Feature

Hope for the Hungry

CANstruction Pittsburgh helps the community we live in

By Becky Spevack Posted on August 11, 2013

As of February 2011, the PA Department of Labor estimated that more than 95,000 people were unemployed in the Pittsburgh metro area. Due to the recent recession, the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is serving more people than ever. Relying on food solicitation, fund-raising, donations, special events, and community partnerships, the Food Bank distributes around 27 million pounds of food per year in an 11 county area. CANstruction Pittsburgh is one such event that helps the Food Bank meet their needs. Summer 2012 CANstruction Pittsburgh was gearing up for its second annual competition to benefit Pittsburgh’s hungry. Started in New York in 1992, CANstruction brings together design and construction professionals to create structures and sculptures made entirely of canned goods...

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Book Review

Walking the Walk

Walkable City, by Jeff Speck

By David Julian Roth, AIA, LEED AP BD+C Posted on August 1, 2013

Mr. Speck thinks that our profession can be obsessed with “gizmo green”, specifying “sustainable” products that often have an insignificant impact on the carbon footprint when compared to a building’s location. It makes little sense to him that we design a LEED-certified building that you must drive to. Architects can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing and just adding a solar panel, wind turbine, bamboo floor, or whatever. Location trumps design.Transportation planner Dan Malouff is quoted here, putting the situation into simple terms: “LEED architecture without good urban design is like cutting down the rainforest using a hybrid-powered bulldozer.” I have been using the real estate web site mentioned in the book to evaluate project locations for my clients. Walkscore.com’s...

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Dossier

Katie Walsh, Assoc. AIA

A Pittsburgh transplant who loves Scarpa

Name: Katie Walsh Firm: GBBN Architects Years in practice: 6 years Education: Syracuse University BArch 2007 Your first job: Park Attendant at Sayville Beach Project you’re proudest of: Co-founding Women in Design at Syracuse University with several empowering classmates – Taught me to stick to my guts and beliefs, lessons I carry to this day. Most embarrassing moment: Mistyping “Public” Schools on my resume… spell check didn’t catch that one! What’s the best part of your job? Solving problems through creativity and innovation. What would you change about your job profession? Rethinking the ARE test to be more contextual to building types and location/geography. What have you always wanted to tell your clients? Challenge the norm for good design solutions....

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Feature

#ReadySetGo

3 easy steps to get started with Twitter

By Patty Swisher Posted on July 10, 2013

Twitter. Tweet. Hashtag. Retweet. What is all this gibberish about the social media platform Twitter? Twitter is a microblogging service created in 2006 and currently has over 500 million registered users generating over 340 million tweets per day – and there are new people joining every day. Today, Twitter has become an excellent source for networking with business contacts, connecting at conferences or events, making new friends, following celebs and TV shows, and learning about breaking news from sporting events to natural disasters as they occur. According to the Twitter Help Center, “the real magic lies in absorbing real-time information that matters to you.” First, a little about vocabulary for Twitter. A tweet is a message that is 140 characters...

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Feature

Top 5… Books for the Beach

AIA Pittsburgh's top 5 summer architectural reads

By Becky Spevack Posted on July 2, 2013

The Summer Solstice has passed and the season is officially upon us. Summer brings with it many things – longer days, thunderstorms, flip flops, and of course, vacation.  No vacation is complete without a good book, so Columns has asked its readers to recommend their favorite architecturally relevant books. With quite a few to choose from, we have picked some of the more recent releases, in hopes that we’ll bring something new to your attention. Here are the top five picks we think are worth having in hand while your toes are buried in the sand. Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012 In a country where...

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Dossier

Mary Cerrone, AIA

An architect with a thirst for the outdoors...

Name: Mary Cerrone, AIA Firm: MCAI Family: Kevin (husband), Anna and Peter (kids) Years in practice: almost 20 Education: University of Virginia (UVA), Yale University Your first job: Concession stand at Wheeling Country Club; first architectural job: Historic American Building Survey (HABS) Building you would like to tear down: Any Sheetz service station…they are way too bright; also several buildings at Pitt. What is the best part of your job: Working with great clients and excellent builders. What would you change about your job: Less sitting. What have you always wanted to tell your clients: Similar to advice for travelers: pack what you think you need, then put back half. What is the most annoying thing that architects do: Think...

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Feature

Building Tomorrow’s Architects

Local architects, IKM, receive national award for training program

By Patty Swisher Posted on June 11, 2013

Within the profession, it’s the dreaded “I” word — Intern architect. It’s that glorious period after graduation, after securing that first real job with the paycheck, before becoming a registered professional. Each seasoned professional can tell at least one story of a time during that period of their career that was good, even extraordinary; a story that was bad, so bad it shouldn’t be repeated; and perhaps even a story that was downright ugly. At IKM, it took a culture shift at the firm to make the experience award-winning. The American Institute of Architects announced IKM Incorporated as a recipient of the National Intern Development Program (IDP) Firm Award 2012-2015. This award recognizes IKM, one of only 11 firms in...

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Feature

Incorporating Keywords in Your LinkedIn Profile

Taking action to improve your brand

By Patty Swisher Posted on May 21, 2013

The last article was a general introduction about the importance of keywords, and if you had an opportunity to attend the panel presentation on social media at Build Pittsburgh in April, you may have a better understanding of the value and usefulness of keywords. Keywords are those three to five words that define who you are and how you want your clients to know you. Are you familiar with the classic marketing book, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, by Al Ries  and Laura Ries? Law Number 5 says to “own a word”, with examples such as Volvo owning “safety,” or FedEx owning “overnight.” During the seminar, we talked about keywords in relation to LinkedIn profiles. I also recently read...

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Book Review

Wright or Wrong?

Green Architecture: The Art of Architecture in the Age of Ecology by James Wines

By David Julian Roth, AIA, LEED AP BD+C Posted on May 15, 2013

  “Life is right, and the architect is wrong,” said Le Corbusier toward the end of his life. He may have been pleased however, to see his Paris Plan Voisin vision fulfilled in downtown Pittsburgh’s Gateway Center. A green park was planned within this urban space. Through an integration of nature and architecture, we learn about both in a comfortable public place. Tall trees and a central fountain soften three 1950s modernist-style buildings, bridging time and technology. The matured landscape has become symbolic of our city’s green leadership over the last fifty years. “The architect must be a prophet; if he can’t see at least ten years ahead then don’t call him an architect.” – Frank Lloyd Wright During the...

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Dossier

George Halkias, AIA

Unfinished musicals... Who knew?

Name: George D. Halkias, AIA Firm: Stantec Family: wife Mary, daughter Lydia Years in practice: 20 Education: B. Arch – Penn State University Your first job: Student Intern with Tasso Katselas at the old Pittsburgh Airport. Most embarrassing moment: In my first year back in Pittsburgh, I labeled the cover sheet for a permit set with the wrong contractor name. It did not take long for my phone to ring. Building you would like to tear down: Allegheny Center. It creates a barrier between the North Shore and the North Side. What is the best part of your job: Working with people who care. What would you change about your job: As my daughter says, Architects have too many meetings....

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