April @ the AIA

Learn About Resiliency at Build Pittsburgh

Spring is here – blue skies, warmer days, and Build Pittsburgh! AIA Pittsburgh’s annual continuing education conference and exhibitor show is a great way to spend the day with other architects and engineers, earn continuing education credits, and catch up on trends in the industry. This year’s theme is “Bounce Forward: Design for Resiliency,” looking, in part, at the AIA’s Sustainability Initiative promoting adaptable and resilient buildings and communities. Start the day with the keynote address presented by Grant Oliphant, of The Heinz Endowments, and stay through ’til the cocktail reception. You won’t want to miss out! April 6 – PechaKucha Night Pittsburgh Vol. 23: Presented by AIA Pittsburgh, AIGA Pittsburgh, and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council for an evening of...

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Sound of Conversation

A Collaborative Event Comes to Pittsburgh

By Becky Spevack Posted on March 31, 2016

When AIA Pittsburgh first learned of this global event with the hard-to-pronounce name, the office knew it could be a great opportunity for the region’s architects and designers. But it turned out to be much more. Step 1: PRACTICE PRONUNCIATION Pecha Kucha. Pay-cha Koo-cha? Pee-ka Kah-cha? No, no, no. Pecha Kucha Night (pronoucned pay-chalk-cha) was devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham Architecture in Tokyo. It was an event conceived as an informal place for young designers to meet, network, and show their work to the public. The idea is that each presenter is allowed to show 20 images, with each image shown for just 20 seconds — 6 minutes, 40 seconds to talk about work, art, ideas, and...

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Give and Take

YAF Implements Two Mentorship Programs

By Raymond Bowman, Assoc. AIA Posted on February 7, 2016

Young architects need a wide range of experience to become well-rounded professionals, and that’s not always possible to get exclusively from the places they work. That’s why mentors are so important – to help bridge the gaps that a job cannot fill. The local AIA Pittsburgh YAF (Young Architects’ Forum) chapter has historically struggled to establish a program to nurture mentor/mentee relationships. Elsewhere in the state, however, AIA Pennsylvania’s Emerging Professional committee has come up with a unique program of their own that has proven successful. Now, for the first time in Pittsburgh, when you need a hand finding a mentor, there’s AIA Pennsylvania’s PALM Program. PALM stands for Promoting Advocacy and Licensure through Mentorship. It was developed in part by Melissa...

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New Year, New Approach

2016 Is All About Pittsburgh

By Becky Spevack Posted on January 12, 2016

It’s a new year. Again. It happens every 12 months, but it still gives us a feeling of hope and possibility. A chance to start anew, to look back and think about what’s been working and what hasn’t – in our lives, in our work, in our play – and to maybe make some adjustments to increase the chances of a better, more productive, more fun year ahead. With this new year, I’d like to think about giving Columns a fresh start, a renewed focus on filling its hypothetical ‘pages’ with articles that our members will find interesting and intriguing. I’d like to propose a year-long focus on Pittsburgh. Well, sure, duh, that’s where we live and work. But we...

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Sign Up, Make Your Name Known

AIA Pittsburgh Rolls Out Member Firm Directory

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on December 18, 2015

“When people begin their search for an architect, they call our office, and we direct them to our website.” So says AIA Pittsburgh executive director Anne Swager, Hon. AIA. And it is why the organization has been working ceaselessly with its Board of Directors and web developers to create a member directory worthy of its members. After years of discussion and months of hard work, AIA Pittsburgh launched a much-needed new website in 2012. It was light-years beyond its predecessor, a well-considered and well-designed landing spot for both architects and for the general public looking to learn more about the value of architectural services. But the organization knew it was still a work in progress, and that there was still...

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Building A Leader

An Interview with Danielle Jones, AIAS

By Becky Spevack Posted on November 23, 2015

Danielle Jones, AIAS is the Midwest Quadrant Director for the American Institute of Architecture Students who originally hails from Western Pennsylvania. She has also been selected as the AIAS representative for the 2016 AIA National Honor Awards jury. Columns caught up with Jones over the summer to ask her about her experiences, both as a student and as an active member of AIAS.  How did you get involved with AIAS? How would you describe your experiences with the organization? Any surprises? I became involved with AIAS my freshman year of Undergraduate at Kent State University. A very influential classmate named Belana Antar came to me the second week of school and encouraged me to attend meetings and become a member. After...

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An Inclusive City, for All Ages

Gil Penalosa on How to Craft a Welcoming City

By Bea Spolidoro, Assoc. AIA Posted on October 29, 2015

On the evening of Sunday, October 19th, the Green Building Alliance and the Design Center of Pittsburgh organized a Community Forum at WESA-FM on the South Side with guest speaker Gil Penalosa. Penalosa is the former Commissioner of Parks of Bogotá, and now Chair of the Board at 880cities, a Toronto-based non-profit organization. The goal of 880cities is to promote walking and biking as activities, and urban parks, trails, and other public spaces as great places for all. Penalosa was in our town to be the keynote speaker at the APA-PA Chapter 2015 Annual Conference. Irina Zhorov from WESA interviewed him during the Community Forum. Penalosa started with a summary of the troubles of contemporary cities, and the global desire...

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Design Pittsburgh 2015

Highlights + Photos

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on October 28, 2015

Design Pittsburgh is a celebration of architecture and design, and honors those who create it. Design Pittsburgh raises the profile of architects as critical resources and industry experts in the Pittsburgh region. Through exhibits and events, this program provides excellent exposure of architects’ work to a wide variety of audiences – including potential customers. This year we had: 35% increase in Design Award Submissions 1,000+ people visit the exhibit during the gallery crawl and PechaKucha Night, held in the exhibit space 520 registered to attend the Design Awards Ceremony & Gala 3,647 votes for the People’s Choice Award 49,000+ unique page views to the Design Pittsburgh webpages and online exhibit throughout the promotional period Additionally, Design Pittsburgh highlights the importance...

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Design Pittsburgh 2015

View the winners of our juried competition

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on October 22, 2015

ARCHITECTURE: Honor Award PROJECT: Uptown Lofts on Fifth CLIENT: ACTION-Housing, Inc. ARCHITECTURE FIRM: FortyEighty Architecture ENGINEERS: Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc.; Keystone Structural Solutions; Iams Consulting, LLC CONTRACTORS: Mosites Construction Company PHOTOGRAPHER: FortyEighty Architecture DESCRIPTION: The Uptown Lofts on Fifth are two new multi-unit apartment buildings constructed on opposite sides of Fifth Avenue in Uptown, a neighborhood of Pittsburgh that suffers from steady population decline due to a lack of adequate housing. The developer for the project, ACTION-Housing, Inc., serves a mission to empower people to build secure and self-sufficient lives through decent, affordable housing, and has worked to demonstrate the importance of energy efficiency through various projects. This project was designed to allow for a comparison of the...

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Thoughts on the Recent Hire of BIG…

Thoughts on the Recent Hire of BIG as Part of the Civic Arena Redevelopment Team

A Letter from AIA Pittsburgh’s President, Alan Schlossberg, AIA and AIA Pittsburgh’s Executive Director, Anne J. Swager, Hon. AIA As you might imagine, we get quite a bit of feedback when an “out-of-town” architect is hired for a large local project. When this happens, we are often asked to “take a stand” against this practice. While we share some of the frustration many feel, it is perhaps too simple a reaction. We know the architectural talent in Pittsburgh is nothing short of extraordinary. Most in our design community work extensively throughout the region, but many also work across the country and around the globe without restriction. The AIA will always advocate for good design, informed by a deep understanding of...

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