Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Masters in Information Systems from DePaul University.   Your first job: Receptionist at Laboratorios Roldan (Dominican Republic-my country of origin) Project you’re proudest of: Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo and Rush University Medical Center in Chicago What’s the most annoying thing architects do? Design for people and display people-less spaces!  And I am guilty as charged waiting for spaces to vacate before taking that perfect picture/shot. Favorite tool (can be digital, drafting, physical,…): So hard to pick ONE, so I’ll have to say my mobile.  If there is no trace of an event in it, it very likely doesn’t exist/won’t happen  <wink> Favorite building: Taj Mahal Favorite outdoor space: Wherever the ocean...

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FEATURE

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...

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Dossier

Dossier: Anna Wagner Keichline

A Fictional Dossier for PA's First Registered Female Architect

For National Women’s Month, AIA Pittsburgh is partnering with Point Line Projects to highlight some of the women architects and designers making an impact in Southwestern PA. Here, Columns Editor Maya Henry imagines how Pennsylvania’s first registered woman architect, Anna Wagner Keichline, might have responded in a Dossier feature.  Join the conversation on social media with the tag #AIAPghWomensMonth. Name:  Anna Wagner Keichline Firm: Anna Keichline, Architect, Bellefonte, PA. Family:  I never married or had children, but I am a devoted aunt. My great niece, the industrial designer Nancy Perkins, continued my tradition of design innovation and holds three patents. Architectural practice:  I was the first female registered architect in Pennsylvania and one of the first women to practice architecture in the United States...

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FEATURE

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...

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FEATURE

Spotlight on 7 of Pittsburgh’s Women-Owned Firms

By Point Line Projects Posted on March 7, 2019

Mary Barensfeld, AIA, founder of Mary Barensfeld Architecture, photographed in her Hilgard Garden project in San Francisco. Photo: Joe Fletcher. For National Women’s Month, AIA Pittsburgh is partnering with Point Line Projects to highlight some of the women architects and designers making an impact in Southwestern PA. In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re showcasing some of our region’s woman-owned firms. Next, we’ll look at the comeback of Women in Design Pittsburgh, revisit Pennsylvania’s first registered woman architect (who was, according to some, “the first woman to actually practice architecture professionally”), and finally, highlight emerging practitioners to watch. Join the conversation on social media with the tag #AIAPghWomensMonth Architecture is one of the few industries where women have the means...

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Feature

Why Color Matters

Two Projects Demonstrate the Importance of Color in Design

By Maya Henry, COLUMNS Editor Posted on November 15, 2018

Color trends may come and go, but the psychology of color is long-standing and universal.  Reds can stir up anger and passion while blues and greens are calming.  Designers who can blend these basic theories with contemporary color trends are more likely to create spaces that resonate with actual users.  People might not know why they feel better in a space, but chances are it has a lot to do with the colors the designer has chosen. Incorporating ideas of biophilia, our inherent connection to the environment, is becoming increasingly popular as new technologies allow for shapes and materials to more closely mimic nature.  Users are demanding natural building materials, ample light, and fresh air that combines to create a...

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Feature

Striking a Balance Between Voice and Vision

Terry Schwarz's Keynote Address at Build Pittsburgh 2018

By Maya Henry Posted on April 19, 2018

Image credit CUDC/MOOS. The theme of Build Pittsburgh 2018 was “design with purpose.”  This year’s Keynote Address was given by Terry Schwarz, FAICP to a crowded ballroom of early risers who gathered to hear about design culture and community engagement from the director of Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC).  Schwarz began her presentation by proposing that community design does not need to be about the community OR design (discuss!) but that placemaking could, in fact, include both facets working together.  Portions of Schwarz’s keynote address are captured here. Schwarz began by showing examples of her early fascination with Bauhaus design and then showed how residents repurposed the spare spaces in Mies van der Rohe’s Layfette Park in Detroit...

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Feature

My Day at McMurray Elementary School

Presenting to Elementary Students on the Practice of Architecture

By Jennifer Beck, AIA Posted on April 12, 2018

New Peters Township High School Rendering, Hayes Design Group Architects Jennifer Beck, AIA, Project Architect at Hayes Design Group Architects, recently attended Career Day at Peters Township School District’s McMurray Elementary School. She, along with a number of other special guests, presented to fourth, fifth, and sixth-grade students about different careers to consider. Jennifer shared information about the field of architecture and all that goes into designing buildings. She also showed the students some examples of HDG’s recent projects, including the design of the new Peters Township High School (which recently went out to bid). After Career Day, Jennifer received a number of very creative and thoughtful thank you notes from the students! Peters Township’s McMurray Elementary School holds a...

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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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