Dossier: Michael Larche II, Associate AIA

Meet the 2021 NOMA Pittsburgh Board Secretary

Name: Michael K. Larche II Firm: DRS Architects Family: My family consists of my mother and father, Leslie & Michael, and two little brothers, Matthew & Mark. I also have a Boxer named Joe and a black and white cat named Haru. Years in practice: 5 Education: Bachelor of Architecture from Tuskegee University Your first job: My first official job was at Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport escorting minors to their flights. If you want to get technical, my very first job was creating flavored, frozen ice cups, called “Huckabucks,” with my brothers and selling them to the neighborhood kids for 50 cents a cup. What’s the most annoying thing architects do? We, including me, overanalyze everything! I love how precise and detailed we are, but if I could...

Read More

Dossier: Cassandra Osterman, AIA

Introducing the 2021 AIA YAF Chair!

Name: Cassandra Osterman, AIA, NCARB Firm: Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff Goettel Family:My husband, my parents, my brother Years in practice: About 5 Education: MA Architecture and Historic Urban Environments – The Bartlett School at University College London 2018; BArch – SoArch at Carnegie Mellon University 2014 Your first job: My first full-time architecture job (after graduation) was with Springboard Design. My experience at Springboard was foundational to establishing how I want to practice architecture and grow within my profession. You learn so much in the first couple years out of school – and I have to thank Paul Rosenblatt and Bill Szustak for being excellent mentors to me during this period. Project you’re proudest of: My master’s thesis project on Autonomous Mobility in the Golden Triangle. I did...

Read More

My Unprecedented Year on the AIA National Board of Directors

By Vivian Loftness, FAIA Posted on January 15, 2021

I had the privilege to serve on the AIA National Board of Directors in 2020, the year we were going to focus our 95,000-member professional organization on climate action. Instead, this proved to be the most tumultuous and transformative year for the 163-year old organization, and for my long-term commitment to the AIA, AIACOTE, AIAS and AIARC (the old AIA Research Corporation). Originally planning on three major meetings in DC, LA, and Charleston, we ended up meeting bi-weekly as a succession of critical long-term challenges arose: climate action, the pandemic, Black Lives Matter, and political advocacy. I ended the year with the greatest respect for the board and the organization, and view the profession as pivotal to addressing all four...

Read More

Young Architects, W+iD PGH, and a More Inclusive Industry: Where Do We Start?

By Brigid Moser Posted on January 7, 2021

After witnessing the recorded killing of George Floyd and the explosive national response, many members of our architecture and design community asked: What can we do? An early answer came from Women+ in Design Pittsburgh (W+iD PGH), a grassroots organization of design professionals committed to making their industry more diverse, inclusive, and equitable. As a group of primarily white women, they sought ways to use their talents and resources to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and establish their next steps as an organization. Monica Blasko, AIA (qkArchitecture) recently wrote an article for YAF’s national publication, Connection, about the explorations into systemic racism that she and her colleagues Katie Walsh, AIA (Perkins Eastman) and Emily Pierson-Brown, AIA (Perkins Eastman) organized with...

Read More

AIA Pittsburgh Year in Review: 2020

Looking Back at a Virtual Reality Dear Members, Partners and Friends, As expressed during our Annual Meeting, 2020 has honestly been the most unusual year to be Board President and Executive Director of AIA Pittsburgh. Regardless, we adapted and, in a year overtaken by pandemic lockdowns and social distancing, our Chapter found ways to continue our trajectory of increased outreach to our members, partners and the public; more collaboration, and more connectivity to issues and developments happening in and around the architecture community in western Pennsylvania. While COVID-19 hindered some of our plans for the year, in other ways it presented new opportunities: learn new tools, re-evaluate creative approaches to connecting with one another, learn new words, i.e. “Quarantini”, deepen...

Read More
Dossier

Dossier: Dina Snider, AIA

Introducing AIA Pittsburgh’s 2021 Board President!

Name: Dina Snider Firm: Strada Architecture Family: Husband: Bill, Son: Justin, Daughter: Adelle, Cat: Illusion Years in practice: 27 Education: Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University Your first job: Fineview Citizens Council Staff (after babysitter, waitress, telemarketer, floral designer and electronics parts sales staff) Project you’re proudest of: Market Square Place. It is a group of seven historic buildings that were combined into one, containing apartments, retail, underground parking and fitness. The project included historic tax credits, LEED Gold Certification and other complexities. A great Strada team made this happen and the ability to preserve these buildings is an asset to the city. Favorite tool (can be digital, drafting, physical,…): Pencil. There are so many great new and innovative tools out there that continue to enhance our...

Read More
Dossier

Dossier: Carly Sacco, AIAS

Get to know the President of the local AIAS chapter and the newest AIA Pittsburgh Board member

By Brigid Moser Posted on December 2, 2020

Name: Carly Sacco. AIAS Family: My parents: Lee & Carlo; and my two sisters: Maegen & Hannah. Also my dog, Riley. School/Major: Bachelors of Architecture (‘22) at Carnegie Mellon University Why did you choose to study architecture? I chose to study architecture because while still in high school I really enjoyed the creation of sets that told a story in my high school theatre club. I felt that I could do similar work in architecture where I would be able to create pieces that positively impacted peoples lives. What do you feel you bring to the field of architecture? Youth. I feel architecture like many other professions takes time to really master which lends it to be seen as a profession of...

Read More
Feature

Young Architects’ Explorations

Members Find Their Groove During COVID-19

By Anastasia Markiw, AIA Posted on October 16, 2020

Last night, YAF hosted its capstone pandemic event: YAF Explorations. In lieu of our yearly YAFapalooza social event, we hosted a virtual exchange of new ideas and pandemic activities by 8 young architects. Each presenter gave a short presentation followed by a discussion amongst peers. Jason Andrews, Assoc. AIA was the event champion and moderator for the evening. Anastasia Markiw, AIA presented her thesis for her Master of Healthcare Design, exploring the intersections between lighting design and healthcare architecture. By building a full-size patient room and testing a lighting system prototype, she proved that lighting could improve the lives of healthcare occupants. Bea Spolidoro, AIA explained how she is using her time to promote good design and the impacts of...

Read More

What We Do Next Matters

AIA Pittsburgh’s statement on social justice and a more equitable built environment

No statement can do justice to the despair, grief, and anger inflicted on so many by recent acts of racism and brutality against the Black community. That said, our profession should not be defined by its silence on this issue. We know longstanding inequities and discrimination against many groups will continue to harm members of our profession, our region, and our society. As a community of architects and allied professionals we can take action by asking: What can architects and architecture offer in the way of change for the better? How can we live up to our professional commitment to support the health, safety and wellbeing of the public in its entirety? How can we continue to take steps to...

Read More
Feature

Around the World with Bill Bates, FAIA

Pittsburgh Architect shares his Adventures as 2019 AIA National President

By Maya Henry Posted on May 1, 2020

Bill Bates, FAIA in South Korea during his tenure as AIA National President in 2019 AIA Pittsburgh’s William “Bill” Bates, FAIA served as President of AIA National in 2019 after being elected to the Board of Directors in 2011.  Bates served as AIA’s 2018 President-Elect and was also vice president and chair of the AIA Board Community Committee from 2015-2016. In 1991 and again in 2010, Bill served as president of AIA Pennsylvania and was also president of AIA Pittsburgh in 1987. He has chaired boards for the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation and the Green Building Alliance. After talking to Bill about his role in the recent PBS documentary on Paul Williams, FAIA, I wanted...

Read More