Committee Corner: Learn What AIA Committees are Working On

By Posted on May 13, 2022

From advocacy with local government and decision-makers to healthcare design, continuing education and sustainability, AIA Pittsburgh’s nine committees are where the action happens!  Here is an update on what our committees have been working on the last few months and what to keep an eye out for coming up. Get involved – committees are open for additional members!

Advocacy Committee Chair: John Ryan

Advocacy Committee members met with PLI Director Sarah Kinter and David Green on March 25, and with Deputy Mayor Jake Pawlak on March 31.  The committee provided recommendation to the Mayor’s office for an architect member for the Affordable Housing Implementation and Housing Committee, but so far this has not been acted on. The Mayor’s office is also looking to fill roles on the Commission on Infrastructure Asset Reporting and Investment.

Advocacy will continue regular meetings with Deputy Mayor Pawlak and will hold its next quarterly meeting with PLI in late June, which will also include City Planning Director Karen Abrams and Chief Economic Development Officer Kyle Chintalapalli.  Also watch for the Architects in Action Conference, to be held virtually Thursday, July 14 and Friday, July 15, 2022.


Blueprint for Better (B4B) Committee  Chair: Amanda Markovic

The Blueprint for Better Committee presented at Build Pittsburgh 2022 on “How to Engage Others in the Value of Good Design” with a panel including architects Jeff Murray, Amanda Markovic and Bea Spolidoro, and Lena Andrews, Director of Real Estate Development for ACTION-Housing.

Coming up, the committee will submit to speak as design advocates at the Homes Within Reach Conference, presented by the Housing Alliance of PA.


Committee on the Environment (COTE) Chairs: George Rieke and Cat Wick

The Committee on the Environment was active with several Build Pittsburgh sustainability seminars, including those on the Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan, Mass Timber, and City Planning for a Just Transition. They have met with EDI Community members to talk about cross-committee collaboration.


Design + Research Group Chair: Joshua Lee

Design + Research Group chair Joshua Lee presented “Industry + Academia Research Collaborations”.  Presentation slides are available here.

In May and June the Committee will participate in a Collective Joint Research Brainstorming for the AIA Upjohn Research Grant.


Design Pittsburgh Committee

Activates in June.


Education Committee  Chair: Jessica Pfauth

The Education Committee presented Build Pittsburgh 2022 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Tuesday, April 26.  Build Pittsburgh was attended by over 270 members of the A / E / C community, including over 170 who attended the Keynote address by MASS Design Group Senior Principal, Katie Swenson.  Sixteen courses were available over four sessions, as well as three Lunch & Learns, and opportunities to network with thirty sponsoring vendors.


Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Community  Chair: Chuck Coltharp

The Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Community met recently with the COTE committee, and presented the ‘Equity in Architecture Panel’ at Build Pittsburgh 2022.

The committee provided a virtual presentation to the AIA PA Small Firm Exchange on how EDI impacts small firms, and will continue EDI presentations to local firms in the coming months.


Healthcare Committee  Chair: Stephen Winikoff  Vice Chair: Maria Kyriacopoulos  Secretary: Gretchen Kurzawa

The Healthcare Committee hosted a Build Pittsburgh session on “The Current and Future State of Rural Healthcare”. They are currently looking to partner with academic programs that teach health administration and design.

Coming up, watch for the AAH/ACHA Summer Leadership Summit in Chicago from Friday, July 22 to Sunday, July 24, 2022 and the Healthcare Design Conference in San Antonio from Saturday, October 8 to Tuesday, October 11, 2022.


Young Architects Forum  Chair: Greg Coni

The Young Architects Forum ran a design charrette looking at a new design for Pittsburgh bus stop shelters. They sketched ideas ranging from repeatable designs for the whole bus network to site specific interventions. They also hosted a table on the Exhibitor Floor at Build Pittsburgh 2022.

YAF are hosting a happy hour and axe throwing evening on Thursday, May 26.  Registration is available here.



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