What We Do Next Matters

AIA Pittsburgh’s statement on social justice and a more equitable built environment

No statement can do justice to the despair, grief, and anger inflicted on so many by recent acts of racism and brutality against the Black community. That said, our profession should not be defined by its silence on this issue. We know longstanding inequities and discrimination against many groups will continue to harm members of our profession, our region, and our society. As a community of architects and allied professionals we can take action by asking: What can architects and architecture offer in the way of change for the better? How can we live up to our professional commitment to support the health, safety and wellbeing of the public in its entirety? How can we continue to take steps to...

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Around the World with Bill Bates, FAIA

Pittsburgh Architect shares his Adventures as 2019 AIA National President

By Maya Henry Posted on May 1, 2020

Bill Bates, FAIA in South Korea during his tenure as AIA National President in 2019 AIA Pittsburgh’s William “Bill” Bates, FAIA served as President of AIA National in 2019 after being elected to the Board of Directors in 2011.  Bates served as AIA’s 2018 President-Elect and was also vice president and chair of the AIA Board Community Committee from 2015-2016. In 1991 and again in 2010, Bill served as president of AIA Pennsylvania and was also president of AIA Pittsburgh in 1987. He has chaired boards for the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation and the Green Building Alliance. After talking to Bill about his role in the recent PBS documentary on Paul Williams, FAIA, I wanted...

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In Memoriam: Kent Edwards, AIA

Past President of AIA Pittsburgh Remembered by Friends

By Edited by Gwen Dakis, AIA Posted on July 25, 2019

Age 69 (though age never mattered!), Kent Edwards, AIA, of Pittsburgh and Confluence, passed away on July 20, surrounded by his family after a valiant medical struggle.  Kent was born in Sharon, PA, to Reese and Geraldine Edwards, both deceased.   He attended Kent State University, graduating with a double major in Philosophy and Architecture.  After 30 years as an architect in Ohio and Pennsylvania, where he served as President of AIA Pittsburgh, Kent and his wife, Cathy, started a community development consulting firm.  He was also a proud member of Leadership Pittsburgh, Class VII. Kent will be missed terribly by his wife, partner, and great love of 18 years, Cathy McCollom.   He sadly leaves behind his sons Ben (Sarah)...

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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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In Memoriam: Mihai ‘Mike’ Marcu, AIA

Former President and Owner of IKM Incorporated

IKM Incorporated is saddened to announce the passing of former president and owner Mihai ‘Mike’ Marcu, AIA.  Mr. Marcu died June 28 in Naples, FL. Mr. Marcu’s legacy as a prominent Pittsburgh architect can be seen in his designs for the entrance to Phipps Conservancy and Botanical Gardens, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, and Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. To learn more about Mr. Marcu’s life and legacy read his full obituary featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A memorial service is planned for 10 a.m. Sept. 15 at Calvary Episcopal Church, 315 Shady Ave., in Pittsburgh. Contributions in Mr. Marcu’s name can be made to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 1 Schenley Park, Pittsburgh 15213, or to...

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Walking the Walk

The AIA Leadership Institute for Emerging Professionals

By Nicole Grayburn Posted on October 9, 2017

Editor’s note: Reposted in its entirety from IKM’s website.  Used with permission. What is an “emerging professional?”  As architects, we use the term to describe any professional with 10 years of experience or less. At IKM Architecture, our “emerging professionals” represent the largest and most influential group at the firm. In many ways, their diverse backgrounds, skill sets, and technical acumen make them our go-to resource for mentoring the upcoming generation of designers and forming a symbiotic relationship with firm leadership. No pressure, right? Last year, the AIA Pittsburgh’s Foundation for Architecture launched the inaugural class of the AIA Leadership Institute for Emerging Professionals to support a cohort that is ripe with talent and ambition but remains hungry for direction.Through a...

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Lessons in Human Nature

Anne Swager's 27 Years with AIA Pittsburgh

By Becky Spevack Posted on June 21, 2017

Anne Swager, Hon. AIA has been called many things – progressive, outspoken, ballsy, an ally, a foe, compassionate, cheerleader, easily distracted, thinker of big ideas. And for the past 27 years, she’s also been called Executive Director of AIA Pittsburgh.  With Anne’s recent retirement on June 5th we are re-running this inspiring interview with then-editor Becky Spevack.  Best of luck in your future travels Anne! Columns: First things first, did you ever expect to be at the AIA this long, to make a career out of it? Anne Swager: No, absolutely not! I never thought I would be around this long. You know, my mom used to say she thought I’d become an architect but my kindergarten teacher spent the...

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Meet AIA Pittsburgh’s New Executive Director Michelle Fanzo

Fanzo will assume leadership of the Chapter June 1st

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on May 11, 2017

Through her 25 years of varied experience, Fanzo cites an ongoing fascination with cities and the built environment. Michelle comes to AIA Pittsburgh with an accomplished background in public policy, international affairs, and journalism. Michelle spent nearly two decades working with the United Nations, non-profits and governments to develop initiatives and policies to improve peoples’ lives and their communities. Highlights include being part of Kofi Annan’s Executive Team when he was UN Secretary-General and directing a grassroots NGO in Afghanistan that helped empower women and strengthen civil society. Since founding Four Corners Consulting in 2009, Michelle has supported international organizations, foundations, companies and non-profits on a wide variety of policy and program issues. She is a non-resident Fellow at the World...

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William Bates, FAIA has been elected AIA National First Vice President/2019 President-elect

Bates Now Holds the Position of 2018 First Vice President/2019 President-elect

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on April 11, 2017

I’m assuming this national office with hopes of making the AIA more responsive to it members needs and enabling our profession to better serve society. You probably know him as Bill.  He’s been an active member of the Chapter and a familiar face in the Pittsburgh architectural community since serving as the AIA Pittsburgh Board President in 1987.  Since then, Bates has gone on to serve as President of AIA Pennsylvania (twice), become an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon and held a number of positions with AIA National including the Equity Commission and Diversity Council. Most recently Bates, who works at Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, has served as Vice-President of the Board at AIA National.  After being elected during the...

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Elevated to Fellowship

Rob Pfaffmann has been inducted into the 2017 College of Fellows

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on February 20, 2017

Congratulations to AIA Pittsburgh’s Rob Pfaffmann, who was among the 178 member architects inducted into the College of Fellows for 2017.  The Fellows program was developed to elevate architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession. Election to fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of architects as individuals but also their significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level. Pfaffmann, founder and Principal of Pfaffmann + Associates, is also a past AIA Pittsburgh Board President.  Three Pfaffmann + Associates projects—the Port Authority’s Gateway Station, Fort Duquesne & Sixth Garage and the Meadowcroft Rockshelter—have received Silver Medals at AIA Pittsburgh’s Design Awards, the Chapter’s highest honor.

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