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Advancing the Profession Through Project Pipeline

NOMAPGH Leads Workshops for Students

By Maya Henry, COLUMNS Editor Posted on February 7, 2019

Project Pipeline Summer Camp 2018.  All photos by Riccardy Volcy Providing students with exposure to architecture at a young age gives each child an opportunity to discover their artistic and technical passions early in their educational development. Students, parents, teachers, and counselors can then place students in classes that will build on the student’s interest in architecture and design. Project Pipeline is a series of architecture summer camps and design workshops led by NOMAPGH (National Organization of Minority Architects Pittsburgh Chapter).  The first summer camp was held in 2018 with a follow-up winter workshop this past December.  These educational opportunities were supported in great part by AIA Learning By Design. The AIA, with support from the Architects Foundation, and in partnership...

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Why Being an Architect Makes Me a Better Etsy Painter

Inspiration From the Profession

By Timothy Reidy, AIA Posted on January 30, 2019

Heinz Chapel Drawing by Timothy Reidy, AIA Most of us have heard of the website Etsy.com.  If you haven’t, it’s the Amazon.com of things that are handmade, usually by small home-based businesses.  As a result, the products tend to be crafted with more care, thought, and love than your typical off-the-shelf items.  I started my own Etsy business in 2014 as a way to make some extra money.  I had always loved sketching and water-coloring, and I thought it would be a fun hobby – a practical way to condition my skills with a lead-holder, a brush, and a paint palette. As a teenager, I used to decompress from school and football practice every night by sketching, coloring, and painting. ...

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FEATURE

Year in Review

AIA Pittsburgh 2018

By Maya Henry, COLUMNS Editor Posted on January 25, 2019

     Design Pittsburgh 2018 2018 was a year of rethinking AIA Pittsburgh’s direction and how best to support the membership at a time of demographic shifts and technology innovation. Under new staff and board leadership, a strategic planning process in early 2018 led the organization to emphasize ‘collaboration and connectivity’ as cross-cutting themes in its work for the year.   Here are just some of the highlights of what happened at the local AIA level in 2018: Membership rose to its highest in the last ten years, with 604 architect, associate and emeritus members in the Chapter as of December 31. New staff members Kira Kellner and Marissa Dello Russo came on board with new ideas for programs and...

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FEATURE

Recent Dossier Round-up

Take Another Look at These Popular Profiles

By Maya Henry, COLUMNS Editor Posted on January 17, 2019

Member Dossiers have been part of Columns since its (print) inception and the popular feature has stuck around since we’ve gone digital.  Here are five of Columns most recent Dossiers and their advice for young architects to inspire you at the start of 2019. Alicia’s advice to young architects: “Don’t let other people convince you that their limitations are your limitations. You can do it if you decide to.” Dossier: Alicia Volcy, Assoc. AIA Mike’s advice to young architects: “Understand the value of being part of a team.  ‘You can go fast alone or you can go far together.” Dossier: AIA Pittsburgh President Mike Gwin, AIA Larry’s advice to young architects: “Choose your own mentors. Don’t settle for an “arranged marriage”...

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Architects Leading in their Communities

How to Improve Your 2019 Resolutions List

By Eric Fisher, AIA and Bea Spolidoro, AIA Posted on January 8, 2019

As architects making resolution lists for the new year, one item you might add to your list, if you haven’t already, is to become a leader in your community. It’s possible you believe your designs make you a leader. They speak for themselves after all. And we know you are busy. It takes so long, you may think, to do your paid job that you simply don’t have time to do other professional work. Your families call. Your local night spot beckons. However, leadership work can be spiritually rewarding, as we discovered attending a recent day-long leadership seminar. Held on November 9, 2018, and organized by the AIA National Center For Civic Leadership (CCL) the seminar contained a full day of...

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FEATURE

Top Ten Columns Articles of 2018

Important Moments and Themes from 2018

By Maya Henry, COLUMNS Editor Posted on January 1, 2019

10. There is not one answer to why our members belong to AIA.  Read the diverse viewpoints from the 2018 Board of Directors in this round-up. I Belong to the AIA Because … 9. Columns Editor Maya Henry interviews Kuza Woodward of IMPACCT Brooklyn about what Pittsburgh can learn from affordable housing development in Brooklyn Q&A with Kuza Woodard of IMPACCT Brooklyn 8. What have Greg Dutton and Matt Diersen, AIA learned as consulting architects on HGTV’s Restored by the Fords? Restored by the Fords 7. Bea Spolidoro, AIA reports on Carnegie Mellon University’s AIAS chapter’s roundtable on what happens after you graduate from architecture school. What Happens After School? 6. John Ryan, AIA explores the evolution of wellness design in...

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2018 Letter from the President: A Year of Designing with Purpose

By Michael Gwin, AIA Posted on December 21, 2018

Dear Fellow AIA Members, 2018 has been a great year to be President of AIA Pittsburgh and be part of the many changes and accomplishments of the last 12 months. Our chapter is in a moment of significant growth and has been creating opportunities to design with purpose in our practice, communities and society. We even applied this year’s theme – Design with Purpose – to our internal discussions about how we want to design our organization with a view to the future. This year, we advanced our strategic goals and mission to serve the regional membership in three key areas: Building community among members and beyond to enhance our professional lives and our ability to contribute to the greater...

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Last Minute Gifts for the Architect in Your Life

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on December 20, 2018

iPhone/Pad holder with planter by STAK ceramics (based in Homewood) Whether you need to buy a last minute gift for the architect in your life, or just want some fresh gift ideas for friends and family, Columns has compiled some great choices here with a little help from the AIA membership.  Take a look, and we’d love to hear your own suggestions in the comments.  All photos from product websites. Knotzland Bow Ties: The architect in a bow-tie may be a stereotype but there is nothing typical about these colorful bow ties from Knotzland.  Locally made in Homewood. STAK ceramics: iPhone/Pad holder with planter by STAK ceramics (also based in Homewood).  Looking for a way to get your succulents closer...

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Ayla Abiad, Assoc. AIA Is Building Bridges

A Designer With a Mission

By Sarah Rafson Posted on December 16, 2018

Ayla Abiad, Assoc. AIA is a designer at AE7 who knows firsthand how complicated the adjustment process is for immigrants and refugees arriving in the US, and works to undo our preconceptions about newcomers. A native of Damascus, Syria, Abiad was studying for her Masters in Sustainable Architecture at the University of Buffalo when the Syrian conflict broke out. What began as an offer to help one Syrian family in Buffalo soon became a non-profit, Build A Bridge (BAB) Foundation, which assists refugees and immigrants “in becoming independent, informed, and contributing members of the community.” As her powerful TEDxBuffalo talk shows, Abiad is a designer with a mission. With an architectural background in healthcare design, BAB merges Abiad’s interest in...

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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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