National Intercultural Leadership Program – Scholarships Available!

Following the success of our 2020 scholarships for AIA Minnesota’s National Intercultural Leadership Program (NILP), AIA Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Architecture Foundation will offer partial scholarships to a 3-session version of the virtual leadership program – Foundations of Intercultural Development. Learn the core concepts of intercultural development and build your ability to engage effectively with colleagues, project partners, clients, and community members of various genders, races, ethnicities, and other “differences that make a difference.” 2-hour sessions held on July 9 and August 12 & 13. Cost: $250 without scholarship. Learn more and register today. Seats are limited. How past AIA Pittsburgh NILP graduates distill their top takeaways: Joe Bevin  –  “Humbled and Inspired” Monica Blasko  –  “Unpacking Power” Melanie Buzgan-Dower  – ...

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Dossier: Stefani Danes, FAIA

Stefani Danes, FAIA, LEED AP, is one of 101 AIA members nationally to be elevated to the College of Fellows in 2021.

Name: Stefani Danes Firm:  I teach at Carnegie Mellon and have my own consulting practice. Family: husband, Doug Cooper, five children (all out in the world, healthy and reasonably happy), and 2 grandsons Years in practice: 44 Education: A.B. in Architecture, Princeton; M.Arch., Yale Your first job: Library assistant at Firestone Library, Princeton Project you’re proudest of: East End Cooperative Ministry Favorite tool (can be digital, drafting, physical,…): My rotary cutter Favorite building:  Castelvecchio Museum by Carlo Scarpa Favorite outdoor spaces:  Cours Mirabeau in Aix-en-Provence and Granville Island in Vancouver Architect you’d like to have a drink with:  Denise Scott Brown Best gift to give an architect:  Good pair of walking shoes If you hadn’t become an architect, what would you have been? Quilting artist If you could live...

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Committee Corner: Advocacy Committee

AIA Members Meet with PLI and City Planning

By John Ryan, AIA Posted on March 11, 2021

Members of the Board of Directors and the Advocacy Committee recently met with the City of Pittsburgh’s Depts. of Permits, Licensing and Inspections (PLI) and City Planning. In mid-February, Dina Snider, Board President, and John Ryan, Advocacy Committee co-chair, met virtually with Andrew Dash, Director of City Planning. to explore where the work of AIA might intersect with the department’s efforts. Here are a few of the key takeaways: Forging PGH, a new master planning initiative, is moving forward with next steps in mid-2021. AIA members can help generate a successful plan by sharing this effort within our networks for feedback and supporting policy proposals. City of Pittsburgh is shaping the growth of the Marshall Plan for Middle America (MP4MA)....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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