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Making A List…

Top 5 accessories for your favorite architect

By Becky Spevack Posted on December 18, 2013

The gift-giving season is upon us, and we all love shopping for that just right something for the special person in our life. Looking for a gift for a fellow architect? Well look no further. AIA Pittsburgh has consulted our resident style experts and come up with our top accessory picks for architects everywhere. Funky glasses. You can always spot an architect in the room by looking at optical wear. Horn-rimmed, rectangular, thick frames, wire-less – there are many options, but regardless of style choice, architects always wear the most fashion-forward and unique glasses. But your architect doesn’t need glasses, you say? Vanity frames! You can find fun and funky frames to highlight any design. Moleskine notebook. Architects are full...

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Dossier

Karissa Pytlak, Assoc. AIA

Meet the outgoing YAF president

Name: Karissa Pytlak, Assoc. AIA Firm: Sleighter Engineering Years in practice: 2 Education: BA: Art History/Architectural History, University of Pittsburgh; Masters of Architecture, North Carolina State University Your first job: Cashier at my grandma’s bookstore. What’s the best part of your job? Freehand sketching and 3D rendering. What would you change about your job? Location – I want to work downtown. What’s the most annoying thing architects do? Architects are design snobs; sometimes a little overly critical of each other’s designs when we should be complimenting and working together. What’s the next big architectural trend? Sustainability and collaboration. Advice to young architects: Join the YAF! It’s a great starting point to get involved in the local community and connect with fellow...

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Feature

Playing in (and on) The Playground Project

Pure enjoyment from the HAC and 2013 Carnegie International

By Sean Sheffler, AIA, LEED AP Posted on November 21, 2013

There’s a playground not too far from our house where we spend a great deal of our time on the weekends. It’s a small park, well maintained by the township, with a covered pavilion, swings, and a basketball court. The centerpiece is a multi-level play structure, with monkey bars, ladders, and a spiral slide. In the eyes of my son, though, it becomes so much more. It’s a castle… a fort… a truck… a spaceship…. a cave. It’s limited only by his imagination, and inspired by last night’s bedtime story. The architect in me, that part of me that I simply can’t turn off, looks at that play structure with a discerning eye. It’s a simple thing, a kit of...

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Run and Gun…

Are you ready to create your own videos?

By Patty Swisher Posted on November 19, 2013

Are you in a situation that’s ripe for shooting video, but there’s no time for preparation or pause? Do you want to capture real-time quality content, but there’s no time to set up lights, diffusion panels, scrims, and reflectors – let alone hire a professional videographer, write a script, and pay for editing and sound engineering? Welcome to the world of “run and gun” video production; it’s about capturing real-time quality content with no crew, no time, and no (or little) preparation. I talked with Lori Miller, Marketing Leader and Executive Coach at Perkins Eastman, about her first steps into video production. Q: What led Perkins Eastman to create its first set of videos? A: The senior living practice group had...

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Design Pittsburgh 2013

See the winners of this year's juried competition

ARCHITECTURE: Honor Award PROJECT: Robert M. Smith Student Center CLIENT: Slippery Rock University ARCHITECTURE FIRM: DRS Architects Inc., with Sasaki Associates – Design Architect CONTRACTOR: Mascaro Construction Company PHOTOGRAPHER: Engelbrecht Photography; Chuck Choi Architectural Photography ENGINEERS: Sasaki Associates; The Gateway Engineers, Inc.; Atlantic Engineering Services; CJL Engineering DESCRIPTION:  Centrally located between residential and academic areas of campus, the Robert M. Smith Student Center at Slippery Rock University is designed to create a programmatic and visual hub for student life and community outreach. Organized around and radiating out from an unfolding open atrium, the spaces are arranged by floor – from active and social to quiet and contemplative, reflecting various campus communities’ desired hierarchies of spaces. Large congregation spaces are designed...

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Dossier

Anne Marie Decker, AIA

Meet one of the Design Pittsburgh 2013 jurors

Name: Anne Marie Decker, AIA Firm: Duvall Decker Architects, P.A. Family: Husband and two children, 7 and 13 Years in practice: 19 Education: BArch from Mississippi State University Your first job: My Dad’s pharmacy, Duvall Drugs, Inc. Project you’re proudest of: Truly, they are like children, and I am proud of all of them.  Right now, I am particularly proud of the Jobie L. Martin Building at Hinds Community College. Building you’d like to tear down: Chain drugstores at intersections, the ones with the chopped off corners. What’s the best part of your job? That it is different every day. What have you always wanted to tell your clients? In certain moments, I have wanted to say “Seriously?!” out loud...

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More Than One Path to Licensure

Five recently registered architects discuss their journeys

By Sean Sheffler, AIA, LEED AP Posted on September 23, 2013

The paths in the architectural profession are many and varied, and the nature of those practicing within it, are divergent. Our differing backgrounds, education, and experience each influence our approach to practice, which we perform in different states, in different regions, and in different market segments. Some of us are working in 200-person firms, while others are sole practitioners. Some of us design, some of us market, some of us develop construction drawings. Where our paths converge, however, is in the act of earning one’s license. Registration – whether we are currently working to achieve it, or look back fondly upon the process — is the one thing we all have in common as professionals. We asked five recently registered...

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Dossier

Emily Putas, AIA, LEED AP

She hopes to be remembered as a problem solver

Name: Emily Putas, AIA, LEED AP Firm: Stantec Family: Workin’ on it… Years in practice: 9 Education: BArch from Syracuse University Your first job: Clerk at CVS Project you’re proudest of: The Academic Building for Harrisburg University of Science and Technology What’s the best part of your job? Seeing how the work I do can change the lives of the people in my community. What have you always wanted to tell your clients? There is a first time for everything, so just because I haven’t done it before doesn’t mean I won’t be able to.  As an architect, I’m a problem solver – it’s about how I will solve the problem, not whether or not I’ve solved it before. What’s...

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Feature

So You Have a Twitter Account… Now What?

Navigating this new tool

By Patty Swisher Posted on September 11, 2013

In my first article, I shared the three easy steps to get started with Twitter. Have you followed the steps and signed up? How’s it going?  It has been said that your Twitter account is only as good as your Twitter news feed. Are you following at least 100 people, companies, business publications? These are the sources of information you will receive via Twitter. How useful that information is depends upon whom you select to follow. If you are still a little overwhelmed, here are a few tips to help you get more out of Twitter.  Download Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a free app with a paid upgrade., can be found at www.hootsuite.com, and I am a huge fan! Hootsuite is more than...

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A Bright Idea: Supporting Good Design

Top 5..... Reasons to Sponsor Design Pittsburgh 2013

By Becky Spevack Posted on August 25, 2013

Design Pittsburgh is AIA Pittsburgh’s celebration of architecture and design – it’s a design competition and exhibition, a gala, an awards ceremony, and a time to focus on the importance of good design, and the value of design services. It’s a month-long series of events to highlight outstanding architecture in the Pittsburgh region. And, it’s a tremendous opportunity to promote your company, products, and services. AIA Pittsburgh invites you to be a Design Pittsburgh 2013 sponsor. Your support is essential in making everything happen. Here’s a quick list why we think being a sponsor is a great idea! Access a large audience who loves design. Design Pittsburgh is host to a number of events, including a stop on The Pittsburgh...

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