The Promise of Participatory Planning

By Kevin Kunak, Associate AIA, LEEP AP BD+C Posted on June 11, 2012

Two weeks ago the Buncher Company presented Riverfront Landing, a 37-acre development on property in the Strip District, to the Planning Commission requesting the creation of a Specially Planned (SP) zoning district.  Last week, Councilman Patrick Dowd released a letter addressed to Mayor Ravenstahl in which it was revealed that a $50 million dollar Tax Increment Financing (TIF) package is proposed for, presumably, site improvements. This week, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed zoning district, where the public will have its first opportunity to voice their opinions regarding this several hundred million dollar project. This public hearing is far too late in the process for meaningful input. The SP district classification is for developments over...

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Lobby Treatment

By Sean Sheffler, AIA, LEED AP Posted on May 31, 2012

It’s already been over a week since the AIA National Convention came to a close.  Circumstances kept me from attending, but I spent much of that week reminiscing.  During the first week of March, I had the privilege of traveling to Washington, D.C. to attend the AIA’s annual Grassroots convention.  The theme of this year’s event – displayed prominently everywhere one happened to look – was “Come As You Are, Leave Inspired.”  As a first time attendee, I can tell you that truer words have never been spoken. Grassroots is the AIA’s annual lobbying effort, where the membership ascends upon Capitol Hill to meet with our congressmen and tell our story.  As a conference, Grassroots often takes the backseat to...

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Good Design Takes Many Types

By Mark Dietrick, AIA, LEED AP Posted on May 16, 2012

I remember being a freshman in college and my professor telling our design studio that only a small percentage of us would end up “designing” buildings, at least in the way we were thinking of “design”.  He proceeded to tell us of all of the many aspects of the profession and that many of us would end up either having some supporting role within a firm, or would end up being in a separate yet related field altogether. At first, this discussion was a bit disturbing.  What we didn’t understand at that time is the fact that designing and constructing environments is an intensely complicated and dynamic process and that it requires many diverse skills to do it well.  I...

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Collaboration, Come Full Circle

By Eric Osth, AIA, LEED AP Posted on April 15, 2012

At 38 years old, I am a very young architect. But in the terms of the use of digital technology in the practice of architecture, I am relatively old. When I finished my undergraduate studies, I worked in an architectural office that was one of the last offices still assembling construction documents on paper. Ink, pencil, drafting vellum, and blueprints were synonymous with (if not symbols of) the architectural industry for generations before me. And just as I was entering the field, all of these traditional tools were being pushed into a storage closet as our firm followed the industry to incorporate Computer-Aided Drafting Design (CADD) programs into the core of our practice. CADD was a logical upgrade to practice....

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A New Year, A New Home

By Becky Spevack Posted on March 13, 2012

They say that the older you get, the faster time goes by.  While I have no intention of categorizing myself as “old” (or anywhere close!), I can recognize that with each passing year as a ‘grown-up’ I look back in wonder at where the time went and how another 12 months could possibly have flown by, seemingly right under my nose.  2011 proved no exception – it was a whirlwind of work, play, growth, (more) home renovations, and stasis yet oh-so-much change.  At the time of this writing 2012 is still days away, yet it is already filling up at a pace that simultaneously excites and terrifies me. One of the major projects of this past year has been working...

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Moving to the Digital World

By Anne J. Swager, Hon. AIA Posted on March 1, 2012

In the spring of 2011, I finally bought an iPad. I was pretty sure I would use it to take notes in meetings and to better organize my chaotic existence. This didn’t happen. Instead, it has become my “media center”. Long addicted to the news, the iPad gets it all: TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines. My idea of a great Saturday morning is to grab my iPad and read in bed for a couple of hours.  If my iPad could make a large skim decaf latte and serve it to me….it would be the perfect machine. But alas, it is just a machine. When hunger and thirst finally drive me out of bed, I head to my laptop. Amazingly, I...

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